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

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  1. Ernie_P

    Ernie_P Member

    Just to save you the pain that I (and I assume others are going through) currently I have only been able to find one application (CompanionLink) which costs $49 which adequately synchronizes directly between Outlook and my Android phone - and even then you have to syncronize first with a database that CompanionLink installs and then on the phone synchronize that database with your Android contacts. I have found other third party apps to be unstable or quirky. (P.S. I do not work nor do I know anyone at CompanionLink)

    The general solution - and the one described in this thread - involves synchronizing your Outlook with a third party "cloud" location such as Gmail contacts or Hotmail contacts and then synchronizing from that location down to your phone. As Android is made by Google - they really want you to set up a Gmail account and utilize their contacts, calendars, etc. which are no where near as comprehensive as Outlook.

    I use my phone for business purposes and need all the information in Outlook - not just one or two phone numbers and an email (exagerating here - but not by much).

    Therefore - I am advising anyone that truly wants all the details that they have in their Outlook Contacts and Calendar to think long and hard if the benefits of the Android O/S is worth losing a lot of the detail you have in Outlook. This is the decision to make...hope this is helpful.

  2. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

    I agree that there should be a standard direct way to sync an Android phone with Outlook without having to use a cloud solution.

    After fighting this issue for so long, I've decided to give in to Google and use CompanionLink to sync Outlook to Google which then auto syncs with my phone. Syncing my phone directly to Outlook even with CompanionLink has become tedious due to having to manually initialize the sync on both machines. Plus, CompanionLink's Deja Calendar Android app is slow and laggy even though it does support categories which I really appreciate.

    At the end of the day, you are going to have to choose a cloud solution (Hotmail or Google) if you want a smooth syncing solution. Arggh!

    P.S. I guess the good news is you can always access your calendar and contacts from any browser. I just don't like making my sensitive data more "accessible" to hackers.
  3. Ernie_P

    Ernie_P Member

    Thank you Trisgo - I will check this out - I am still runing under a 15 day evaluation of CompanionLink before I am forced to pay the $50.

    Any issues I should be aware of?

    Again - I am simply looking to sync my Contacts and Calendar - does everything get synchronized both ways?

  4. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

    When using MyPhoneExplorer, does a sync need to be initiated on BOTH the PC and the Phone?
  5. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

    Which program syncs more fields MyPhoneExplorer or CompanionLink when syncing with Google? I know Google kills Outlook "categories" unfortunately. The ONLY way I've found to keep categories it to use CompanionLink to sync Outlook directly with your phone and then you can only use the Deja Calendar app which is beautiful but SLOW. Any other options to sync (and use) categories?
  6. Ernie_P

    Ernie_P Member


    While I am sure a lot of people may find your information useful....I am also sure that it is misleading to many folks like myself which would like to find a solution that truly syncs Contacts from Outlook directly to my Android phone.

    Having to slosh around sensitive contact information all over the Internet in orde to ultimately get it on my cell phone is not an option that everyone is comfortable with.

    Much appreciated!
  7. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

    Ernie_P, RazzMaTazz is not really misleading anyone by the thread title because he is showing you how to sync Outlook & Android without a 3rd party "app" or exchange server. He did not say his solution would not include a 3rd party "cloud" solution. LOL

    I feel your pain, my man! I also want a direct sync solution that doesn't destroy some of my contact fields. Oh well, I've resigned myself to using this method:

    Outlook <-CompanionLink -> Google ->> <<-Android Phone

    I'm open to trying MyPhoneExplorer if someone can tell me:
    1. If a sync has to initiated on both the phone and the PC.
    2. If it is possible to schedule syncs automatically.
    3. If contact fields are destroyed in Outlook due to lack of support from MPE.

    Although Google Calendar does not support categories, so far, most of my Outlook categories stay intact after syncing. A handful of appointments lost their category designation but not many. After fixing them and resyncing, no problems.

    I believe some one would make a TON of money if they could write a program that would sync directly between Outlook and Android and keep ALL fields intact.
  8. Ernie_P

    Ernie_P Member

    Understand - didn't mean to make it sound like I was directing my frustration at RazzMaTazz...you would just think this would not be as big an issue as it is and more importantly....just want folks to be aware. And who knows maybe a developer or two will take notice...

    P.S. I have tested Outlook with CompanionLink and it sync directly to the phone - no need for Gmail in your example above.

  9. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

    True, I have too but Deja Calendar seems to be laggy and CompanionLink states damage can occur to the outlook data if CompanionLink writes to the Android stock calendar directly. I can't afford anything happening to my data in Outlook. That is what I work in all day long!

    By syncing to Gmail, everything automatically syncs to my phone without worry of damaging the data in Outlook.

    If you have another way to do it, I'm wide open!
  10. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    No. There are two big differences.
    1) Outlook contacts don't sync with your phone, through Gmail. There is no such thing as "contacts" folder in a Gmail account on Outlook. Outlook contacts DO sync with your phone through Hotmail and there is a "contacts" folder in Hotmail accounts on Outlook.
    2) Outlook calendar syncs nicely (without any additional apps or software) with your phone through Hotmail. You'd need 3rd party software to accomplish that through Gmail-- and even at that it's arguably not as good.

    The Hotmail method accomplishes that. I think there's about a ten million times better chance that your contact information will get compromized by losing your phone or your laptop, or your house getting robbed, than from the cloud getting compromised. Hotmail and Gmail have been around for many years and I can't recall a problem. Microsoft (Hotmail) has publicly said that they won't use your contact data for adverstising. Google as publicly stated that they will use it for adverstising. So I'm not worried much about the Hotmail cloud. But if you are, then you can synchronize using MyPhoneExplorer (free, but with some issues) or the CompanionLink (~$50) via USB direct link or a direct WiFi link (when on the same LAN router).

