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Feb 12

Gmail over Exchange (MS Push) stops working when you upgrade to a new iPhone

Gmail over Exchange (MS Push) stops working when you upgrade to a new iPhone

Last year Google decided to ditch their Exchange ActiveSync-licensed GoogleSync service for free Gmail accounts. I wasn’t too concerned as they mentioned existing users of their ActiveSync service would continue to enjoy this service for free (they would be grandfathered). New users however had to get a paid Gmail account in order to enjoy ActiveSync on their Gmail accounts. The issue seems that when you upgrade to a new device, it is considered a new license so Google won’t pay for that and you are stuck without Activesync on that new iPhone. So that really sucks.

There are a few alternatives worth considering we will explore below but basically the fact remains, you can’t use your Gmail account with ActiveSync the good old way unless you want to pay Google. As always their SMTP service remains available to free accounts but that’s no fun.

  1. Get a paid GMail account.
  2. Forward your email to another push service account like iCloud.com or Outlook.com.
  3. Use the Gmail app.
  4. Use Outlook.com with a custom domain name / move out of Google Apps into the Microsoft’s Live domain.

Paid Google Accounts still enjoy full support, and existing setups were grandfathered in, but any new, free account setups, like those necessitated by a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c means – poof – no more Gmail over Exchange. So, what’s left for you to do? If you don’t want to pony up for a paid account, or forward to a push service like iCloud or Outlook.com, you can use Google’s eccentric IMAP service, which works with Apple’s Mail app and allows for a unifed inbox with other, non-Gmail accounts, and the Gmail app, which is excellent but is a silo unto itself, and a few other options. Here they are, such as they are…

I. Use Gmail’s App

You can download on the App Store the official Google’s application for Gmail. Using the app allows you to get the ActiveSync Push like experience with the caveat of having to use an App instead of a built in feature like Mail on your iPhone. For some this is not a big deal but for others who are used to the Apple interface and having all your main in one location, etc. this is really not the best way to go.

II. Live life without Push

It is an option although not really what we all want. You can set up a new mail account on your iPhone and instead of using Exchange select Gmail to use SMTP and IMAP to send/receive your emails. You can configure intervals at which you would like to check for new emails and you could check that manually as well. I have tried this approach and although it is pretty easy to set up it drives me crazy that everytime I open my mail (because I got an email pushed from my corporate account) it makes the app get the new email from Gmail and boom I get tons of emails.

III. Use a Third Party

As mentioned, you could forward your email to a third party like iCloud.com or Outlook.com to get your email pushed that way. There are also other third party apps or sites that allow you to do that.

IV. Pay Google

As mentioned, paid account receive ActiveSync Push services. You could also migrate to another account that offers push services like Microsoft’s Exchange Online or use a free version like Hotmail.

V. Migrate over to Outlook.com

Microsoft’s email version of Gmail (Hotmail and now Outlook.com) does offer all the benefits of ActiveSync. I ended up opting for this option and I must say it was quite easy. Microsoft offers a migration service which will port over your Gmail into your Outlook.com with no hassle. You can read more about that here: How to: Migrate from Gmail to Outlook.com (previously Hotmail.com & Live.com)

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