Google has made an announcement that they are shutting down Exchange ActiveSync as a way to access Google email, contacts, and calendars. This has an impact on those who used our earlier guide to get sync Google contacts with iOS, used it for calendar support, or for push email to their devices. While current Exchange connections will still work after the shut down, new ones will be unable to be made. Thankfully, for those who rely on this for contacts, calendars, and email, there are alternatives available.
For calendars, the best replacement solution is to just use the standard Gmail account setup – this uses a protocol called CalDAV to automatically sync calendar events between the device and Google. It should automatically pull in new updates to calendars shortly after they are made elsewhere.
For email, there is no reliable solution at the moment for getting push email in the default Mail app. The Gmail app, which has been recently updated, works very well and has support for multiple accounts and push notifications. Otherwise, consider using an app like Boxcar or Push 4.0 to get push notifications of incoming email.
For contacts, an open protocol named CardDAV can be used to sync Google Contacts up with an iOS device instead. Setting it up is easy. Go to Settings→Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, and choose Add Account…. At the list of services, select Other.
Now choose Add CardDAV Account under the middle Contacts section.
Now at this screen, for the server, enter google.com, for User Name and Password enter your Google Account email address (this works for both regular Google accounts and Google Apps accounts) and for Description, put whatever you want the account to be named as. If all details have been properly entered, then contacts will now sync up with Google.
To use this account as your default account, go back to the main Mail, Contacts, and Calendars screen. Scroll down to the Contacts header. Tap Default Account.
Tap the name of the account you just set up, and any new contacts will be added to this account going forward. Congratulations, your account is now future-proofed against Google’s ActiveSync shutdown.