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Germany to get email addresses back

Germany hasofficially ditched its @googlemail address and gained the now-universal, putting the last piece in the worldwide Gmail puzzle in place.

All new German accounts will receive an address, and those sitting on an existing address will soon be able to switch, Google said in a blog post. Those making the change can still access @googlemail emails, contacts and account settings. Or users can move right back into the @googlemail comfort zone if they change their mind at any point.

Over the next few weeks, a link prompting users to login with the new address will appear at the top of their Gmail screens, the blog said. Current usernames will be reserved for users, so there is no need to create a new address.

"As a German working on the Gmail team, my friends and family back home often ask why they have a @googlemail address instead of," Google engineering director Mark Striebeck wrote on the company's blog.

Google's German email troubles date back to 2005, when Daniel Giersch, who started his G-mail e-mail service in 2000, sued the search giant over the use of the Gmail name. By 2007, a German court banned the search engine giant from using the name Gmail, an order that went into effect in 2008.

In April, however, Google settled the dispute and took back its Gmail name in the region.

Android users in Germany may run into a few snags, according to Gmail's frequently asked questions. While all Google applications should work on the devices, the Google Talk app might not connect properly, the company said. A day-long wait after switching email addresses, and a quick flip on and off of the airplane mode function, and Germans should be back to mobile chatting.

Apple iOS users will need to download the Gmail iOS app to replace the Google Mail application, but should otherwise not run into any problems.