Today we learned from Google’s Blog that they are dropping support for push personal information management data syncing via the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. After January 30, 2013, you will not be able to set up new devices using Google Sync and Exchange ActiveSync for your Google accounts. Accounts that have already been set up will continue to work, as will accounts that are part of Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Instead, Google will offer sync services via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV. These protocols are already supported on a iOS devices and of course Android has its own Gmail app for Google account connectivity, but Google’s new protocols for syncing contacts and calendars are not supported Windows Phone or Windows 8 or Microsoft Outlook. Mac OS X support is kind of lacking in the usability department too.
If you’re like us and enjoy trying out a wide variety of mobile devices and tech gadgets, an Exchange account with ActiveSync has always been essential. It’s the best and most widely used way to sync your contacts, calendars, tasks and email with just about any smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer that you can get your hands on. That’s why Exchange ActiveSync has been so essential since 2005. It works with practically everything.
By removing Exchange ActiveSync support from Gmail, Google is essentially saying that after January 30, 2013, you better not buy any new phone that doesn’t run Android or iOS because your account data won’t sync. That’s probably okay for the die-hard iPhone and Android users out there, but if you want to be able to transfer your data between a wide range of devices and have them synchronize seamlessly, Exchange ActiveSync is the best way to do it.
Luckily, Microsoft’s excellent new free email service called Outlook.com has great support for Exchange ActiveSync and will continue to work well across a wide range of devices. Or if you want your email address to look even more professional, just get your own custom domain and a hosted Exchange service or set up your own Exchange server.