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We can now synchronize Outlook & Android without a 3rd party app or Exchange Server!

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  1. Miami_Son

    Miami_Son Member

    That was 3 pages ago. You didn't expect me to remember, did you?:D

    How about making FB contacts on the phone into Corporate contacts so they will sync? I can join a matching FB contact with a Corporate one if they exist in both places, but for FB-only contacts I can't find a way to do this.:(

  2. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    Sorry. Can't help. I don't do Facebook contacts.
  3. MilesDroid

    MilesDroid New Member

    I have been trying for days to make my Live/Outlook 2010 with outlook connector sync contacts with my droid 2.2.

    I can create a contact in the phone and it shows up in outlook, but contacts created in outlook will not sync to the phone.

    During the troubleshoot I made a "test" live account, imported my contacts to it, and bam they appeared in the phone and will sync both directions... So it appears to be a problem with my main Live account.

    Any help other than ditching my beloved main email address for a new one?
  4. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    That's mind-boggling. I'm grasping at straws but I would recommend the following.
    1) Make sure that your sync settings are correct. (I'm sure you've done this.)
    2) Make sure that your contacts are in the default contacts folder in Outlook/Hotmail. (It sounds like that's the case.)
    3) Delete your Hotmail account from your Android device, and try reinstalling it, making sure it's a "corporate" account.
    4) Delete your Hotmail account from Outlook and re-add it. (Make sure you back up Tasks, Notes, and anything else that isn't stored on Hotmail's servers.) Mail, contacts, and calendar are stored on Hotmail's servers.

    Good luck.
  5. MilesDroid

    MilesDroid New Member

    Thanks for the quick response and also for posting the original news that this service was now available! I like so many have been searching and testing 3rd party software to sync outlook with android for quite some time.

    Trying to figure out what is the diff. between a fresh account and my main account, the only thing that readily comes to mind is my main account is using Live essentials to cloud sync with OneNote and misc folders through Microsoft's Skydrive.

    Wonder if that is causing some bug to interfere with the sync process... Wish there were a way to "reset" my main account back to virgin without the year-long account time out waiting process lol.
  6. MB17

    MB17 Member

    Thanks. I'll check again. What I am doing is putting all recurrent appointments in Outlook and eventual ones in the Droid so there is no prob.

    Other than that (contact photo sync perhaps), this method has been great.
  7. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    In case anyone was wondering, this is why programming anything related to contacts is such a nightmare :)
  8. spile

    spile Well-Known Member

    However there are issues in the quoted text that are unsubtantiated other than by the OP.
  9. Miami_Son

    Miami_Son Member

    He's not alone. I have also experienced all 5 of the issues listed by the OP when using My Phone Explorer.
  10. crowntown

    crowntown Member

    No. Those issues are real. MPE was among the lamest of the batch of Outlook-Android sync apps I tested. The lack of automated synchronization and needing to be hands on all the time to sync data using this dangerous app (dangerous to your data, that is) was almost as bad as the silently deleted info in the contact records. Any application that does this without a stern and highly visible warning should not be in the Market. "Free" is no excuse for botched programming.

    The Outlook Hotmail Connector method of syncing calendar and contact data (I don't do mail, but it will do that if you want it to) with your Android-based phone has its quirks, but is a dream compared to My Phone Destroyer... er, Explorer.
  11. dvhttn

    dvhttn Well-Known Member

    Seems like we're back to the start of this thread! I use MPE and have NEVER had any of the issues you have. The issue with "lack of automated synchronization" is a non-issue as well if that's what you want. If you want an automatic sync then look elsewhere. No need to bash an app because it doesn't say it does what you want - just go and look for another that does!

  12. udanne

    udanne New Member

    I finally accomplished it. Using 'Note Everything' app, follow instructions on importing file from Outlook. Finally it worked. It imported all of my Outlook notes into the Note Everything app. :eek:
  13. crowntown

    crowntown Member

    Of course it's an issue if I want it.

    I did, and found it. The idea of manually syncing several times a day (and unreliably, in my experience, with MPE) and having to be on the same wireless network to do that, was impractical, not to mention a moribund process.

