Google drops Exchange ActiveSync. What does it mean for BlackBerry?

Google drops Exchange ActiveSync. What does it mean for BlackBerry?
By Bla1ze on 14 Dec 2012 10:02 pm EST

In what Google referred to as 'winter cleaning' they announced that, effective 30 January 2013 they will be shutting down new set-ups for their Google Sync service via its Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Instead, they'll be offering access through access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV. Because of this, we saw that the Google Sync app for BlackBerry finally give up the ghost but what does it really mean for BlackBerry, the BlackBerry PlayBook and the upcoming BlackBerry 10?

Starting with some key words there, this only affects new set-ups. If you're alredy attached to the services with a device then Google will continue to offer it. Plus, they will continue to fully support the options through Google Apps for Business, Government and Education user. As for the PlayBook and BlackBerry 10, here's what RIM had to say on the matter:

The announcement that Google is removing ActiveSync support for Gmail does not affect PlayBook OS 2.0 or BlackBerry 10 customers using Gmail. PlayBook OS 2.0 and BlackBerry 10 support other standard email, contacts and calendar connectivity, which ensures customers will continue to have access to Gmail.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 brought CalDAV and CardDAV to the mix and BlackBerry 10 is surely taking the same route as well, so that only leaves older BlackBerry devices that are kind of left out of the loop when it comes to synching contacts and calendars on through Gmail.

That's not to say it can't be done but rather that Google is making it harder and you'll forced to rely on some older methods such as desktop manager to get the job done. It could be worse though I suppose, you could be an iOS or Windows Phone user whos platforms appear to be hit a little bit harder, depending on how you prefer your services set-up. Android users however don't have to worry about any of this at all and go on their merry way.

Reader comments

Google drops Exchange ActiveSync. What does it mean for BlackBerry?


I was wondering about that as well, from what i read beforehand i was given the idea it was non android and ios users that were hit hard.

It's because iOS allows Active Sync stuff.. and Google IMAP is terrible. Read the iOS article it links to! Pretty interesting.

ANyways, it doesn't really matter to me (I THINK) all I use is Gmail on my Bold (which is supported) and Calendar sync (which as far as I can tell, still works the way I want)!

I am so done with Apple. RIMM will take second position as the most popular OS in the world. I can't do anything with Apples outdated software. Google doesn't support it, can't do NFC transactions, No flow, No Balance, No Hub, it's terrible when it comes to security. I can't even swap the battery when this one goes stale. What a piece of junk!

BB10 will be my next purchase 100%

+1. I'm on the go using my phone all day touring in europe. No time to wait around for a device to charge. And no an iphone battery would not last 15 hours of heavy use. Removable battery is the only way. And with these exotic wifi networks among other things I am connecting to I am glad to feel secure on my blackberry

When you say rimm will overtake apple and take second position in mobile OS have now idea how right you are ....i see this happening 100%

All I want is
1) To get my GMail on my phone, which works fine!
2) Reflect additions/deletions/changes to my Google Calendar between Bold/Playbook and the web version, which still works for me!

I am living a so google-free life that i cant explain, thats why i am in peace. I do not use gmail since day one, It could never attract me, long live my hotmail. I dont use Google search instead i use Bing. I dont use Chrome because they steel my data to use for their own marketing puposes. I am an IT Professional and provide consultancy to many Top IT Companies, Majority of them does not allow Chrome in their Offices becuase Chrome License Agreement clearly states that Google can use your Data for their Markieting Putposes. So, I dont wana be their tool to sell google stuff. i dont use android either because its full of shit (bugs). There was no concept of Mobile phone viruses before Android (as far as i know). Few months ago There was a post on Yahoo showing top 12 unsecure mobile phones in the world, unsurprizingly 11 out of 12 were Androids. Why i need google? Why i should go for something that is un secure and ready to screw me anytime. A company that is build on selling my personal data (in terms of my net usage) for their marketing purposes and for their own growth. I am not ready to be their tool. Sorry Gooooooglers. I think its time to wake up for many people . . WAKE UP PLEASE.

Bed and Blanket BlackBerry

IMAP is not terrible, it is far superior to POP3. Let's not confuse things. ActiveSync is a Microsoft product for Exchange syncing -- licensing required. Google is choosing to support standard protocols that can accomplish the same things rather than proprietary ones from competitors. IMAP is commonly used for email, calDAV for calendar, cardDAV for contacts.

