Google Sync server changes announced: how will it impact you?

Google has announced the end of life for Google Sync, which was designed to give access to Gmail, Google Calendar and Conatcts via Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Starting from January 30th 2013, consumers will no longer be able to set up new devices using Google Sync, although existing connections will continue to function. Below, I explain what impact, if any, this will have on Symbian users.

So, how might it impact you, as a Symbian user who also wants some access to Google services, i.e. Gmail and Google Contacts/Calendar?

Let's take Contacts and Calendar first. There are several ways in which you might currently be syncing your PIM data:

So, if you've been syncing to Google and using SyncML or Exchange explicitly need to set up (or re-set up) a device after January 2013 then you'll need to think again. The Nuevasync solution is a neat and clean one and, if anything, your PIM sync experience will get better, but note that Nuevasync does cost around £10/year.  

(See also our review and news post on multiple calendar suport on Nuevasync)

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Gmail is slightly different in that there are more access vectors for it. As above, if you're picking up Gmail via an Exchange mailbox then it'll carry on working happily, but you won't be able to set it up again if you wipe or replace your device after January 2013.

Other ways to access Gmail, none of which are affected by the changes, include:

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In the short term then, for those wanting either (or both) Gmail or Google Contacts/Calendar sync, Google's 'Winter cleanup' of their services is unlikely to have a major impact on most users here. For anyone who is affected, either at the end of January or at some point after that when a device has to be replaced, at least there are several valid options, both free and paid for.

It's also entirely possible, of course, that by that point you might even be leaning towards reliance on another platform and ecosystem, whether it be Microsoft's or Apple's. There's more to online services than Google, you know!

For its part, Google has valid business reasons for the changes - not having to pay Microsoft a license fee every time some new user sets up an Exchange ActiveSync connection is the main one, we suspect.

Comments welcome here on how much (or little) this will affect you, with your own preferred set up!

Published by Steve Litchfield at 12:08 UTC, December 15th

Section: News
Categories: Miscellaneous, Links of Interest, Services
Platforms: General, S60 3rd Edition, S60 5th Edition, Symbian^3