    There are too many underdeveloped apps out there that waste a lot of people's time. Some of them cost money. MPE doesn't cost money, but it could cost someone the irreplaceable loss of data. What you call "bashing" I call raising a warning flag for people who might be unaware of the hidden dangers of using an app like MPE. I'm happy it works for you. If it had worked for me, I wouldn't have looked elsewhere. But it didn't, thus my criticism.
  14. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck Well-Known Member

    OK, this is proving to be the same incredible pain in the patoot as everything else I've been trying lately.

    When I try to import contacts from Outlook into Hotmail, I get the following:

    I get no option to import the file directly.

    Edit: I had to go through the .csv export in order to upload my contacts. So, OK, now my Hotmail account has my contacts. Will they now sync automatically from here on out?

    I'm confused, that's for sure.

    Now added a contact to my Outlook Contacts. Nowhere does it appear on the Droid, nor in my Hotmail contacts. So I'm unclear on exactly what I've accomplished.

    I appreciate the idea of using Hotmail to sync all this stuff, but after following the instructions (as well as I could, since many menus have been unavailable to me) nothing seems to work.

    Edit: I now get access to Hotmail contacts, though I had to delete and re-install the account. Not sure what was up with that. But I now have two complete Contacts lists, one of which is hotmail and the other of which is not. I can see potential problems here ...

    And it looks like I need to drag-and-drop from my existing calendar into the hotmail calendar in order to get them online. Interesting.
  15. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    MaxBuck: I'm sorry to hear that you had so much trouble. Did you follow the instructions in my original post? I didn't suggest exporting or iimporting CSV files. The easiest way to move contacts to Hotmail is to simply copy and paste them.

    Where do you have two complete contacts lists, on Outlook or on your Android phone? If on Outlook, then feel free to delete them or hide them. If on Android, then you may wish to stop syncing your Gmail contacts. (Note that this won't delete them from the Gmail server. It just won't sync them to the phone.) Please note that in step #2 of the instructions in my original post I wrote:
    2) Delete all of your Gmail contacts from your Gmail account and your phone (if you don't want duplicates) or change the ActiveSync settings to stop synchronizing contacts with Gmail.
    In my original post, I provided the following instructions for moving your calendar to Hotmail.
    To move your calendar from your Outlook Personal folders calendar to your Hotmail-based calendar:
    1) Export your calendar as a PST file.
    2) Then go to your Hotmail calendar and import that PST file into your Hotmail calendar.
  16. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck Well-Known Member

    I have two sets of contacts in Outlook (one is my Hotmail set, the other my regular Outlook set). I also have three calendars now: Outlook, GMail and Hotmail. Outlook (PC) syncs its calendar great with GMail but not at all with Hotmail, while Outlook (Mac) doesn't sync with either.

    Obviously I'm missing something.
  17. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    As I said in my original post, once you've transferred your contacts into Hotmail, just stop using your old contacts folder. You can delete it if you like. Or just stop viewing it. I typically use the "Folder List View" (Ctrl+6) and so I just collapse/hide the "Outlook Data File" containing my old "Outlook" contacts folder so that I don't have to look at it (or my old calendar) anymore. I still keep a copy of my contacts in that folder, as a backup. If you use the "Contacts View" (Ctrl+3), you may not be able to delete or hide the default contacts folder. But you can ignore it.

    Once you've imported your old Outlook "personal folder" calendar into your Hotmail calendar, stop using your old Outlook calendar. Delete it, or hide it, or simply ignore it as I mention in the preceeding paragraph. Since (to my knowledge) it's not possible to view a Gmail calendar in Outlook, I'll assume you're talking about having a Gmail calendar on your Android device. If you like, you can stop syncing and/or viewing your Gmail calendar on your Android device. As I wrote in my original post:

    "All of your Outlook/Hotmail calendar items will appear in a calendar on the left sidebar of Outlook and will automatically appear inside the standard built-in Android calendar app along with any Gmail calendar items, if you like. (The items will be color-coded by account.) But at any time, you can simply change the ActiveSync settings on your Android device for each Hotmail and Gmail account to choose whether you want to sync and/or view the calendar items in each of those accounts. (To do so, open the Android calendar app, press the settings button, select "More", then "Calendars", and then tap each account to cycle through the option of synced/visible, synced/not-visible, or not-synced/not-visible.)"