RIM went with ActiveSync, Google went the other way. It saddens me that calendar sync is essentially broken on BB7 but RIM needs to fix that. They had ample notice from Google that this feature was being discontinued.

Wow, is Google slowly tying to kill of the competition or forcing everyone to upgrade... O_O Isn't this a bit "anti-trust"-like?

It's their "F-U" to Microsoft.. they no longer have to pay them licensing fees any more for EAS.

Well, thank goodness PBOS/BB10 doesn't just rely on Exchange. I'm pretty sure BIS' Push Email isn't an issue here too right? :D

Good to have a BB for those things

Ya, the email portion really remains unchanged.. it's just contacts and calendar at the heart of it all. Personally, I'm fine with it.. Google Sync always messed up for me anyway lol. This will force me to clean my address book the right way. Google caused my duplicates than a counterfeit printing press.

Exactly, gmail contacts never worked anyways. Forevor getting duplicates. I got frustrated trying to clean them up a few times. And I have like 50 contacts. I can't imagine the nightmare it would cause for somebody with 500-1000 contacts. As long as my gmail goes through BIS nothing effects me. I'm shur yahoo and hotmail are all just as good. I just like saying "G..mail" so ill keep it

I still stand by my belief that RIM should be building its own web-based services equivalent to Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar etc. Depending on 3rd party services is fine, until that 3rd party decides to lock you out!

I thought this was part of the reason Research In Motion bought the cloud services provider in Ireland sometime in early 2012 or thereabouts. They could provide an all-inclusive suite (backup & restore OTA service, remote device location and locking/wiping, email services, file storage, etc.) RIM does not need to exclude third-party services but they should not be wholly dependent upon them. This would attract many consumers looking for a unified experience.

Back in August RIM announced they would try to sell off NewBay - the cloud service provider you mention here. Backup OTA can now be done with BB Protect, as can locking/wiping. File services it appears they will rely on 3rd parties like Box to provide.

I'm with you on that one! These are essential services that RIM must provide. They've been discussing getting into the cloud business for quite sometime, but there has been no progress. BB10's success cannot be at the mercy of a third party. This is likely why Google went with open source solutions. Microsoft is trying to push Windows Phone 8 and it's not been going well.

google google google. Smh. You catch more flies with honey than you do sh!t.
Apparently google feels shitty tactics will boost buisness? All this has done for me is gotten me kinda upset with Google. At no point in reading this did I question myself about getting another Android phone. FAIL. I will miss Chrome but that's about it. Tomorrow I start a transition to a Google free life ;)

So many of us are stuck into the Google Internet ecosystem (if not the apps in the traditional sense themselves).

Gmail - plenty of alternatives (iOS users like myself are wary going elsewhere/and wonder of BB10 will sync harmoniously with

GoogleDocs -, DropBox, SkyDrive are great alternatives.

Google+ - Sure there is FB, and although with all there security issues/holes its the largest and best way to share thoughts/ideas, and most important to me events/parties! (there IS NOTHING else that competes on this global scale and level). I have a suggestion ... later.

IM - LMAO I don't even use GoogleChat; alternatives abound!
(This makes me think that the suggestion early today about RIM having a wholly owned cloud solution beyond what is currently capable is a final piece missing out of their whole ecosystem.) OR is it?! For YEARS I've been harping for RIM to bring BBM to the computing platforms: MacOSX, Windows XP/7 (and recently Win8), along with some forms of Linux (Debian/RedHat/FedoraCore/Ubuntu). This will provide immerseve chat experience that NO OTHER IM solution provides ... and if you really think about it the pictures/videos/voicenotes/groups are ALL cloud based and backed up anyway ... why not a 5GB/user solution? Do this as a tiered roll-out ... start in emerging markets, then in Canada/USA and give us the 10GB solution since we waited 1-3mths and then bump everyone equally to 10GB globally. Just keep the SNAS servers here in Canada; protected by Canadian law and common Canadian ethics that the globe respects!

Seem to have forgotten that RIM is not going to make BBM cross platform. It is a blackberry exclusive feature. Ubuntu has their Ubuntu One cloud services.

This means that RIM will now be forced to have better quality IMAP support, and less "special-case support" for Gmail. For me, as a non-Gmail user, this can only be a good thing.

