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PIM comparison: Android vs other systems


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  1. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi all,

    I'm considering moving from a Nokia E71 to a new smartphone, possibly an Android. Since PIM functionalities are very important to me, I was wondering if anyone can comment on the differences among the PIMs in the main smartphone OSes (Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm pre), and if there's any dedicated app you'd recommend.
    I don't mind buying a dedicated app if it's worth the money.

    I'd like full sync with google calendar and, as for the to-do list, with remember the milk or google tasks.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    I would say android has one of the best PIMs that I know of. It syncs with almost all of google's services. It syncs your contacts to your gmail contacts and it syncs your email. It syncs with google calendar as well and theres an app for remember the milk. I've never used google tasks. I use Astrid as a free app to sync with remember the milk but I can't tell you how good it really is cause i don't use it much.
     
  3. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    How about managing the calendar and contacts (regardless of syncing)? Do you think Android is comparable, better or worse than other systems in this respect and why? :confused:

    Is it easy to manage contact groups? For example, can one contact belong to more than 1 group, and is it possible to filter contacts by groups, so that only those belonging to a given group are shown?

    Are contact groups synced with google? It may sound like a banal question, but Nokia doesn't sync contact groups, not even with its own Ovi. :mad:

    I searched several forums, but in most cases the comments are pretty aggressive but not substantiated, e.g. statements like "the android calendar sucks" or "the android calendar is great" but without saying why...

    Thanks a lot! :)
     
  4. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    To be honest, I've never used any other smartphone other than my droid. I know the calendar is very easy to use for me. It works almost exactly like the full desktop version. If you add a location to the event, you can just click on the address later and it'll find it in maps for you so you can use GPS. :)

    As for contact groups, I've never really played around with them other than the Starred Contacts. I'm not sure if groups actually show up on the phone, I'll try it out in a bit. I know when I manage contacts with gmail I can put a person in 2 groups.
     
  5. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks a lot! If you could please try it out and let me know, you'd do me a huge favour! This is one of the reasons I'm considering ditching Nokias: I have hundreds of contacts and not being able to group them by category is a pain...

    PS What mobile and android version do you have?
     
  6. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    I'm running on Droid in 2.01.
     
  7. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    Ok after playing with it for a bit, I couldn't find how to manage or use groups in the stock contacts app. But I found an app called Contacts GroupU that allows you to see google contacts and select multiple people within the group or select all people and sent mass emails or texts. It also allows you to manage the groups from your phone.
     
  8. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    According to this webpage:
    Contacts GroupU v1.7.5 Application for Android | Tools
    groups are synced with gmail, but installing the application on droid is not advised. I wonder how unstable it really is...
     
  9. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    It didn't seem unstable to me and it works on my Droid. Those comments seem very old. It should be fine now, I guess they updated it sometime between December and now to support Droid.
     
  10. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Well-Known Member

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    O dear ... I'm afraid I'm not as positive as Chris.

    I come from a Palm background, and my general feeling is that if you strip away the "bling", Android is years behind what Palm did 10 years ago. (But, since PalmOS is no more, Android appears to be the next best thing so I am here.)

    Generally speaking, syncing is a non-issue, but even so the Android PIM apps are rather "light" versions of the online Google apps; in Android there are sadly a whole bunch of things you can't do with your contacts or calendar entries.

    You know, I was writing a lengthy post, but I think it's better if I just refer you to my review of Android. Take away from it what you will.
     
  11. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    After reading that review I realized there are some things missing. Like the go to date ability and the birthday/anniversary features. Although I don't generally plan many things further than a month or 2 ahead.

    As for setting up events in your calendar I don't believe it should take that long unless you have the desire to fill out every field. I generally just type in the name of the event and set the time and it takes me less than a minute.
     
  12. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Well-Known Member

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    (sorry for going slightly off-topic for a moment here)

    Chris,
    I don't fill in quite every field, but just getting the calendar open, finding the right date, persuade it to create a new event, and adjusting the times does take a while. Also consider that I still manage to botch at least one of every 8 keystrokes...
     
