Either Windows has recently done something really tedious to stop Gmail working in Outlook. Just to annoy Google? Or Google has recently done something to the same effect. Just to annoy Microsoft?
I have four main email accounts. My personal one, which is a Microsoft-hosted one, which works fine and is easy. My chambers one for work, which involves a weird and wonderful exchange system which is German and therefore requires a degree in computer science and a certificate from the EU to do anything useful with. A Gmail account, to which all my exchange server stuff gets automatically sent so I can actually read it, even if I am using my tablet or my phone. And finally, a groovy family one, set up by my son Charlie, which ends in “io” instead of “com”. That is supposed to be for “Indian Ocean” apparently, but since there is relatively little demand for localised email addresses in the Indian Ocean, it has been adopted somehow by clever people on dry land with a quirky sense of style.
Anyway, after a considerable amount of faffing around, I eventually worked out how to fix the Gmail one. It turns out that buried within Google there is another password regime. Not your normal Google password. Oh no. A specially annoying second one. With 16 letters. I found the following advice. After five very annoying steps, here is the key to whole thing:
You’ll see your password string is generated with spaces. Ignore the space, copy the password and paste in password field in your application.
Except that that did not work for me. It turns out that ignoring the spaces – any of them – is fatal. Ignore the spaces and you are just as stuffed. So you have to dig and dig and dig within the dark and dank recess of the nether world of Android to get the directions, and then you have to assume that the directions are not quite right. You need the 16 letters and the 3 spaces.
I am dreading the day my excellent Windows phone karks it. These things are not built to last. I am damned if I will buy a bloody Apple iphone. Windows phones are as rare as chicken teeth these days, which is a shame, because they are brilliant. So it looks like I will have to learn to speak Android, a language in which I am presently illiterate.
Although I do now have the secret second password. And I am not afraid to use it.