    Calendar sync should work perfectly between multiple Outlook-PCs and multiple Android devices. (It does for many of us.) I haven't tested Outlook or Entourage on a Mac, but if Outlook/Entourage can sync with the Hotmail server, then the Hotmail servers can sync with the Android device. Are you able to sync with the Hotmail server? (You can go in through the web browser interface to check.) You may also want to make sure that your calendar sync settings are correct on your Android device. Make sure that you've selected "synced/visible" as I describe in the original post (and the preceeding paragraph).
  18. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck Well-Known Member

    First and up-front, thanks very much for taking the time to respond to my queries. I really appreciate your patience and interest in helping me solve the frustrating sync issues, and I realize my concerns are different from those of most users.

    But what you're saying is that the Hotmail Contacts list that appears in Outlook (PC version) will sync with the contacts on the Hotmail Exchange server - correct?

    Ehhh ... really I'm talking about the Gmail calendar that I've synced to Outlook using Google Calendar Sync, which works well on the PC.

    Actually, Google's Calendar Sync works great to sync my PC calendar with my Google (and hence Droid) calendar. My problems relate to 1) contacts sync and 2) sync with Outlook on my Mac. Ideally I'd like to migrate all my routine daily tasks (MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, accounting/bookkeeping for my small business) to my Mac because the machine doesn't have have all the delays my Vista PC does (it seems like everything I do on the PC has a 5-minute delay associated with it). But failure to sync Droid with Outlook kills that idea.

    I'm not clear what you mean by going through the browser to see if I'm syncing with the Hotmail server. Do you mean simply checking my Hotmail calendar through my browser to see if calendar and contact entries are the same as on my desktop computer?

    My Outlook for Mac receives Hotmail emails, but none of the Hotmail calendar stuff shows up in my Outlook calendar, and none of the contact or task input I make in Hotmail shows up in Outlook for Mac. Likewise, calendar and contact changes made in Outlook for Mac don't show up in the Hotmail system.

    Actually, iCal syncs perfectly with GMail's calendar (i.e., when I enter an appointment into my Droid, it shows up in iCal). But it doesn't show up in Outlook for Mac.
  19. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    Correct. And they will also sync with you Android device if you've added a Hotmail account to it per the instructions linked in my original post.

    If you're happy with Google Calendar Sync, I guess you could continue to use it. But you can sync to Hotmail without wasting memory on Google Calendar Sync. Doing so would also provide the convenience of keeping your contacts and calendar in the same account on Outlook.

    Windows Vista is a torturously slow piece of garbage. WindowsXP was better in my opinion. Windows 7 is even better. If your Vista PC isn't too old (like maybe a 2.5GHz Pentium 4,with 1GB of RAM, or better), you might want to consider upgrading to Windows 7.

    Yes. If you check your Hotmail calendar and contacts through your web browser, you can at least determine if your PC, Mac, or Android device is syncing with the Hotmail server. For example, enter a new contact or calendar item on your PC and see if it syncs to Hotmail. Do the same with your Mac. Do the same with your Android device. Maybe add a new contact or calendar item to Hotmail through a web interface and see if it syncs to your devices. I was just suggesting that as a way to help pinpoint the problem.

    I don't have Outlook on Mac so I can't help. Sorry. Is there maybe the Office-Mac equivalent of the "Outlook Hotmail Connector" program for Outlook on Mac that you need to download?

    Note that (as I mentioned in my original post) "Tasks", "Journal", and "Notes" are not synchronized through Hotmail's servers-- just mail, contacts, and calendar.
  20. jflower

    jflower Member

    Thank you RazzMaTazz for figuring this out and sharing directions. After many hours of searching, I think this really is the best solution I can find. I will be switching away from my palm when my Incredible 2 arrives in the mail. I am used to being able to sync Outlook calendar, contacts, tasks, and memos with my Palm.

    I plan to do as much set up today as possible without yet having the phone. The first step is to just clean out my contacts a bit and see if any really long notes can be shortened or deleted.

    My set up is to use Outlook to view: my work email (not a gmail account), Hotmail Calendar and Contacts. I use three computers in my home (Windows 7, XP), and am thrilled that I can edit Calendar and Contacts on any of them, and it will sync across all three plus the phone. That will be heavenly!

