Google did some winter cleaning over the weekend to clear out and it hit some platforms harder than others. For BlackBerry users there really is no big change except for the Google Sync app, which was discontinued in September due to duplicate functionality in BIS, no longer works. For iOS users this is an annoying change since they now need to sync contacts and calendar through IMAP CardDAV and CalDAV. The BlackBerry PlayBook already supports CalDAV and CardDAV for contacts and calendar sync over IMAP and BlackBerry 10 does that and more.
What BlackBerry users should know is that this means BlackBerry 7 and older devices will no longer be able to use the Google Sync app that was discontinued in September. They will continue to be able to use the BIS Google Calendar and Contacts sync just like Google recommends. The only downside to this is no support for multiple calendars. Here is Google’s announcement:
- Google Sync was designed to allow access to Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols. Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won’t be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. 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.
- In addition to Google Sync, we’re discontinuing Google Calendar Sync on December 14, 2012 and Google Sync for Nokia S60 on January 30, 2013. We’re also ending service for SyncML, a contacts sync service used by a small number of older mobile devices on January 30, 2013.
I doubt Google decided to kill off Google Sync and ActiveSync support due to lack of use but it seems like they no longer wanted to pay Microsoft for royalties. On top of that ActiveSync has some limitations that hampered Google and other services like having only one mobile number per contact. Still RIM will have all the technologies compatibility and more to support these services covered in BlackBerry 10.