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Email. It’s essential. It’s important. And on Windows 8, there’s a dearth of quality Gmail apps that fully embrace the Modern design language. Sure, you have your web-wrapper apps that look like a native Gmail client, but people want the real deal. And push notifications. And Live Tiles.

MetroMail is that full native client for Windows Phone 8. We’ve covered it in the past and watched as the app has grown over the last few months. Today, its Windows 8.1 counterpart is now available. The best part? If you bought the Windows Phone version, you can generate a code within the app to fully-unlock the Windows 8 app, all for free.

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Want a premier Gmail experience on Windows Phone? Don’t use the native email client. Instead, look to the Windows Phone Store for an app called MetroMail. It’s beautiful, native app for Gmail users on Windows Phone. Forget for a moment that this is a Google product. There are still a ton of users on Windows Phone who rely on or might need to access Gmail. For them, there’s MetroMail. The app is about to update to go to version 1.2, so let’s check out what’s new in it.

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Microsoft has published a new post on the official Outlook blog, detailing some upcoming changes to the service that make it even easier to switch from Gmail. It's no secret that many consumers have switched from Google's email service to Outlook.com and Microsoft is looking to further push tools and services available to make the switch as seamless as possible.

These are said to be rolling out in the coming weeks, so sync on past the break to read up what's new.

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Let’s put aside a moment the disdain many here have for Google and their products. The fact is, a lot of businesses, companies, organizations and even individuals rely on Gmail for their email service and while Windows Phone supports Google Mail directly, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Gmail has on the web.

This morning, MetroMail has become available for Windows Phone 8 users. Mind you, this is no web-wrapper, but a native client. We’ve been beta testing it for a few weeks now and indeed, it’s quite a robust app for those who need all the power of Gmail on their Windows Phone.

MetroMail comes from the developer behind MetroTalk, one of the best Google Voice clients for Windows Phone. He’s spent considerable time on the app, making sure it meets all the needs of those who need archiving, labels or stars on their messages.

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It's no secret that Microsoft's at war with Google when it comes to email. Redmond has continuously attacked Google for crawling through emails that are believed to be private to provide better targeted advertisements to consumers. Microsoft has launched Keep Your Email Private, a new campaign to fight Google regarding this very concern. Do you use Gmail and/or are concerned about activities carried out by the Search? Read on past the break.

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Have you not seen the thousands of people running for Bing and Outlook.com, screaming that they have to get away from the evil organization that is Google? No? Well, neither have I. According to research collected by two 3rd party firms, the Scroogled campaign has been more than a success, "For Microsoft it’s a win".

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We know many of you have wisely switched to Outlook.com for your email, but for some, either due to legacy or workplace requirements, Google’s Gmail is a necessity. While you can certainly add Gmail natively to Windows Phone, there’s no doubt that it lacks all of Google’s punch.

Developer EcoMerc has made a nifty Gmail app for Windows Phone, appropriately called ‘Gmail’. What makes this app unique is it’s reportedly based off of “…the exact same codebase as the official Gmail for iPhone/iPad”, meaning this will feel kind of like a true app for Windows Phone users.

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Google is set to cease supporting Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for its array of online services, including both GMail and Calendar. This will prevent consumers from setting up accounts on Windows Phones with both contact and calendar support (but will not affect those who already have email configured on Windows Phone). Consumers who make use of said features will have to go through workarounds to get connected, or switch across to Outlook.

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She loves me, she loves me not. That’s the vibe you get with this weird Exchange ActiveSync saga/drama going on between Google and Microsoft right now. It was back in mid-December that Google dropped a bomb on the internet (and mostly Microsoft) by announcing that it was going to stop supporting EAS on January 30, 2013 – which is today.

Existing connections wouldn’t be affected, but going forward anyone trying to set up a Gmail account on a Windows Phone would have a less than ideal experience. Now we’ve got a temporary silver lining.

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Even though Google Sync is nearing its end on Windows Phone due to the company dropping Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up hope with using their services. With no extension of the deadline in sight, Windows Phone users need an alternative and now we have one.

