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iPhone and Windows Mobile get the (Gmail) Push
Nokia too, with a bit of a bodge
Google has added e-mail support to its Google Sync service, providing vital connectivity to iPhone and Windows Mobile Users who don't have the time to press "check mail".
The new functionality was launched last night, but rapidly became overloaded as initial synchronisations took their toll. The service is working better now, integrating with Windows Mobile and iPhone handsets through their Microsoft Exchange compatibility. S60 users are reporting that the service is also compatible with Nokia's Mail for Exchange download, so everyone can have push email as long as you're not using Exchange at work.
That limitation comes because only WebOS will support multiple Exchange accounts, and Google Sync appears as an Exchange server to the handsets. Users will have to choose between their Gmail and work accounts, or get themselves a Palm Pre and lord it over their iPhone-toting colleagues by checking both at the same time.
S60 isn't officially supported, but by installing Nokia's Mail for Exchange it can be made to work: detailed instructions can be found in the comments on Google's blog entry. But even Mail for Exchange will only support one Exchange account.
Users of the service are reporting reduced battery life, which is unsurprising, but Google Sync will use a lot less data than polling a mailbox every five minutes, so it's a matter of priorities.
Push email is a must-have for users who are subservient to their machines. While some of us are happy to check e-mail when we want to, many people feel their lives aren't complete without Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and email alerts constantly reminding them how important they are. Now they can have them all delivered to their mobile phone without so much as a prod. ®