Exchange on the Cheap – Google Mail + ActiveSync = Google Sync

With the release of iOS 4 for iPhone (with iPad users still waiting patiently) the ability to have more than one Microsoft Exchange account (or similar through the use of ActiveSync) has been a long time coming. Those of us that use Microsoft Exchange at work know how handy it is to have push mail as well as having our calendars and contacts synced over the air. Having all of this information backed up and synced in the background can give you added peace of mind if you lose your phone as well as a secondary means by which to access your information.

For the rest of us that are either stuck with Lotus Notes (my heart goes out to you) or have no other alternative (which I think is better than Lotus Notes), Google Mail may be the ticket at the right price.

The iPhone as well as the Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile Devices get the full raft of features but a limited subset of these features are available on other handsets. Astonishingly, the BlackBerry doesn’t even support syncing your Google Mail but whether or not this is a big deal for the BlackBerry crowd is another matter entirely.

Setting up Google Sync is a snap and pretty much follows the same process for a Microsoft Exchange account on the handset of your choice. If you are keen to give it a go, you can find instructions at the Google Sync website. One thing to bear in mind that whilst you now get the ability to enable push mail, you may impact battery life as a result of having a constant connection to the Google mail server.

This week it seems a lot of people were in a rush to setup Google Sync with the release of iOS 4 so there have been complaints of poor performance and other weird behaviour but this seems to have subsided. I’m going to give it a try and post back with my thoughts after a good test run.

Stay tuned!

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