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Google Apps Discontinuing Support for Mobile Browsers that don’t Support Authentication Cookies

Google announced that beginning May 1, 2012, the company will be ending support for the mobile browsers that can’t use cookies. “Beginning May 1, 2012, we’ll support only mobile browsers that’re able to use cookies. On these legacy mobile browsers, you can continue to use other Google services that don’t require user login, such as Search and Maps,” Google stated.

“This update will only affect older generation mobile browsers, primarily based in Japan, that don’t support authentication cookies for signing in to Google services. Most mobile phones will not be affected,” informs Google.

What’s changing?

“When signing in to a Google service (like Gmail), after you provide your username and password, your mobile browser receives an authentication token. This allows you to access Gmail, Google Calendar, and other Google services without having to sign in everytime. Authentication tokens are typically stored in the form of a cookie. A few older mobile browsers don’t support cookies, and so we temporarily retained a legacy mechanism for authentication,” Google explains.

How do I know if my mobile browser is affected?

“If you’re using an older mobile browser that doesn’t support authentication cookies, you’ll see an alert when you try to sign in to your Google Account or Google Apps account including Apps for Business, Government and Education.”

Also, the new spell checking feature in Google Docs and Presentations that uses the power of Google search is now available for Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Government and Education.

And, the new look opt-out link in Gmail will be removed beginning Tuesday, March 27th and will continue throughout that week. Additionally, all users who have previously opted out will be moved to the new look.

Also, the following features are now available to domains:

  • Gmail: Open to: email links directly in Chrome
  • Docs: A centralized “Comments” menu
  • Docs: See full names in document and presentation comments (instead of showing email addresses)
  • Sites: Add custom Javascript and CSS to your Google Sites

And, the features below are intended for release to these domains on Mar 27:

  • Gmail: New look released to all users. Opt-out link will be removed starting March 27th and continue throughout the week
  • Gmail: The Gmail loading bar has received a visual refresh, inline with the New Look
  • Gmail: Users who prefer text buttons rather than icons will be able to change this in “Settings”
  • Gmail: Star and label messages before you send them

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