  13. regression

    regression Well-Known Member

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    What Android version are you running? I have a Hero (1.5) and don't find working with tasks all that easy. I cannot reorder them (either via the web interface or a 3rd party app I downloaded).
     
  14. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    I tried the Palm 750v with Windows Mobile on it, and I honestly hated it, as did all my colleagues, but I was always told the original Palm OS was better. I wonder how the webos and the Pre compare...

    As for syncing tasks, I understand there are two main options:
    gtasks, which syncs google tasks
    remember the milk (the web service is free, the android app isn't)

    I like RTM and the fact that you can access it from google calendar and sunbird / Thunderbird with Lightning, even though in both cases I only managed to get read-only access. Just thought you might find this useful!
     
  15. regression

    regression Well-Known Member

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    Also, Astrid (another to do app) can sync with RTM, although it doesn't seem very mature yet. When you add tasks to your phone, they are synced with your inbox list only in RTM. It does carry over tags you create on your phone to RTM...
     
  16. ChrisNee1988

    ChrisNee1988 Member

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    Astrid is free and it doesn't require the RTM subscription, but if you are already a subscriber to it, theres a RTM app as well that I haven't tried
     
  17. glumlord

    glumlord Member

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    I am currently syncing my gmail account, my exchange (corporate) account, and a personal pop 3 account.

    It will wirelessly pull in contact and calendar events for the accounts I choose.

    I get separate notifications for each account which makes it easy for me to determine if I need to check something or not.

    The built in calendar works, but could be better. It tends to show events a day early sometimes.

    Contact groups are synced. I have some for friends, doctors, contractors and food categories.

    I am familiar with Windows Mobile, Iphone, Blackberry and Android. I've had the least problems with the Android phone out of those 4.
     
  18. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thansk a lot, very informative. Unfortunately, these days eye candy and facebook integration seems more important than true PIM functionalities...
     
  19. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Well-Known Member

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    Hey, if you mean the calendar widget, then yes, and it's "working as designed" however confusing that may be. There are better calendar widgets. Personally, I use CalWidget.

    Also ... welcome!! :D
     
  20. rjoudrey

    rjoudrey Well-Known Member

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    The Droid only makes sense to me as a good PIM if you have Google apps. It costs $50 a years and everything is synced OTA just like Blackberry Server. You can even run Outlook on your desktop and it is synced OTA as well. The only shortcoming is not notes syncing yet.
     
  21. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    What I struggle with is, what device has a better PIM, which ideally I can synchronize with Thunderbird + Lightning (anything syncing with google calendar would do)? Any advice?
     
  22. rjoudrey

    rjoudrey Well-Known Member

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    Syncing with Google calendar is no problem you can also include the Outlook Sync tool (free) if you want. For email I have my other accounts forwarded to Google which also works great. Contacts is the only one that is cumbersome. Initally you can export from Outlook to Google but from there on out it is strictly between your phone and Google, Outlook wll not update contacts without Google Apps.
     
  23. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks, however, I hate Outlook and only use Thunderbird + Lightning, so I'll look into options for those. Contacts are always tricky because there seems to be no standard, no universal set of fields, so there will always be a few fields lost in the sync process. It wouldn't be a big deal, if software companies bothered documenting which field is mapped to which, but I couldn't get hold of this piece of information!
     
  24. jrb2969

    jrb2969 New Member

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    I moved from Outlook - WinMo 6.5 to a Samsung Moment with 1.5 using companionlink to sync. I would say all is well except for the lack of "company" in gmail contacts, the Android contacts and in search. It is driving me crazy. When in the field needing to call vendors, I have to remember a first or last name. A company name won't get me anywhere. Many hours of search later, I don't have a solution. If Android is to work as a business tool, the folks at Google need to understand what we need in contacts....namely company name.
     
  25. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

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    False. You can set repeating events either from your gmail account on the PC, or on the phone:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ?

    I swipe left to my calendar widget. Click widget. Press menu button, click "new event" and--behold!

    [​IMG]

    I don't know why you have to "find the right date" (lol?) or persuade it to do anything.
     

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