Google not playing nice (or, don’t drop your Kindle)

You may have arrived at this post by searching for ways to set up your Kindle Fire so your Gmail, Google Calendar and related contacts flow seamlessly into your wonderful device.

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you can just read this post rather than doing what I just did — spend two hours perusing outdated info on how to make Gmail, your calendar and your contacts sync with ease.

I have to give a bit of background. This is my second Kindle Fire. The first fell out of my hand. The case opened up, and it landed screen-first. That’s not good.

Amazon’s customer service, though, is wonderful. They’ve made the replacement as simple as can be. And when you open your new Kindle Fire, you’ll find so many things automatically syncing with your old one. Even some game data. (Though NOT in Bloons TD 5, unfortunately.)

But I couldn’t get my Google apps to sync up as easily as they did before. On my old Kindle, once I got Gmail set up (easily), then the calendar and contacts appeared as well.

I found one work-around to help me get Gmail at the very least. Instead of typing (username)(at)gmail.com, type (username)(at)googlemail.com. That works. But you won’t get calendar or contact info.

So does a quick session of chatting with Amazon’s helpful customer service people. You may take a longer route to get Gmail set up, but it still works.

I went through that process because I was still hoping to get my calendar and contacts. And the tech support person thought it would work.

Nope. Here’s why:

Google makes Gmail sync harder on rival platforms by dropping Exchange ActiveSync for consumers | The Verge.

So that’s a bummer. I suppose I can still get to it through the Web browser, but it just looks like another case of Google violating its “Don’t be evil” dictum. (Another one: Search results are getting less and less helpful. Go ahead — try to get the most recent information on a given topic. They would be driving people to Bing — if Bing were any better.)

But in any case, I’m posting this info in the hopes that someone searching for “kindle fire gmail calendar” or something like that will see that this is recent info.

For now. In three months, it might be outdated. We can hope, right?

So I hope I’ve saved you from a wild goose chase. And I hope you don’t drop your Kindle.


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