Until now, I swear they've been saying "A high enough percentage of our users only notice/care/see the Gmail experience, so make that one work well as its all the bloggers will praise/ding us on. The rest of the Email world isn't relevant enough for proper QA and user experience testing."

This finally puts a stop to the "But it works perfectly with my Gmail account!" excuse people always give me when I try to complain about my non-Gmail experience.

Anyone else find it interesting that BB7 support is dropped on jan 30? This will get people to move to BB10 right away.

How does handle syncing calendars and contacts with BB7 and BB10? If it works, I may need to convert sooner than expected!

I doubt if anyone is going to be affected.. It's just a matter of updating their services to sync evenly with all other major options..

So wait - I'm will this affect my BlackBerry Bold 9900? If I replace my device and had to get a new one, or do a security wipe, will I not be able to sync my Gmail contacts and calendar after January 30?

never bothered with gmail syncing. It messed up more than I cared to put effort in. contacts etc.

It was far more easier to do this with native stuff.

better reason to check out :P

Screw Google. If they keep playing hardball, then eventually I'll move everything to Microsoft, or something.
Maybe BlackBerry could come up with something native, or cross-platform...

If Google is so concerned about their property and want to boost business, why not offer all their standard apps on Android for free and offer them cross platform at a small fee. We all know certain Google services are the best (Google maps for example) in the business. And I'm sure folks would pay a nominal fee to access them. In my opinion this offers an incentive to join the Android platform while not totally pissing off those who aren't on the Android system. Just my 2 cents.

I personally agree. But I think they have the perspective that if a person is swayed to by actual android phone because something isn't available elsewhere they will make more money than licensing fees.

Um ... I just thought of something.

"N-Series" is a market term for smartphones ALREADY used by Nokia.
These include:
N93 (all iterations)

I have 3 Bold 9930's sync'ed up so that whenever one user enters a calandar appointment, it propogates to the other two devices and all 3 users can share seeing these appointments. It has been the way I do business for a few years now. I am reading this thread to understand how my 3 devices will sync all this now.
From what I understand. My 3 devices will remain unaffected until January 30th and then...they will no longer sync? Someone clarify here, because if that's the case....I need 3 new phones right away. And I wouldn't give 3 shits about those 3 phones being BB's or not. I need this feature.

@Mamluka - Have you explored the BBM groups functionality already built into the phones? It is fantastic and oh so easy to use. No sycing, they are always synced real time. With optional notification to the group you create for all changes to the calendar. I think this is a little known feature of BB that needs trumpeting.

Of course it's supported on iOS, Apple was a huge supporter of the protocols. Problem is, on iOS GMails IMAP is shoddy and to achieve the same functions they previously had, you have to now jump through hoops depending on how you set your device up.


Please follow the link and see how support for CALDAV on iOS is supported for mail, contacts, and calender setup on iOS.
Almost the very same setup as using POP/IMAP for GMAIL. No hoops to speak of.

Not sure what the big deal is. I use an old OS6 BBM. I lost google sync a few months ago. I didn't know there was a native calendar sync on my BB. It works great foe mw. It is more cusomizable and have not had any issues syncing my bb calendar with my google calendarm

Seems to me that Google is subtly shifting from a 'Google everywhere' philosophy to something more like Apple's model where its core services will be isolated and controlled. Too bad for all of us, on all platforms.

thought this was an issue, Blackberry Internet Service does a better job at syncing it anyway. Goodbye google, hello RIM

I KNEW this action from Google would come soon. Now that Android is proclaimed the winner of the mobile war above all others by their Chairman of the Board (and thus largest investor since the beginning), there is no need to support other platforms, yet pull features and support only their ecosystem.

This will NOT affect current Google ActiveSync users. New Google ActiveSync users will not have this feature after January 30th.
- Direct from Google.

However if you switch devices, does this mean you'll LOOSE this functionality? Hmm, nothing definitive here.

I do NOT want to use Google's apps just their services; I don't feel like selling my soul while their getting paid for my actions/details - they should be paying US!

I hope Yahoo, Apple, and others step up to the plate soon enough - Google is looking more and more like the early beginning of Brainiac.

Funny that Google says: "Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by this announcement."
FYI, by Google Sync, they are referring to MS Active Sync.
So what they're saying is for consumers, we're going to give them a crappy service but if you're a paying business user, then we know you want Microsoft Exchange Active Sync.

