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Windows 10: Working fine with the Google ecosystem (hands on)

A common misconception about Windows 10 is that it's not a good solution for those using Google stuff. Hands on experience show this to be false.
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1 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Windows and Google

Having read regularly on the web that Windows 10 isn't best for those entrenched in the Google ecosystem, when I started using it daily I expected to have trouble. I have long been using the Google cloud, especially with Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. I was surprised to find that Windows 10 works just fine with the primary Google services.

Most services can be accessed through the Google modern app on Windows 10. It is a web wrapper for the various Google sites, and it works without issues for my daily work. Since it is a wrapper, the services can also be used in a browser tab. I do this regularly in the Edge browser.

Shortly after installing Windows 10, I entered the Google access credentials for the Windows apps that needed access to my information in the cloud. Specifically, these were the People and Calendar apps. My information synced right away and these apps work just fine with the Google cloud.

The gallery at left shows screenshots for all the Google services I use on Windows 10. They show either how they look in the Edge browser or in the Windows 10 modern apps I use. Where appropriate both screens are shown.

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2 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Windows Google app

The Google app offers a menu to access most major Google services with one touch. It is a web wrapper to the various Google web sites accessing the services.

I regularly use it to access Gmail and Google Drive.

Note the window scrolls to the right for access to other Google services.

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3 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Windows Mail app

The Mail app in Windows 10 certainly works with the Microsoft ecosystem, but it also works well with Gmail. While it doesn't offer some special features of Gmail, the basic functionality is handled nicely.

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4 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Gmail in Google app

This image shows Gmail as accessed through the Windows 10 Google app. It looks like the Gmail web page because essentially it is.

The only issue is clicking email address links in emails, as it opens a separate, unwanted occurrence of the Edge browser.

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5 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Gmail in Edge

Google services can all be accessed through the browser, as shown with Gmail in the image. Based on my experience, all of the Google web pages work fine in the Windows 10 Edge browser.

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6 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Google Calendar in Google app

Google Calendar works in the Windows 10 Google app just as it does in the web browser. I use multiple Google Calendars and they have all worked properly from the initial Windows 10 sync.

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7 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Windows Calendar app

My preferred method of using my Google Calendars is with the Windows 10 Calendar app. All of the calendars are represented in a pleasant format.

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8 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Windows People app

I don't directly access my contacts often, but when I do I use the People app in Windows 10. All of my 1,000+ contacts are accessible. I usually enter contacts in the address field of an email, and it works without any problems.

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9 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Toodledo Tasks in Edge

I don't use Google Tasks as I have been using the online service from Toodledo for years. This works in the Edge browser flawlessly.

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10 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Google Maps in Google app

I normally use the Maps app in Windows 10, but when I need to get into Google Maps the Windows 10 Google app is the way I do it.

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11 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Google Photos in Google app

When I need access to my photos in the Google cloud, the Google app in Windows 10 is my preferred method.

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12 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Google Drive in Google app

Email aside, Google Drive is the most-used Google service I access on a daily basis. This is done through the Windows 10 Google app, and it works very well. I can move files back and forth between local storage and Google Drive with ease.

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