Google Dropping Exchange ActiveSync Is Bad News for Gmail Users on Windows Phone Too

Posted by Mister Mobility

Yesterday, I alerted Symbian/Belle users of the planned discontinuation of Google Sync for S60. Unfortunately, Google’s discontinuing this (and the Exchange ActiveSync technology behind it) is also bad news for Gmail users on Windows Phone who also sync their Google mail, calendar and contacts with their phones.

From January 30th, 2013, the sync service will not work anymore. I understand that iOS already deploys the Google IMAP standard, but Symbian/Belle and Windows Phone do not. Note though that it looks like iOS does not support Contacts synchronisation (thanks to Jesse for pointing this out). See this screenshot:

Apparently, Gmail users on iOS are not entirely off the hook either.

Gmail users on those other platforms (Windows Phone and Symbian/Belle) will be able to get their emails, but it won’t be the richest experience, and they will not be able to synchronise their calendars and contacts anymore. As a result, Android will stand out in providing the best Gmail experience.

Some think that Google is declaring war on Microsoft (and Nokia) with this move. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Gmail users who want to use Windows Phone can switch from Gmail to in order to keep synchronising their calendars and contacts.

Let’s summarise the whole deal:

  1. Gmail users on Symbian/Belle and Windows Phone will not get the full gmail email experience, and will not be able to synchronise their calendars and contacts from january 30, 2013
  2. Gmail users on iOS can still get the almost full synchronisation experience by setting up with the “Gmail” option on iOS. If they use Microsoft Exchange option, they are in the same boat as Windows Phone and Belle users
  3. Windows Phone users can migrate from Gmail to Hotmail Live in a few easy steps in order to keep the full synchronisation experience (perhaps I shall publish a tutorial)
  4. I am not sure yet what this means for Gmail users on Blackberry

There it is, folks. Pick your sides. Choose ye this day where ye shall stand. You can read Google’s statement here.


  1. World domination on my mind …Google

    The power of leverage. Use what you have to achieve amplified results.

    Apple tried with the Map thing. Why not Google on the email thing?

  2. It seems google is tired of providing its services for free. Just recently, they discontinued the free version of Google Apps for business. They are at a size that they can get away with that but fortunately, this provides opportunities for companies who don’t have their kind of online clout to pick up the users who just can’t be bothered to pay google for anything. Luckily for me, I grabbes immediately was made available so if google doesn’t behave, I’ll just move over. This move, however, doesn’t affect me much ‘cos I’m using a blackberry phone and google contacts syn doesn’t work well anyway, duplicating n triplicating my contacts; so I shut it off ages ago. My calendar sync is also from facebook, so I only use gmail for email and I don’t see them shutting off syncing for that anytime soon. I do hope blackberry phones support IMAP though.

  3. On my Android i sync my contacts and sms (using the SMS Backup + app by Jan Berkel). My advice is that to avoid duplicating, triplicating or messing up your contacts you use an alternative gmail address to sync. I.e: open a new gmail addy dedicated solely for synching contacts and sms and leave your main gmail for your email and calendar.

  4. Yeah shame what Google is doing, but i use only Android so i couldn’t care less.

    Also grabbed a very cool email as soon as i heard about the service. Hehe. it’s now my official alternative email. I’ve since closed my Yahoo.

  5. Possible reason for Google’s decision can be found here. It is not entirely all about running Microsoft or any other company down, it is about promoting open standards or at least reducing overhead cost on their side by continued support of these closed standards.

    Microsoft and Nokia have more of the solution to this problem than Google do. I think their decision looks fair enough now that I understand a bit of the politics going on behind the scene.

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