    So far, I've set up a new hotmail account for myself, added it to my Outlook 2007 on two computers, and am experimenting with synching among two computers and hotmail webmail.

    I'm having a little trouble, although the Contacts are synching correctly:

    1. When I add a contact on one of my computers, it is unpredictable how many minutes it will take to show up on the other computer. And, sometimes, the new contact will show up on the other computer, but not yet on the Hotmail webmail. Is there a way to make the synching occur on a predictable timeline? I could just try not worrying about it, since they do eventually show up everywhere, so far.

    2. I'd like to keep my old contacts in Outlook as back-up, but don't want to see them or have them open as the default contacts. I am using Outlook 2007. Any tips?

    I wanted to leave my old Contacts files in Outlook (as back-up), but make my Hotmail Contacts the default Contacts displayed in Outlook, so I followed these directions: (1) On the Standard toolbar, click Address Book (or open the Address Book by clicking Address Book on the Tools menu), (2) Click Tools, and then click Options. In the Show this address list first box, click the name of the address book that you want. (3) Click OK, and then close the Address Book.

    The problem is that when I reopen Outlook and click on Calendar at the bottom of my left-menu, the old Contact folder is the automatically displayed one, and I have to click on my Hotmail Contacts in order to switch to it.

    Also, I apologize for asking this question here, and hope not to derail the thread, but can you please tell me your advice for synching notes and tasks? Ideally with outlook, but if not possible, then fine - I'm trying to be open-minded! I saw that Astrid now asks for access to contacts, which bothered some people. Is Astrid still the best option? Because you were so thoughtful about this calendar/contacts solution, I figured whatever plan you use for notes/tasks is probably good too!
  21. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    Jflower: I don't have any recommendation for syncing Outlook's Notes and Tasks. Although I've been using Outlook religiously since 1998, I've never used "Notes". I guess I tend to write Word Documents or write myself emails, or make myself an email "draft" for things that I want to note. I use "Tasks" on my main desktop PC but mostly as a "To Do" list (that I could just as easily keep as a Word document or "draft" email, so I've never felt a burning need to sync Tasks. I realize that "Notes" and "Tasks" have other features, and that especially "Tasks" have some cool features like "Categories" and the ability to assign them to others, so I'd like to see Hotmail sync Tasks. But I can't recommend a solution. Two things you might want to consider.

    1) Syncdroid.net has a comparative list of the 43 third-party Outlook-Android syncronization software options. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a free option for syncing Notes & Tasks.
    2) As a workaround, if you don't mind keeping (or copying) notes and tasks as "draft" Gmail email, then you could always have them available on your Android device as a "draft" email. Or if you don't mind keeping your notes and tasks as documents, you could keep them synced between your PCs and Android devices as documetns on something like Dropbox.

    On a related side note, since (like me) you seem to like syncing your PCs, I recently started using the free Windows Live Mesh to sync (up to 5GB of stuff) between my PCs through the cloud (and optionally storing a copy on the cloud). I've also recently started using the free Windows SkyDrive to store (up to 25GB) of stuff in the cloud. Windows SkyDrive is accessible in a somewhat limited way on Android using the free app, Sorami. Unfortunately the Windows Live Mesh section of your SkyDrive account is not accessible through Sorami.
    jflower likes this.
  22. lambertsavage

    lambertsavage New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I just joined this forum in an effort to find a way to stop my EVO from duplicating Contacts upon synching with Outlook using USB. I've tried the native HTC synch program and a couple others, all without success at reducing the duplication.

    Though this thread is long, it suggests that I inadvertently may have found a source for my original problem. I certainly hope so.

    If anyone has experienced the same multi-duplicating in EVO Contacts and has found an alternate solution, I'd be most grateful if you would share it with me. I have just completed culling the duplicates in EVO and Outlook on my main computer and am not trying a new synch until I feel confident the duplicating will stop. Most annoying.

    I like the tenor of this thread--respectful, helping people helping people. It's great. Thanks for all the information and for kicking it off, Razz.
  23. jflower

    jflower Member

    Thanks so much for the reply and extra info about synching among pc's. I go through phases where I want to do that, so I'll save that info for the future. For now, I rely on accessing files as needed through the network. Day-to-day it's my outlook calendar and tasks that would be most nice to have in sync. The calendar issue is now solved (thanks again!).

