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Google to make Gmail sync less often on WP mobiles

Google will drop support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync next month, which will punish anyone using Gmail on a Windows Phone device.

Bad news if you use Gmail on a Windows Phone-powered blower -- Google has announced it'll soon drop support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, making it harder to get emails on your phone, The Verge reports.

Existing accounts will carry on as normal, and iPhone and Android users will be fine, as they have dedicated Gmail apps. But new Windows Phone devices won't be able to use the protocol with Gmail, meaning it won't support push email.

Google announced it will drop the support from 30 January next year, by getting rid of Google Sync as part of its winter cleaning -- although it will still be supported for people paying for Google Apps for business, government, or education purposes.

Why is it though that only those with Windows Phone devices will suffer? Android and iOS natively support the standards CalDAV for syncing your calendar, and CardDAV for contacts, but Windows Phone 8 supports neither.

After the end of January, anyone wanting Gmail on their Microsoft-powered mobile will be able to sync just their emails (no calendar or contacts), by setting up an IMAP connection, but it won't support push email, and will only sync every 15 minutes. It's not great if you're waiting for an important missive, and it leaves Microsoft in a bit of a quandary.

There's no Gmail app for Windows 8, and Google has gone on record saying it doesn't intend to support the platform beyond the search app that's already available. This means Microsoft has about six weeks to sort something out, or anyone checking their Gmail on a Windows Phone mobile will have to make do with syncing every 15 minutes -- which is a bit of a step backwards.

Do you own a Windows Phone device? And if so, do you feel as though you're being punished? Let me know what you reckon in the comments, or on our Facebook page.