- Google - mobile phones - technology
AFP - Google on Monday began synchronizing its free online calendars and Gmail contact lists with smart phones using software licensed from arch-rival Microsoft.
Google Sync perpetually updates the calendars and Gmail contacts in iPhones or Windows-based mobile devices to match changes users make using computers online, or vice versa.
"Sync uses push technology so any changes or additions to your calendar or contacts are reflected on your device in minutes," Google Mobile engineer Bryan Mawhinney wrote in a posting on the California firm's website.
"Since Sync is a two-way service, you can make changes on your phone or in your Google account. Your calendar and contacts are always up-to-date, no matter where you are or what you're doing."
Once Sync is set up on a smart phone, it automatically goes to work in the background using the wireless Internet connection. If a phone is lost or broken, its contact and calendar data remain stored by Google.
Mawhinney reminded aspiring Sync users that the service is in a test, or beta, stage and that they would be wise to back up data on their mobile phones before trying it.
Google Sync is made possible by Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync technology licensed from Microsoft, according to Horacio Gutierrez, vice president of intellectual property and licensing at the Washington State software giant.
Microsoft has licensed the technology to other mobile device makers including Apple, Nokia, Palm, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
Gutierrez described the licensing deal with Google as "a clear acknowledgement of the innovation taking place at Microsoft" and an example of the company's willingness to share intellectual property on reasonable terms.