Google Brings Device Synching To Gmail


"It allows users to synchronize between multiple accounts. For enterprise users who love [Microsoft] Outlook or [Mozilla] Thunderbird, they can use them as they do today but do it against the Google backend, with over 2,500 megabytes of storage, making all of your messages searchable and accessible around the world," said Matthew Glotzbach, head of products for Google Enterprise at Google, Mountain View, Calif., during a keynote address at Interop New York 2007, which is produced by CMP Channel parent company CMP Technology.

Gmail already supports POP3 (Post Office Protocol) access, but that comes with limitations, primarily that changes made to an e-mail account on other devices aren't reflected when users log back into their Webmail, said David Murray, associate product manager, on the Gmail blog.

"Your changes made on other devices aren't seen in Gmail when you log back in. Instead you are presented with a list of unread mail, and you must re-read and re-sort everything," Murray wrote. All of that is about to change.

Now with IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), which Google is rolling out to users over the next few days, Gmail users accessing their e-mail from devices such as Apple iPhones or RIM BlackBerry devices will be able to read, sort and move messages from those devices and then see those changes reflected in their Webmail accounts.

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The feature works the other way too, Murray noted, meaning that changes made on the Web will be visible when checking Gmail from other devices.

To access the feature, users need to click the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab in their Gmail "Settings" and turn it on. Some users might not immediately have access to IMAP support, but it will be rolled out to all users soon, Murray said.