Contrary to its December announcement, Google did not shut down Google Sync yesterday—at least for devices running Windows Phone—and has extended support for new Windows Phone connections through Sync until July 31, 2013, according to Microsoft. Google Sync allows access to Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts through the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol.
If the search giant had shut down Google Sync, Windows Phone users would not be able to create new connections to sync with Google's services, as the devices use the Exchange ActiveSync protocol to synchronise contacts, calendar and email. Microsoft has announced that the Windows Phone team is building support for the new sync protocols Google is using for calendar and contacts—CalDAV and CardDAV. Combined with Windows Phone's support for the IMAP protocol, Windows Phone users will be able to stay connected to Google's services after July 31, when Google will shut down Google Sync for good.
Google Sync isn't going anywhere just yet
Earlier in January, Windows Phone users had started complaining that Google Maps wasn't accessible on WP handsets. While Google Maps was never officially built for, or supported by the Windows Phone platform, prior to this complaint, the service was accessible to a certain degree.
While Google initially blamed Internet Explorer for not being among WebKit browsers that support an optimised version of Google Maps, Microsoft begged to differ. “Internet Explorer in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 use the same rendering engine,” said Microsoft in a short but curt counterview.
Users and analysts worldwide claimed that Google’s explanations sounded merely like a weak excuse, and that this move smelled like the latest move in a battle between the long-time rivals.
A Google spokesperson later clarified that the decision to redirect Windows Phone users trying to access maps to Google's homepage was a product decision that will be overturned. Google said that it checks compatibility of its Maps products across the board, and following review had found that Windows Phone 8’s new Internet Explorer version was "satisfactory in its handling of the web app."
The Google spokesperson told The Next Web that Google tests Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure it delivers the best experience for those users. "In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users. Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users,” the spokesperson said.
Published Date: Jan 31, 2013 07:00 pm | Updated Date: Jan 31, 2013 07:00 pm