Google discontinues free Exchange ActiveSync support

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Google discontinues free Exchange ActiveSync support

Paying Google Apps customers unaffected.

Google Sync will no longer be made available to free Gmail or Google Apps accounts, the web giant has announced.

Existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. However, the service will not be offered to new connections made after January 30, 2013.

Paying Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government customers are unaffected and can continue to setup new devices with Google Sync after this cutoff date.

Google Sync allows users to sync their Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts data between servers and mobile devices via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol.

The discontinuation comes on the back of the web giant's announcement last week that its business-focused Google Apps suite will no longer be supporting free accounts, opting for a paid-only subscription model.

Google has suggested that non-paying Google Apps account holders either sign up to a paid subscription or use open protocols such as IMAP, CalDAV or CardDAV to sync Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts.

However critics argue that IMAP is laden with performance issues and delays. The fact that EAS does not wait for a scheduled retrieval pass gives the protocol a big performance advantage, particularly for time sensitive sync data.

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