Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook
This download is served from an external siteclose
NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.
Full user review
"An unpolished and inferior alternative to MS Exchange"
When it works, it is a thing of beauty. Fast syncing. Updates in Outlook reach GMail contacts or Android phone almost instantly, and vice versa. E-mail sync works well. Outlook add-on does not consume many system resources. Inexpensive $50/yr price.
Unreliable sync and duplicated/missing contact and calendar items. Difficult installation. Horrendous, hard to reach customer support relays inquiries to other levels of staff, leading to delays or no resolution of problems.
Google Apps Sync would be an outstanding alternative to Microsoft Exchange if it worked properly, but unfortunately it usually does not.
I have used this product for about a month now in order to sync my Outlook 2003 calendar, contacts, and e-mail with my Android phone. Originally I got it because it seemed like the best way to keep my familiar Outlook interface without buying a third-party program like Missing Sync or Companionlink. I was also intrigued by the fact that Google Apps sync has the ability to sync via the Internet, which would free me having to use a USB cable for syncing. All in all, it appeared to be far more like a good Microsoft Exchange alternative than a simple syncing program. And at $50 a year, it seemed like a bargain.
Until I actually started using it. Let the mysterious bugs begin. The first week I had it, it was the calendar. All of my old Outlook calendar items synced to the phone, but not would not appear in my Google calendar when I accessed it on the web. Every day just remained blank.
My new calendar items (items added since I got Google Apps Sync) were a little bit better. They actually did sync, but the vast majority of them would duplicate. Enter one event on the phone, and the same event would appear twice in Outlook. Even more bewildering almost to the point of humor was the fact that events entered on the phone would appear in Outlook exactly one minute later. A 6:30pm-7:30pm appointment appeared as 6:31pm-7:31pm in Outlook. No big deal, right? But why? How can a business app from Google be trusted when it has these almost laughably unprofessional bugs?
I asked Google, and got very few answers. It took me about 20 minutes to locate a phone number. When I finally did, they ultimately told me they'd get back to me via e-mail. After 3 or 4 e-mails spanning the course of a week, the calendar problems just suddenly stopped. This was likely a pure coincidence, as Google "engineers" never provided any solutions, and simply closed the case without any explanation when I told them the problem had worked itself out.
And that was just the beginning. About a week later, I discovered that 1 contact I had added to my phone recently was mysteriously not in Outlook. Turns out, NONE of the new contacts I added to my phone since the day I got it were syncing to Outlook. Once again the bug was mind-boggling. It only affected new contacts being added on the phone. Existing contacts synced both ways properly. And new contacts added IN Outlook also synced properly. But in any given week, I might add 5 new contacts to my phone itself rather than in Outlook. So, unlike some of the other bugs, this one was no laughing matter.
Again, I contacted Google. This time I didn't bother to use the phone, knowing that they'd just relay my issue back to their e-mail support system anyway. My first e-mail to them on this matter was June 3rd. I now write this review on June 28th, and the matter is STILL unresolved. I have exchanged about 4 e-mails with the same gentleman from Google who tells me in every correspondence that the "mobile specialists" are still working on the problem, and that he hopes they'll resolve it soon. While it has been nice to correspond with the same guy, this issue is no closer today to being solved than it was on June 3rd. His recent suggestions that I read Google's forums or try to export my contacts to a CSV file are just ludicrous given that it's been three weeks already. If I had been a large business, I would have been OUT of business by now, and back on an Exchange Server.
As a result, this product cannot be recommended as a serious business application. Despite its low cost, it is an unpolished and unprofessional product that leaves you on your own to solve its many problems. Surely, a company with Google's reputation can do better.