    I just set up my calendar, and I have to say that the initial setup for calendar and contacts to sync from outlook to hotmail was SHOCKINGLY painless for me. Good thing too, since I now need to do the same for three family members (we all use outlook and all just ordered our first androids). I look forward to adding in the phone part once it arrives in the mail.

    I need to select a good calendar app/widget that will display a good daily agenda of calendar and tasks. I'm used to the daily agenda displayed in my old palm. Any recommendations for that? I do not use gmail, if that is relevant, and I don't know yet what app I'll use for tasks (astrid?). Thanks for any ideas!
  24. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    My original post is pretty long, but if you follow the instructions in my original post, it's pretty easy to implement Outlook-Hotmail synchronization for contacts and calendar. I've tried to take feedback about issues (from this thread) and then edit the original post to include key issues that have been brought up, so you probably don't really need to read through this entire thread.

    I think most duplicate contact issues stem from the following. Your phone is capable of containing basically three types of contacts:
    1) "Google contacts" which are, by default, synced with any Gmail account that you have on your Android device.
    2) "Corporate contacts", which are synced with any corporate Exchange Server account or Hotmail/Live-Mail/MSN-Mail account you have on your Android device.
    3) "Phone-only contacts", which are only stored on your phone and are only synchronized through software that you install on your PC or that your phone store may have on their PC. These "Phone-only" contacts are not synchronized, unless you do so with the aforementioned PC software.

    Duplicates tend to occur when more than one of the above contact types are added to the Android device. For example, if you have a Gmail account with some contacts, you buy an Android phone for the first time, and the phone-store representative transfers your contacts from your old phone to your new phone as "phone-only" contacts, then when you add your Gmail account to your Android phone, you'll end up with two duplicate contacts-- the "Google Contacts" from your Gmail account, and the "Phone-only" contacts from your old phone. Or, for example, if you add multiple Gmail accounts to your Android device (each containing contacts) you'll get duplicate "Google contacts". Or for example, if you add a Gmail account and a Hotmail account or an Exchange Account to your Android device (each containing contacts) you'll get duplicate "Google contacts" and "Corporate Contacts".

    You can check the sources of your duplicate contacts by opening a contact, hitting the "settings" button on your phone, and then selecting "Edit". At the top of the contact, you'll see "Google contact", or "Corporate contact" or "Phone-only contact". Sometimes they'll be merged together and if you scroll down, you'll see the contact information repeated, with the contact type (Google, Corporate, Phone-only) displayed at the top of each section.

    If you plan to use Outlook & Hotmail as a way to sync contacts, I would recommend that you delete your contacts from Gmail (or as I note in my original post, change your sync settings so that you don't synchronize contacts with Gmail). Sync your contacts only with your Hotmail account. If your master list of contacts is on Outlook, then I would also suggest that you don't let the store representative transfer your old contacts over to your new phone (which generally creates the "phone-only" duplicate contacts mess.) Or just delete all of your phone-only contacts.

    If you have both a Hotmail account and a Gmail account on your phone, then (as I mentioned in my original post) when you create a new contact from your phone, you'll be asked under which account you'd like to create the contact, such as your Gmail account or your Hotmail account.

    Note that at any time you can turn on or turn off the synchronzation of contacts with any of your Google or Exchange/Hotmail accounts.

    I hope that made sense. Good luck.
  25. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    I'm glad it worked for you. I have a desktop PC and a laptop PC that I like to keep synchronized. Laptops can easily get lost or stolen, so I don't synchronize sensitive information to the laptop. I just synchronize a few folders on my desktop and in my "My Documents". I also selected the Windows Live Mesh options to syncrhonize my "Favorites", and my Microsoft Office "preferences". Very easy. Very cool. Microsoft also offers a tool called "Sync Toy" that enables PC-PC synchronization (and there are lots of open-source alternatives which you can find listed on Wikipedia) but I haven't tried any of the others.

    I just use the stock Android calendar app, but I've seen several threads here discussing which calendar app is "the best" or meets specific needs. Here's one of them.

    The "search box" on the upper right of this website doesn't always work, but if you select the "Search" link and then select "Advanced" you can search for "Calendar" and find a bunch of different threads on the topic.
    jflower likes this.

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