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Google Services compatible today, but not tomorrow!.

Google Services compatible today, but not necessarily tomorrow!

POP email services change

Many companies and organizations have dropped in their in-house email solutions and migrated their email to Google Gmail Services,   A few weeks ago, some clients who were using Google Services for their email encountered an error when trying to access their Google services email accounts with the Web+Center Email to Case function that uses the standard POP protocol to connect and get email messages.  Google had decided to implement a change, basically rendering older POP email protocols “less secure” and primarily only supporting Google “secure” interfaces for email access.

There are many devices and systems that use Email as the method for communicating and some of those devices may no longer be able to communicate.  Since the error message appears as a lower-level SMTP server protocol error, you may not have noticed that your devices are no longer communicating.

The error message of:
Mail Failure Error with user authentication; Server says: 535-5.7.8 Username and Password not accepted. Learn more at 535 5.7.8

If you follow the link provided in the error message,  you will see an explanation from Google on what they define as “less secure”

This is the explanation from Google for not supporting POP protocols for Gmail services.

Future Google Incompatibilities –

As Google achieves more dominance in the software and browser/phone  world, their desire to be cross-platform-friendly wanes and we are back to the standard “browser wars” we have seen in previous decades that create endless headaches for users, developers and organizations.

Recently I was working on a project to get an icon added to a mobile  phone screen for a website so the website appears like an “app” on the mobile phone for both Apple iPhone and Android phones.

For a few years, there has been this standard of adding a file or special header link to a file named ‘apple-touch-icon.png’.  Google has supported this approach to be compatible with adding icons for Android phones.

While reading some newer Google documentation on their website on the topic concerning icons and home screens, I noticed that continually throughout their documentation there are reminders of how they plan to no longer support features that they DID support that allow both iPhones and Androids  to be compatible.  Shown below are two screen shots from this Google documentation page grabbed from a single page that shows up-and-coming changes in Android support.

As a developer and a user of both iPhone and Android devices, I wonder what the reason is for this “deprecated” support from a software perspective.  Why can’t Google leave the code in place to support older methods and add newer ones too?

Dropping support for iPhone method of adding an icon to home screen:

Another example of changes in Chrome compatible with previously supported tags.

So what works today on both iPhone and Android,  possibly may not work tomorrow.

Conclusions –

It seems like we have been through these browser and software wars in the past between competing vendors and products, especially once they reach market dominance.  Just be on the lookout for unannounced changes and please report any new compatibility issues you find with our Web+Center products that results from these “deprecated” features as well as shifting support of features from our friends at Google, Apple and Microsoft.


Scott Vanderlip
President Internet Software Sciences