According to Google, Microsoft Outlook is supported as front end for Google Mail either via:
- IMAP: https://support.google.com/mail/troubleshooter/1668960?hl=en#ts=1665018,1665137
- This only syncs mail, not calendar/contacts/etc.
- Google Apps Sync tool (paid version of Google Apps required): https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gappssync
- Syncs mail/calendar/contacts/etc.
What we’ve found at RMTT is that this is true – until it’s not. Both of these solutions work great until they hit a hiccup, then it requires hours of our billable time to reset Outlook/Google Mail to *trick* them back into sync with each other and cross our fingers that it doesn’t happen again soon. These hiccups occur randomly – for one user at a time, rarely office wide, though do seem to happen more often with
larger mailboxes – which is a real drag to the person footing the bill because the larger the mailbox, the more billable time we have to spend repairing the sync. We probably get 10 calls a month with this exact issue causing hundreds of dollars in frustrating billable time and down time on your computer while we work on it. In the worst cases we’ve seen this issue cause people to lose their folder structures and organization of emails – a good 10 hours of time lost for the person that had to recreate their entire mailbox structure.
If you want to use Google Mail, the only stable way to access it is via the web interface: https://mail.google.com. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially if you’ve used Outlook your entire professional career, but close Outlook and don’t open it up again
If you are too married to the Outlook interface, switch to a Microsoft Exchange based back end (Office 365, RMTT Hosted Exchange, an in-house Exchange server). Give us a shout and we can help get you pricing on this option as well as migration costs.
The Conspiracy Theory:
Though completely unfounded, some people speculate that Google leaves the Outlook solution “buggy” so that users will be forced into using the web interface where Google can show you ads. Take it for what it’s worth 🙂