You are may already be aware of the decision by Gmail to not support new activations of Exchange Activesync for platforms like iOS, Windows Phone and Belle from 30th January, 2013. This means that you will not be able to synchronise your Google Calendars and Contacts on new devices from that date. Well, except you upgrade to a paid Gmail account. The good news is that Microsoft’s free Outlook email provides ActiveSync support and is supported by all those smartphone platforms that have been left out in the cold by Google. To keep the liberty to keep synchronising your PIM suite (mails, contacts and calendar) on your new smartphones, you can switch from Google to Outlook. Here’s how to:
- Sign up for a new Outlook.com account. If you already have a Hotmail address or other Microsoft account, you can upgrade to Outlook.com without changing your email address. Just sign in to Hotmail, click Options, and then click Upgrade to Outlook.com.
- Go into your Gmail settings to tell Gmail to forward your incoming mail to Outlook.com as it arrives. You can also keep a copy in your Gmail inbox if you want to. alternatively, you can also get Outlook to retrieve mails from your Gmail account. Go to Settings -> More email Settings -> Your Email Accounts -> Add a send-and-receive account
Outlook also includes ways to import Google-based contacts and calendars, which makes the migration much easier.
Log into your Gmail account on web, click on the Contacts tab at the top of the page, then “More” – “Export”. Under “Which export format/”, select “Outlook CSV format”. Click the “Export” button to save to your PC.
To import your Gmail contacts into Outlook, navigate to Outlook Options, Customizing Your Contacts, Importing Contacts. Pick the option to import from Gmail and proceed with that option. You will be able to select the exported file saved on your PC to import into Outlook.
To import your Google Calendar/s, first export your Google Calendar via Calendar Settings -> Calendars -> Export Calendars. This will create a ZIP file that contains an ICS file for your calendar. Save this to your PC, then extract the ZIP file. In Outlook, proceed to Outlook Calendar and click “Subscribe”. Select “Import from an ICS file” and then choose the ICS file that you extracted. customise as necesarry and click “Import Calendar”.
Setup Your Mobile to Synchronise
Now that you have an Outlook account and your calendar and contacts there, you can setup your mobile devices to synschronise. On Android, set up your email using the generic email client. On every other platform, just go ahead and setup a usual, but wherever the option to use Exchange ActiveSync is presented, be sure to use that.
PS: By the way, if during setup of your Outlook account on your device, you are asked for “Exchange Server”, use this: “pod51007.outlook.com”.
That’s it. Now you can enjoy your liberty to switch to any smartphone of your choice whenever Google’s new policy goes into force without having to worry how to keep your email, contacts and calendar synchronised.
Who wants to buy me a beer?