Update: Google Extends Exchange ActiveSync Support

At the eleventh hour, Google has decided to extend support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) for its free Gmail accounts until July 31, 2013.  Previously slated for lights out on January 31, Google has apparently given in to pressure and is allowing those with free Gmail accounts to continue to use EAS to sync their Windows Phone and iOS mobile devices for Gmail, contacts, and calendar until July 31.

Although the turning off of EAS by Google affects both Apple’s iOS devices and Windows Phone 8 devices, the Windows Phone 8 devices are particularly at risk.  The reason is that iOS users can fall back to using IMAP, CardSAV, and CalDAV to sync eamil, contacts, and calendar items respectively.  But Windows Phone platform doesn’t support CardDAV and CalDAV, leaving Windows Phone users no way to sync contacts and calendar items with Google after EAS goes away.  Android users are apparently un-affected either way, unless using EAS with a third party email client like AquaMail or Touchdown.

After Google does finally turn off this service off for non-Android devices, those with free Google accounts (except for Google Apps for Non-profits and Google Apps for Education which will still have EAS) will have to resort to IMAP, CardDAV, and CalDAV to sync their email, contacts, and calendars to their mobile devices.  This is less than ideal for all mobile platforms though, because IMAP isn’t a PUSH protocol.

Google Apps for Non-profits, Google Apps for Education, and paid Google Apps for Business accounts will not be affected, regardless of mobile platform, and will continue to have EAS support past July 31.

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