Just over 24 hours left to set up Google PIM sync

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Just a reminder that, as of Wednesday (so presumably midnight Tuesday in Australia?), or just over 24 hours time, Google is stopping new Mail for Exchange/Active Sync set-ups to its servers. What this means is that if you have any Symbian devices which aren't yet set-up with Gmail/Google Contacts/Google Calendar, you've got just over a day to do so. After the deadline, syncs will continue working - just don't wipe or reset your devices, etc. If you do, it'll be time to look for a new Mail for Exchange provider (e.g. live.com) and time to downgrade your Gmail access to IMAP. Or switch to a commercial third party Mail for Exchange proxy. Some links and comments below.

From our original piece on the changes:

Let's take Contacts and Calendar first. There are several ways in which you might currently be syncing your PIM data:

  • With an online service other than Google, such as a corporate Exchange server, an online SyncML host; or with a local desktop Windows PC, typically running Outlook, or a Mac (typically using iSync). Obviously, you're not affected, since you're not syncing with Google at all.
  • Using SyncML to Google, usually after manual set up several years ago. This will stop working at the end of January, when Google's SyncML servers are switched off.
  • Using Mail for Exchange, either (for older devices) using set up instructions such as those here, or (for newer devices) by simply setting up your Gmail as an 'Exchange' service and popping m.google.com in as the server name. If this is already set up then you can carry on accessing Google Contacts and Calendar after the end of January, but new 'set ups' won't be possible. So if you wipe or replace your device then you won't be able to use the same technique.
  • Using a third party go-between, usually the data sync specialists Nuevasync. This accesses Google's PIM data via other means and presents it to your phone via Exchange ActiveSync. The main benefit in the past has been the support for multiple calendars. Because no Exchange access is involved at Google's end, nothing will change after January.

So, if you've been syncing to Google and using SyncML or Exchange explicitly need to set up (or re-set up) a device after January 2013 then you'll need to think again. The Nuevasync solution is a neat and clean one and, if anything, your PIM sync experience will get better, but note that Nuevasync does cost around £10/year.  

So there we go. Just over 24 hours and counting to break out all devices you do want to keep synced with Google PIM. I 'did' (or checked, at least) most of my Symbian phones over the weekend - but then with about 5 Symbian phones in regular or occasional use, I admit I'm somewhat of an edge case!

Comments welcome on your strategy for 2013. Will you be staying with Google PIM sync by hook or by crook? Or will you be changing to another MfE provider? Or doing something else completely?