Android Oreo Appears To Break Gmail Exchange Functionality
Android 8.0 Oreo is Google’s latest released version of Android. Only a few devices currently have an official build of Android Oreo, but we’ve seen reports that Android Oreo is causing Microsoft Exchange accounts to fail when trying to synchronise. The issue has impacted a number of customers: after the update to Android Oreo, Gmail is unable to synchronise an Exchange mailbox and calendar. Some customers report that the glitch does not occur immediately. Worse, when the Gmail Exchange issue happens, your Android device does not simply refuse to connect to the Exchange server but instead keeps on trying. This could run down the battery. When opening the Gmail application, it shows that it is synchronising but changes to the mailbox at either end are not reflected on the device.
The issue appears to be first spotted when a customer noticed Android Oreo’s “background app running” notification tells them that the Gmail app is persistently running in the background. Oreo’s background app notification system is designed to let customers know when an application is doing something in the background, which in turn alerts them that it could be using a lot of battery. At the time of writing, Android Oreo is only officially available for a number of recent Google Nexus and Google Pixel devices, although some manufacturers have released beta versions of Oreo software and the Android modding and ROM community has also released unofficial Android 8.0 Oreo for a range of devices.
Google’s development team are already reaching out to impacted users to collect bug reports and identify the issue. It may be that Android Oreo’s advanced security systems are preventing the devices from connecting to obsolete Exchange servers, which are running older security protocols that have been officially phased out. if this is the case, a longer term resolution may be to allow Android Oreo to connect to a less secure server. Still, for our readers who use their Android devices to connect to an Exchange server, and who are lucky enough to be using Android Oreo, this is something to look out for! Meanwhile, the issue does not impact other Exchange-capable email clients, such as MailDroid.