Rudy Huyn, one of the top developers on Windows Phone (Fuse, TVShow, Wikipedia, 9Gag and more) has just released a free, brand new app called GContacts that will keep your contact’s name, phone number and email up-to-date on your Windows Phone. Users can manually sync the app to check for any new changes to bring down to their phones, whenever they want.

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There's only just over a week left until Google flips the switch to drop Exchange ActiveSync support. Should you be an avid Google user and utilise Gmail (among other services) on your Windows Phone, you'll be left in the dark to an extent.

What the changes mean for consumers is from February onwards we'll no longer be able to synchronise calendars and contacts through a Gmail account (though email will still function normally) set up new Google accounts to take advantage of calendars and contacts using EAS (only email will function using IMAP). Those who already have accounts configured will be fine, according to Google.

Not all is lost, however. While you can take this as a golden opportunity to change over to Outlook, Microsoft is planning to support CardDAV and CalDAV in Windows Phone, according to sources familiar with company plans. The two protocols are actually Google's preferred route to synchronise content. Microsoft is attempting to work against Google's decisions of late to prevent consumers from being left out.

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In a recent interview Google stated they will not devote any resources to making apps for either Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. They have also now ceased consumer support for ActiveSync.  Some are calling it ‘war’ while others passionately question if Windows Phone can survive without Google products and services.

The relationship between Google and Microsoft has always been somewhat hostile. In many ways the battle they engage in now can be seen as a kind of echo from a distant technological past. Google have dug in their heels and to some degree shown their true colours by declaring zero support for Microsoft’s newest operating systems, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

But does it matter and has anything really changed?

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As if you needed another reason why the Windows Phone Central forums are the best around. You can head there to find all sorts of information and perks. Sometimes developers will recruit users to test drive an upcoming app for them. You can also find the latest and greatest apps that nobody knows about or just kick it with like-minded smartphone users. Then there are times like today where you get awesome tutorials like this one to completely switch from Gmail to Outlook.

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Starting February 1st 2013, Windows Phone users won't be able to create full Gmail accounts on Windows Phone. Does Microsoft have a plan?

This afternoon Google has announced the discontinuation of their support of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS aka the standard for many who use email) after January 30th 2013. The question you may be wondering is, how does it affect Windows Phone?

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Yesterday, we told you about a handy tip to make searching for a Gmail account email easier on Windows Phone. Today, you get a few more reasons to make the switch over to the new Outlook.

First, some impressive stats about the service. Microsoft is touting numerous accodades and awards for it's email service, like making Time Magazine's "50 Best Websites for 2012" list and others. What's even more impressive for you skeptics out there are the number of users it's managed to gain in nearly four months of service, over 25 million active users.

That's an interesting statistic since it's not the number of accounts created, but the amount of people using it on a regular basis. The team also has some new features to make the jump from Gmail to Outlook a smoother process...

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Google and Windows Phone haven’t always had the rosiest of relationships. Head to the Marketplace and you’ll find a whopping single app from the Mountain View tech giant. Whatever, we can do without them and their 1st party support when we have developers picking up the slack. However, a lot of you still rely on Gmail as your web email and have no plans to switch to Outlook anytime soon. So here is a super simple trick to make your experience a bit better on your new Lumia 920 or 8X.

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It looks like some users who have Gmail on their Windows Phone 8 devices are experiencing syncing issues that eventually cause the email app to crash. The problem seems independent of hardware (so 8X and 920 users are affected) and is tied to Gmail specifically.

The problem occurs with the People Hub and linked contacts constantly syncing. Likewise, when people head to their Gmail inbox, it too is stuck on a constant sync and may even crash when one attempts to scroll the message list. Over in our forums, user moc426 made the above video of the phenomenon occurring, a test which site WinSource has also validated as happening on their HTC 8X.

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With the re-launch of Hotmail as Outlook.com Microsoft has garnered a lot of adoration from the media and the public, especially when Google just announced the indefinite delay of their Nexus Q orb. As far as PR this week: Microsoft 1, Google 0.

One of the main features that Microsoft is touting with Outlook.com is that they won’t scan your email to deliver personalized ads—a clear shot at Google’s Gmail ad-machine. They have even set up a simple ‘how to’ on switching from Gmail to Outlook.

But with no personalized ads based on the contents of your email, how is Microsoft making money?

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