Google has finally rolled out an update to Gmail that brings support for Exchange to the masses. The update is rolling out to the Google Play Store now and you should see the update come to you via OTA update over the course of the next few days. Once you do, you will be able to add an Exchange server to the app, unifying your inbox with your Gmail and other mail services. Gmail to this point has only offered Exchange support on Nexus devices which mean that corporate users had to use multiple apps to deal with their email.
The requirement to have a Nexus device is now gone and anyone who uses Gmail can add an Exchange account. It’s good news for a couple of different reasons. First, obviously, this gives
Exchange users one place to go to get all their email. Sure you can do it with Microsoft’s Outlook app, but if you like the native Gmail app then this update will make your life a lot easier.
Secondly, it shows that Google is still working on fine tuning Gmail as an app. A lot of the focus over the past few months has been on Inbox and while that app is good, if you “grew up” using Gmail, it is a bit awkward to use at first. Now you don’t have to bother with it if you don’t want to do so.
Depending on how your corporate Exchange is setup, you may still need to get administrators to give the app permission to get your email and you likely will have some other security features enabled. If you get the update and it doesn’t allow you to authenticate, check with your Exchange admin.
Like most other app updates, this one will be rolling out over the next few days to users although some are already reporting it has hit their devices. You will know if you have receive the update when you have the option to add an Exchange account. Otherwise, there are not any new features to speak of on the update.