Google's Gmail on Android is now adding support for Microsoft Exchange accounts, fixing one of the email app's biggest shortcomings for mixing work and personal information.
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Google is making it possible for anyone using a work email on Microsoft Exchange to add that account to Gmail, following Microsoft's release of Outlook for Android in January last year.
The Gmail for Android update now allows support for Microsoft Exchange, and users can download the latest version of the application from Google Play, though the rollout may take a few days to reach all users.
Although some Gmail for Android users already had Exchange support, it was limited to owners of Google Nexus devices, while the update app offers support for all Android-based devices.
"Exchange support was previously only available on our Nexus devices, but as of today, Exchange support covers mail, contacts, and calendar data in Android across all devices," a Google spokesperson confirmed to VentureBeat on April 25.
Aside from Gmail and Exchange, Google for Android also supports Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, and other IMAP/POP accounts.
In addition to the Gmail update, Google also announced Get Drive notifications in Chrome that alert users when someone shares a file or requests access.
Google has recently reached out to users who want some of Gmail's more noteworthy features, like spam protection and inbox organization, but don't want to go through the hassle of changing their email address, with a new service called Gmailify.
Anyone who uses Yahoo Mail or Microsoft's Outlook.com -- formerly Hotmail -- now has the option to Gmailify their inbox. All that a user needs to do is open the Gmail app, sign in to the email account, or accounts, and enable Gmailify.
In a race to hold onto (or expand market share), Microsoft, Google, and even Amazon are looking at ways to provide integration across multiple platforms, while at the same time guaranteeing high levels of security.
In January 2015, Microsoft launched Outlook for Android and iOS, coming shortly after its acquisition of email startup Acompli, a cross-platform email startup with an app that provides new ways of organizing inboxes, handling attachments and files, and scheduling meetings.
Microsoft's goal was to provide core email productivity tools in a format that is easily usable on smartphones so consumers can better manage their messages throughout the day.
This January, Amazon's WorkMail, a potential competitor to Gmail and Outlook, became available. It's integrated with the company's encryption key management technology.
The platform is both an email and a calendar service that is available at the rate of $4 a month per user, with 50GB of email storage.
WorkMail can be accessed through a Microsoft Outlook client and will work alongside Outlook, and is also a potential competitor and replacement for Outlook and Microsoft's Exchange Server for large email groups.
In an effort to entice consumers to make the switch, Amazon Web Services is offering a migration tool for moving mailboxes from Exchange to WorkMail as part of its general availability announcement.
Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio
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