Will the native gmail plug-in still wirelessly sync gmail contacts and calendars like is does currently? I havent used the google sync app since the native plug-in has been available, I hope the gmail plug in continues to provide the sync functions.

@Bla1ze – Could you please confirm whether or not the following Google Calendar sync method will be affected? Okay, I know the argument, "It won’t hit me". But, if they’re treating new users this way, who’s to say what’s in store for us as existing users sometime further in the future? This is what I've been doing for calendar sync for several years. It works very well, and I hope Google doesn't mess it up!

I have one BES calendar and four Google calendars syncing to my Bold 9930. After much frustration with the Google Sync app, I looked for something better and started using the native Gmail plug-in. I learned that only the main calendar of a Google account can be set to sync. I was already using additional calendars, so this was a problem!

The solution I found was to create new Gmail accounts for each calendar, whether I use the email part of it or not -- it doesn't matter. Next, copy all calendar items from the old (secondary) calendar to the corresponding new (primary) calendar. Then, from within each newly created Gmail calendar, set it up to allow shared access (with permission to create and edit events) with your most frequently used Google calendar. There's some authorization stuff to go through to get the different calendar accounts to work together, but you can find directions for that in their Help. Finally, each calendar needs to be added to your device by setting up each corresponding email address, and there you may choose to sync only the calendar on that account if you choose not to use its email. Now, you'll see that your BB device handles each calendar as a separate (native) calendar with all its fancy color coding. And, you can also create/edit events from your device and they'll sync back to the respective online calendar. I've found that device-to-server sync is nearly instantaneous, but server-to-device is usually within a ½ hour.

When it's all done, you should be able to create/edit events from your most frequently used Google calendar from a desktop PC (remember it has access to all the other calendars) and sync any or all calendars with your different devices. I'm syncing to three: Bold 9930, PlayBook, and iPod Touch.

Oh, wait, maybe that’s the problem – none of them are Android! LOL :D

Google seems to becoming such an arrogant company. The thing is I don't think they can afford to be. I feel their products are lackluster at best, and not only that, but I don't trust their management of my data from a privacy or security perspective.

This may be the breaking point for me, I rely on this too much! I guess we'll see how things go but if I can't keep my calendar in sync. Goodbye blackberry I'm afraid. And there I was looking forward to blackberry 10.

I do not use any product or service from Google, I am alive and breath freely. Google is shit...... . .

Bed and Blanket BlackBerry

Sorry troll, but your soul is empty and you can be considered dead now. RIM isn't dead. They are thriving. Lol

I've got 2 Gmail accounts setup on my 9320 along with my Carriers BIS account. With this move by Google RIM needs to bring out a web based email/calendar and conacts Interface for the BIS websites to allow users the ability to work with the Blackberry Calendar & Contacts, that's the one thing I like about the Google Services I can access my email, contacts & calendar on any PC or Mac, my Google Nexus 7 and my 9320.

Also why can't RIM allow multiple BIS email addresses under one BIS account?

Is there an easy way to port contacts and calendar events under a Gmail Account to a BIS, Yahoo or Windows Live Account?

Does anyone know if this move affects Gmail Synced using BIS or is it just the old Google Sync app that is affected?


Yahoo, Microsoft (but isn't listed) AOL then there's an Other option in the on Device Accout setup page.

I'm considering moving my Gmail back to a Microsoft Account since I've got one setup for Windows 8 Pro Login on my Laptop and switch my personal non Google related email to my BIS email, but just don't fancy having to re-add all my contacts & re associate some with Facebook. The non personal Gmail will be easy since I can just import them into my Windows Live account.

I think I might setup a Thread in the Forum for this, will be easier than having to come to the blog entry.


This is a good thing. ActiveSync is a old service and eats a lot more battery than using IMAP + CardDAV.

I find it interesting at the amount of google bashing when, really, criticism should be aimed at blackberry. Blackberry's major issue (and always has been) is that their OS is tied to hardware. To run OS 10 or anything above 7.0 I need to update my hardware. When the torch 9800 came out models barely a year old were locked to that OS version.

So is it google's fault for discontinuing an app they have to pay Microsoft royalties for or blackberry for kneecapping their users because of their hardware? How would you feel if Microsoft said you had to buy a new computer because your hardware was 2 years old?