Google Sync now supports iPhone, Windows Mobile and other devices that support SyncML.
If you're an iPhone or Windows Mobile user you'll be happy to know that Google is now offering full two-way syncing of contact and calendar information from Gmail and Google Calendar to your device.
, already available for BlackBerry, means you can get 'push' functionality for your contact and calendar info on your device without having to shell out for an expensive MobileMe or hosted Exchange solutions.
The interesting thing is that Google has actually licensed Microsoft ActiveSync technology for the service, which makes Google's servers appear to devices like Microsoft Exchange Servers -- meaning that devices don't need to have special Google syncing software running.
Additionally, Google announced that Sync also supports SyncML so there are a range of other devices, like E and N series Nokia phones (and other devices running Symbian S60) that can also take advantage of two-way data sync from Google.
For iPhone and Windows Mobile platforms, Google is taking advantage of the native ActiveSync protocol built into both devices to get sync to work, but there are some caveats:
First off, Google Sync is in beta which means it will probably work, but if doesn't, 'talk to the hand'.
Secondly, the iPhone only supports one contact list (but does support multiple calendars) so adding the account to your iPhone will delete any other contact information that already exists.
Thirdly, while Google Sync does work for Google Apps users, you'll need to get your domain administrator to enable the feature for you. (If that's you, then no problems!)
Google has also set up lists of known problems for both the iPhone
and Windows Mobile
. Most of the issues seem related to Apple's implementation of ActiveSync rather than bugs in the sync process.
All in all, Google Sync, combined with Gmail IMAP support in the iPhone, now means you can set up a full 'push' system for your iPhone with zero cost, and probably only a little more fuss. (Google says officially that there's no push email support yet, though.)
There's more detail available here
including full setup information and a video showing how the sync process works.
It will now be very interesting to see how Apple responds in terms of marketing MobileMe, since push syncing was its main selling point, and if Google Sync works well, it may also put a dent in RIM's sales of the Blackberry service to individuals and small businesses.