While Gmail and Google Calendar users were shut out in Windows 8.1, that’s no longer true in Windows 10, where the Mail, Calendar and People apps natively support Google’s services. Here’s how you can configure these new universal apps to work with Gmail and Google Calendar.
Note: these apps work equally well with standard Gmail accounts (those with @gmail.com email addresses) and Google Apps accounts, which can have custom domains (like @thurrott.com).
To set up your Google account, launch Mail, Calendar or People. If this is the first time you’ve run the app, you can add the account during the first-run experience. Otherwise, select the Settings gear in the lower-left of Mail or Calendar (or select “…” and then Settings in the upper-left of People, gotta love the consistency) and then select Accounts, Add an Account. (In People, you just select Add an Account.) The Choose an Account window appears.
Select Google and then step through the Connecting to a Service wizard, supplying your account name, password, and, if configured, two-step verification code. Then, accept the service connection and click Done when the wizard completes.
Note: Regardless of which app you use to configure this account—Mail, Calendar or People—it will be available to all three of these apps. That is, if you configure a Google account in Mail, you won’t need to repeat this account connection in Calendar and People.
You will not want to accept the account defaults. So the next step is to configure the account. Here, again, you can do so from any of the apps as the interface is the same and any changes you make effects all three apps.
To do so, select the Google account in the Accounts pane (or, in People, in the Settings pane) and optionally rename it. Then, click “Change mailbox sync settings.” As you might imagine, this is the motherlode: you can use this option to configure how often Mail is updated (“based on my usage” is the default, but I recommend changing this to “as items arrive” for push-based email accounts Gmail), how often contacts and calendars sync (every two hours by default), how much email to download to the app, and whether email is even synced for this account. You can also disable Google account sync with Mail, Calendar and People (Contacts).
From here, each app should work as expected. In Mail, you can use the Archive function to archive you email, just as you do in the Gmail web interface, and you can use the More link in the navigation pane to determine which Gmail folders (really views) appear there.
Mail also supports handy quick actions, which let mouse and touch users quickly triage email. With a mouse, just mouse over an email message in the Messages pane to see the available actions—Archive, Delete and Flag.
Or with touch, you can swipe left or right on messages in the Message pane. By default, a swipe to the right will toggle (set or clear) a flag, and a swipe to the left will archive the message. But you can configure how these actions work in Settings, Options.
Indeed, you should spend some time in Options, as you can configure other useful features, such as the configure email signature (which I turn off) and how (or if) notifications work.
In Calendar, you can determine which calendars in which accounts display and trigger notifications.
And in People, well. You can’t do much in People beyond determining how contacts are sorted and displayed. People is a terrible app.