Google discontinuing support for Exchange ActiveSync, affecting Windows Phone and iPhone users

Google discontinuing support for Exchange ActiveSync, affecting Windows Phone and iPhone users

Summary: One of the great things about Google's mobile services is that you have been able to use Exchange ActiveSync to keep different platforms up-to-date. Google is switching to CardDAV support and dropping EAS.

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In the past, I setup my Gmail and Google Calendar sync with iOS, Windows Phone, and Symbian devices using the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Google posted a Winter Cleaning post on the Official Google Blog stating that syncing via EAS is ending starting 30 January 2013.

Google is also discontinuing Google Calendar Sync and Google Sync for Nokia S60 so any remaining Symbian users may want to start thinking about a smartphone upgrade for the holidays. Existing users may be fine for a while so if you have it setup now, don't switch devices or shutdown the service on your device.

Here is the statement regarding the EAS protocol:

Google Sync was designed to allow access to Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols. Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won't be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by this announcement.

As Kevin Tofel recently wrote, you can currently setup Gmail and Google Calendar on Windows Phone 8 using the Google option and m.google.com/sync to view multiple calendars. I am sure Gmail will still work fine after the EAS shutdown and your own calendar likely will as well, but I am not sure if the multiple calendar support (very handy for families) will remain supported with these upcoming Google changes. Kind of makes today's Engadget editorial a bit more convincing, doesn't it?

Google supports CardDAV to offer syncing via IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV, which I believe means that iOS users should not really be affected, unless they setup their account using the Microsoft Exchange protocol. Shoot, given the excellent Google apps for iOS you are likely better off using those rather than syncing through some protocol anyway. However, Google is currently not really supportive of Windows Phone. I used to use the Google Calendar Sync tool to sync my Google personal calendar with my work Outlook calendar, but that support is going away soon too. It looks like many of these services will continue to work for existing users, but no new devices can by configured and the services will not be actively supported so will likely eventually die out.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Google, iPhone, Windows Phone

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23 comments
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  • Thanks for the info

    I like many people don't use Google crap services on my smartphone. My smartphone will continue to work with the superior non-google services out there. :D YAY!
    TimeForAChangeToBetter
    • Agreed.

      Move away from the Google beast and be freee!
      MCTronix
    • Such as?

      Can you recommend a solution for iOS users? A friend uses Google Apps for his small business. He would like to use Sync so that his employees can easily set up their work email, shared calendar and shared contacts, and they all have iPhones. What other packaged solution exists?

      Google-bashing is all well and good, but to my knowledge no one else is offering the solution they did at the price point they could.
      angrychimp
      • CardDAV

        Check out CalDAV (for calendars) and CardDAV (for contacts) syncing. It syncs everything beautifully, e-mail, calendar, and contacts. It embraces fully iOS and Google functionality.
        Essentially, Google is shifting away from ActiveSync (a cumbersome standard) to a more open and user friendly ones (the ones mentioned above). The best part is that CalDAV/CardDAV is fully supported by all apple devices (yes, this includes macs). If you liked activesync on the iPhone, you'll love Cal/CardDAV.
        NuTechnology
  • gmail allows forwarding. problem solved easily....

    by forwarding until changing. google is totally replacable. Not by the MS hating bloggers mind you but the rest of the real world coudl change from gmail in a second. The web interface (horrid) and iOS compatability (poor to a newb) makes google look terrible to the non-tekkies in the real world. Nevermind the google privacy concerns.
    chinch987
    • Alternative?

      Aside from your apparent bias against Google, I'm curious what alternative product you'd recommend to an iOS user? Unless you're rolling some completely custom solution where you host your own calendar, mail and contacts, are you're going to have privacy issues with any provider? Aside from locking yourself into Apple iCloud services, what streamlined solution would you suggest?
      angrychimp
      • Alternative?

        You might look into it, but SkyDrive with 7gb storage is available and the SkyDrive app will sync your files with all of your devices. Mail, though- I'm not sure, BUT, Outlook.com is available and as many other mail services as you have can be added, each with its own folder, so you simply keep your existing email addresses but have everything come to one mail service.
        xplorer1959
    • you are not getting the concept

      You can't forward calendar and contact synchronization. If you don't want to use Google then buy a cheap ms exchange service. Plenty of them out there.

      I was think Google going to open protocols is a great thing. No more royalties to Microsoft.
      LarsDennert
      • Altenative

        Found an app to enable my multiple calendars (gSharedCalendarEnabler). Just for those interested... Seems to work fine for me.
        mombaerl@...
  • Must be Google feels this was another

    one of there beta products they let the whole world use and then give little notice of the discountinued use!

    I don't use Google products and this is one of the many reasons!
    rmark@...
  • First one's always free

    Google is operating just like a drug dealer. Get you hooked on it's free or cheap supply, then turn the screws on you when you are hopelessly hooked into their system.
    Did eveyone think Google was planning to give services away for free forever?
    Skidpalace
    • Nope.

      Nope. Afer they are now charging for Google Apps for Business and intended to drop support for IE8 in their web products [only to change the end date after a bit of an uproar]. Both initially had no warning and the IE8 support part a new support policy that came out of the blue. At least the competition clearly defines the support policies for all of their products.
      Gisabun
  • iOS

    I can;t understand why this affects iOS users. My account seems to be using IMAP / CalDAV; which is the same Yahoo and iCloud uses; and works fine.
    emiliosic
    • as per

      as per the article:

      "Google supports CardDAV to offer syncing via IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV, which I believe means that iOS users should not really be affected, unless they setup their account using the Microsoft Exchange protocol. "

      So yes, you're right.
      dsf3g
  • Figures.....

    Another way for Google to ditch anything that they perceive will help the competition [in this case Microsoft] and don't give a crap about the users who will suffer.
    And they probably believe by dumping Google Calendar Sync and Google Sync, that will force Symbian to buy a new phone - say something with Android on it.
    Gisabun
  • Does this affect Outlook's contact/calendar sync with Google

    If you have a Live/Outlook account, you can set it up for one-way sync with Google's contact/calendar. If this uses EAS, will this feature also disappear?
    Eric Gisin
  • Good Bye Google!

    Good thing I moved over to Outlook.com. The makers of Exchange which is a far superior e-mail system than Google anyhow.

    And their Android OS - crap as well. Contact fields cannot be customized to match Outlook... just crap!

    Besides, who the hell wants to use a company like Google whom is in bed with an individual rights violator government? So they can snoop on anyone's e-mail? BS!
    Poli Tecs
    • Yeh, right....

      A good thing I moved over to all Google services with open protocols and escaped the Microsoft shackles. Why would I want to lock myself into only being able to use one provider with proprietary protocols which prevent me from integrating with anything else?

      Even if Microsoft's offering were better, that does not justify its monopolistic practices.
      rahbm
      • Open protocols and no monopolistic practices?

        Did you read the article? Google is evil.

        It's a great time to move to Outlook.com and their free services.
        dbiz2
        • Yes, I *did* read the article

          Google is moving to open protocols, unlike Microsoft which tries to snare you with proprietary protocols and closed architecture.

          I suspect the reason you think Google is evil is probably because you didn't get a job there and ended up being paid much less by Microsoft to post its propaganda here.
          rahbm