Google cleans house, tosses Google Sync and its Exchange support

Google cleans house, tosses Google Sync and its Exchange support
Google has decided to do some year-end house cleaning and in the process, the company has also decided to make it far more difficult for users of Google products to make a move to other mobile platforms like Windows Phone or BlackBerry. Today, Google announced that as part of its house cleaning, it will be killing off Google Sync, which uses Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocols to allow easy syncing of your mail, calendar, and contacts.

Google's view on this move is that there are open protocols like IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV that can do all of this syncing just as easily. IMAP is universally supported, so syncing your Gmail should stay just as easy as it has been. The trouble is that only Android and iOS support CalDAV and CardDAV. There has been some indication that BlackBerry 10 will support them as well, but current BlackBerry devices don't.

The big trouble, not surprisingly, is with Windows Phone, which not only doesn't support CalDAV or CardDAV, but also notoriously doesn't have the support of Google itself building apps for the platform.

Of course, that all said, this won't really change much if you're already a Google Sync user, because the End Of Life plan for Google Sync is currently to stop offering it as an option for new free accounts as of January 30th, 2013. If you are signing up for a paid Google Apps account, you'll still have access to Google Sync. 

So, if you think there's any chance of you switching to Windows Phone or BlackBerry, you may want to sign up for Google Sync right now, so it keeps going after January 30th. 

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25 Comments

1. ph00ny

Posts: 2013; Member since: May 26, 2011

Great... This is going to blow on iOS devices since exchange activesync is much much better than the native gmail support through mail

6. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

or you can just use the Gmail app

16. ph00ny

Posts: 2013; Member since: May 26, 2011

i actually like the unified mailbox feature with my non-gmail accounts

13. HäckeMáte

Posts: 168; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Umm activesync? Is better on iOs??? Wha? Dude exchange on iPS uses IMAP therefore no changes whatsoever. Read the article again. Or do a google search on "m.google.com" iphone supports push email and google contact sync via exchange. Always has always will.

17. ph00ny

Posts: 2013; Member since: May 26, 2011

Link to iPS using IMAP for EAS please.

2. jpmcnown

Posts: 35; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

Wait, so this means that contacts on my Android will be backed up how if not via Google Sync?

4. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Android doesn't require Google Sync, but connects natively to Google Apps.

3. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

as i posted on pocket now, bad move google. gonna make phone hopping that much harder, guess its back to the good ol days of using my sim card for contacts

8. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Unless Microsoft and BlackBerry add in support for open standards

5. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

This is more of a "if you want to use our service, then you're going to use OUR service" move.

7. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Actually, that's exactly what Google is going against. It's leaving behind the proprietary service of Exchange, and moving towards open standards

12. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

What about those that want Google Sync?

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

correct. Exchange is an MS service. It was once necessary because MS controlled a lot of business email protocols. They were for a time, the only "alternative" to BES (blackberry enterprise server) in the business world. Apple and Google tied into Exchange because RIM would not allow them to tie in to BES. Now there are open standards other than those 2 and its time to let go. MS and RIM get paid for those services.

9. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

So what happens to MS Exchange Alternative's on LINUX which used to function through EAS. Stupid move really. I don't use gmail at all for anything official. Good for WINDOWS Smartphones they would probably find more acceptance in corporate segment after this stupid move.

10. Jay..Apple4Ever

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

i would like to see a re design of the desktop homepage. Love what they are doing so far with youtube etc.

11. onggeo

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Noob question here. So does this mean I can't sync my Google contacts and calendars to my WP anymore like I can now?

14. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

You would still be able to sync them, just not through Google Sync. If you're already using it now, you have nothing to worry about.

15. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Just to be clear, is this different from the small syncing applet one can download to keep Outlook's calendar synced to Google Calendar?

18. aahmed215

Posts: 169; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

What about syncing my Google Contacts on my iPhone? I use the Exchange account for that.

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you should be able to change it to pop3, imap, or another form. Hell, there's probably an app for it on the market.

19. Martine

Posts: 102; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

@ Michael. Firstly, I think other platforms should simply just support the Open protocols, since they're supported by both IOS and Android. I don't know what's stopping them. Secondly, Google also had to drop EAS for the non-business users. We all know Microsoft is being paid licence fee for the use of EAS which I think will not be needed again. Google Saves cash. Thirdly, I tihink it's only a matter of time before WindowsPhone supports IMAP, POP, CardDAV, CalDAV etc. At least they have more than 30 days to do that. Finally, I think this is a lose-lose situation for we consumers. When two giant companies are locked up like this, only the consumers lose as we are always forced to adjust.

20. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

No big deal - there is always a work-around....

21. THEJET88

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 11, 2011

so will you be able to get your gmail on windows phones?

24. krulll

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

don't be evil Google.

25. mrochester unregistered

Time to move away from GMail now me thinks.

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