Google Takeout is a handy service which allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products. Unfortunately, not all popular Google products are supported yet. Up until today, for example, two popular Google services used to be notably absent from Takeout: Gmail and Calendar.
As announced in a post over at the official Google blog, users can now export their Calendar data in the iCalendar format and Gmail archive in the MBOX format, both readily acceptable by Apple’s OS X/iOS Calendar app and the stock OS X Mail program, respectively.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently posted a guide on switching from iPhone to Android so I guess today’s news will appeal to Android/Google users looking to switch to the iOS platform…
As is the case with other Google products supported by Takeout, Gmail and Calendar exports offer additional features. For example, you can choose to export the entire Calendar data or just specific calendars.
In a similar vein, users can download a single Gmail archive or just a subset of labels. Note that you can export your Gmail three times a day and up to seven times total per week.
Google adds this on Gmail exports:
When you export your mail from Gmail, each message’s labels are preserved in a special X-Gmail-Labels header, in CSV format. While no mail client recognizes this header now, most mail clients allow for extensions to be written that could make use of this data.
As before, you can also download a single archive file for multiple products with a copy of your Gmail, Calendar, Google+, YouTube, Drive and other Google data.
If you were looking to break all ties with Google, today’s development makes it easy to export crucial Gmail and Calendar data and switch to other services with less friction.
Gmail archives are provided in the MBOX format that is supported by popular email clients, including Microsoft’s Outlook 2011, Mozilla’s Thunderbird and Apple’s OS X Mail program. And after you import your Gmail to Apple’s Mail, you could easily copy all messages to iCloud Mail and have them available across your iOS devices.
If you were exporting only certain labels rather than the whole Gmail archive, each label will be contained in its own mbox file. Keep in mind that labels in Gmail are applied to entire threads, not single messages, meaning you may receive duplicate copies of some messages when exporting multiple labels.
The iCalendar format is supported across a bunch of popular PIM programs and platforms, including the stock OS X/iOS Calendar apps. Again, copying this exported Google Calendar data to your iCloud Calendar within the OS X Calendar app makes it readily available across iOS devices.
Google notes that the ability to download Gmail messages will be rolled out over the next month while Calendar data is available to download for everyone today. Indeed, I was able to export Calendar data at press time, but not my Gmail message archive.