Discover the easy way to stay in sync

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

I have spoken before about synchronising email, contacts and calendars with different mail clients. Well, how about this simple alternative?

Have you noticed how Microsoft, Google and Apple all try hard to make life easy using their own systems? For instance, if you use Gmail and have an Android phone or tablet, all of your contacts are shared seamlessly. The same goes for your calendars and anything else you think of that is Google related. Similarly, if you use Windows 8 and a Windows phone, you will notice the same thing again, but this time with your Microsoft account contacts and calendars.

Does that mean we will all need an email address if we are using Windows, or send business messages from a Gmail address if we use Android, or something else if we prefer iPads?

No and here is why.

Both (Microsoft) and Gmail (Google) allow you to pull in emails via POP3 from an external email account. You can also set them up to use your own SMTP servers for sending emails as well. If you are using Microsoft, then Windows 8’s built in mail client, Outlook 2013, and Windows Phone will all keep in sync. If you are using Android, the Gmail site and the Gmail app or your Android devices’ built in software, everything will be taken care of for you.

Apple do things slightly differently, but as long as you use iCloud for your calendar, contacts and mail on your PC and your other devices, everything will stay in sync.

Other than being an easy way to synchronise your data, there are other advantages too. For instance, and Gmail both give you 15 GBs of cloud storage for all of your stuff for free. Plus, they have effective anti virus and anti spam systems in place too. Gmail appears to be very effective from my own personal experience, and will not download messages that it detects as containing a virus.

Finally, if you want to mix and match you can. has an app for both Android and iOS devices and Gmail is available for both as well. There is even an unofficial Gmail app available for Windows Phone.

Alan Stainer