Google Apps and Services on WP7 [How To]

A good number of us are tied within the realm of Google, mainly for documents and emailing, but how can one explore the goodness of Windows Phone 7 when there is such a strong connection with the search engine giant (which makes Android a more feasible choice)?

Justin Willhite, of UK LifeHacker, has published a killer of an article that should help any avid Google fanboy (or post-Android owner) with the conversion process. It should be noted that the solutions provided by Justin (apart from native mail support, of course) do not support push-notification and must be updated/refreshed manually. So, how's it all done?

Access Gmail using native Google Mail supportGmail on Windows Phone 7 has been built in to the account settings in Windows Phone and uses push notifications, so no searching necessary here. This also works with contacts and calendar, though you're limited only your main calendar. If you need more than that, check out SuperG Calendar (below). Access Google Docs using GDocsGoogle Documents is a fairly advanced web app and as of yet there is not an application for Windows Phone 7 that allows you to edit the documents in your Google Docs account, however GDocs (see here) which is available in the Marketplace for free (seemingly for a limited time only) is a great application for reading/viewing and storing documents locally for future viewing offline.Access Google Voice using GoVoiceGoogle Voice support was the hardest to choose from. There are a few in the market, but after some testing, GoVoice (see our coverage here) was the best of the lot. Loading speed, least frequency of errors and crashing, and overall usability, it was the easiest choice. Still, the lack of push notifications really holds the app back here. Its a bit steeply priced for $2.99 in the market, but in the end it does make it easy to keep up with your Google Voice messages.Access Google Calendar using SuperG CalendarWith the Windows Phone's calendar sync with Google Calendar being limited to only your main calendar a good Google Calendar app was a must. Although a bit slow to load and refresh, SuperG Calendar was one of the best purchases I made in the market. SuperG allows you to view all calendar's in your account, even your shared calendars. Again, it lacks push notifications but at $1.99 this is a great purchase for those of you with multiple busy calendars.Access Google Reader using Wonder ReaderAnd last but not least, Google Reader. After a few tries with a few other RSS feed readers, Wonder Reader (see review) stood out by far as the fastest and most capable of the bunch. Priced just right at $1.99, it is worth every penny. It imports everything from your Google Reader account seamlessly. All of your folders are just as they are and it updates very quickly, even if you have a lot of feeds. It has even been updated to work with Google's new 2-step verification.

Of course, the list can be improved upon: For Google Talk, you'll want the only push IM client on the market, which also happens to be free: Flory (see our coverage). And while they give Wonder Reader a nod, we have been using NextGen Reader with great success ourselves.

Of course, the generic calendar user (like me - I rarely classify myself as 'generic' though) only uses the main calendar available on their account so - like I - a single calendar that is present on an exchange account for example is more than enough. As well as this, there are other solutions available in terms of RSS, documentation synchronisation and more, that some WP7-post-Google converts could recommend. 

Are you a die-hard Google follower but find Windows Phone 7 an interesting concept? Does the above information help sway your decision to take the plunge?

Source: UK LifeHacker

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.