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Google Discontinues Exchange Active Sync

By   WirelessPhreak      Monday, December 17, 2012      Labels: , , ,  

The End of Google Exchange Active Sync

Google released a blog post titled Winter Cleaning where in they layed out their road map for Exchange Active Sync (EAS), and sorry to say the road is short. Google says "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 does not hint for how long these existing free EAS devices will work, but did state they will continue to support EAS in Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. 

So where do we go from here?  Google has finished their CardDAV sync for contacts, so in association with IMAP for email and calendar they say they can "offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols." It's true I have tested their solution and it works just not as seamless as Exchange and with a much more complicated set up process. 

Here are the steps from Google's Sync site for the new set up of an IOS device. Word of warning these procedures may change so follow the link at the top of each config example for the most current Google Sync procedures.

To configure the 'Mail' app on an Apple device for access to Gmail, just follow these steps:
  1. Make sure you've enabled IMAP in your main Gmail settings
  2. Open the Settings app on your device
  3. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  4. Tap Add Account...
  5. Tap Gmail
  6. Enter your account information, being sure to use your full Gmail address, including '@gmail.com'
  7. Tap Next
  8. Tap Save
Contacts via CardDAV:
Here’s how to sync your contacts to your device:
  1. Open the Settings application on your device.
  2. Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Select Add Account...
  4. Select Other
  5. Select Add CardDAV Account
  6. Fill out your account information in the following fields:
    • Server: Enter "google.com"
    • User Name: Enter your full Google Account or Google Apps email address.
    • Password: Your Google Account or Google Apps password. (If you’ve enabled 2 Step verification, you’ll need to generate and enter an application specific password.)
    • Description: Enter a description of the account (e.g. Personal Contacts).
  7. Select Next at the top of your screen.
  8. Make sure that the "Contacts" option is turned to ON.
Exchange Active Sync has some benefits over the open alternatives.  The first is its speed, emails arriving into the Microsoft Exchange inbox or Google's inbox using EAS are instantly pushed to the device.  Where as IMAP uses a sudo push/short polling mechanism to trigger the action. The second is ease of set up, as you can see above there are quit a few steps to setting up your phone using open standards.  Where as Exchange Active Sync was just one set of credentials and a control screen to select what you wanted synced.

Exchange Active Sync for me has been the killer APP for my iDevices, and I hope Google can make the alternitive as reliable, speedy, and seamless as EAS.

About WirelessPhreak

Just your everyday Packet Wrangler who enjoy's traveling and anything techie...