    The Hotmail method is free and works with any Android phone. But if by "standard" you mean that you'd like perfect, built-in Outlook synchronization, with the option of going through the cloud or cloudless, millions of us agree with you! Unfortunately, Google wants to kill Microsoft Office and replace it with Google Apps. And Google wants to gain access to your contacts (which are very valuable) so Google isn't motivated to enable Android & Outlook to sync. However, to Google's credit, they don't stop 3rd party developers (like CompanionLink, GSyncit, et al) from developing synchonization software. And when you look at the price performance and total cost of ownership of Android phones relative to other phones (even you buy a $50 CompanionLink app), Android phones are still (arguably) the best value.
  11. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

    RazzMaTazz, thanks for letting us know about Sync Android/Droid with Outlook/Exchange. Somebody will eventually figure out the perfect solution. (crossing fingers!)

    If one chooses to use your Hotmail sync method or MyPhoneExplorer, is there no way to use Google's Voice Search to dial those contacts on the phone?
  12. carawlins

    carawlins Member

    Thanks for all of your help. It is greatly appreciated from those of use who are just trying to figure all of this out.

    I have transferred all of my contacts but they are in the browser section of my Android phone and not contacts. How do I go about transferring these contacts to my "Contacts" app? I have followed the instructions that you posted but I guess my phone is somewhat different from the examples given and I am unable to complete the process. Any help that you can provide is really appreciated. Thanks!.

  13. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean. Would you please explain in more detail?

    Some thoughts...
    1) Do you now have a populated Hotmail contacts folder in Outlook?
    2) If you go to Hotmail.com and sign-in, are your contacts there?
    3) Have you added your Hotmail account to your Android phone as a Exchange account (not as a POP account)?
    4) Did you make sure that the ActiveSync setting are set to sync the contacts in your Hotmail account? (Open the Android Contacts app, press the settings button, select "Accounts", and then tap the Hotmail account to toggle sync on.)
    carawlins likes this.
  14. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    As I wrote in my original post...

    Your phone's built-in voice dialer will work with the Hotmail contacts, but "Google Voice Search" will not recognize those contacts (unless you also keep those contacts on the Gmail servers). That's because "Google Voice Search" searches through the contacts on the Gmail servers, not the contacts on your phone. If you want to use Google Voice Search on your contacts, you could occassionally export your Outlook/Hotmail contacts to a CSV file, and then import the CSV file into Gmail contacts (but not necessarily sync them with your Android device).
  15. dheymann

    dheymann Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about Google Voice search, but if your contacts are in the contacts database on your android phone (not the MPE or Companionlink database) couldn't you then sync them with google? I know that Companionlink will sync your contacts with the phones built in contacts database so that things like caller ID will work.
  16. carawlins

    carawlins Member

    1) Yes

    2) Yes

    3) I believe this is where my problem lies. After follwoing the steps outlined earlier in this thread, I was never given the opportunity to select an Exchange account. Therefore, I used the alternate way of adding the Hotmail account as described in the thread and accessed Hotmail directly from my phone and added the account that way. I don't think I did it properly.

    4) I believe that since I did not add the Hotmail account correctly, I was not given the opportunity to access Active Sync. Thanks!
  17. sjamie

    sjamie Well-Known Member

  18. spile

    spile Well-Known Member

    1. No, just the PC and there are various options to do this, eg sync on connect
    2. Sadly not at the moment though a number of folk on the MPE forums have asked for this
    3. No, non-synced fields are ignored.
  19. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    There are basically 3 types of contacts that you can have on your Android device.
    1) "Phone-only contacts" which are stored only on your phone and are not synchronized with Gmail or an Exchange/Hotmail server. These contacts are essentially out of the reach of Google/Gmail.
    2) "Google Contacts" which are synchronized between your phone and Gmail.
    3) "Corporate Contacts" which are synchronized between your phone and either an Exchange Server or Hotmail.

    I don't know about CompanionLink, but MyPhoneExplorer gives you the option of storing contacts on your phone as "Phone-only Contacts" or as "Google Contacts".

    Your phone's internal voice dialer will work regardless of the type of contact. But Google Voice Search relies on Google's Servers to synthesize your voice and search through the Gmail servers for your contact info.

    I believe that Caller ID works regardless of the type of contact.
  20. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    Do you have Android version 2.2 or newer? I don't think this option existed prior to Android 2.2.
    carawlins likes this.
  21. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    Duplicates won't be created on your phone if you set your ActiveSync settings so that your Android device doesn't sync your contacts with Gmail. That's what I do. As I wrote in my original post...

    All of your Outlook/Hotmail contacts will appear in a "contacts" folder on the left-side Navigation Pane of Outlook, and will automatically appear inside the standard built-in Android app for contacts, along with any Gmail contacts, if you like. 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 the contacts in each of those accounts. (To do so, open the Android Contacts app, press the settings button, select "Accounts", and then tap each account to toggle sync on/off.) You can use your Hotmail-based contacts to make phone calls, send emails (from whichever email account you choose), get turn-by-turn directions, etc, just like you would with a Gmail-based "Google Contact".

    If you've already syncrhonized with Gmail and you have a bunch of "Google Contacts" on your phone, you may want to delete the Google Contacts from your phone (and turn off Gmail synchronization) before synchronizing with Hotmail.
  22. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Well-Known Member

    There is some debate over this. Many MyPhoneExplorer users (like Spile) seem to have no problem with MPE deleting unsupported data fields from Outlook, and MPE's developer says that there shouldn't be a problem. However, I and others have had problems with MPE deleting unsupported fields from Outlook. Apparently those of us who had problems did something differently than those who did not have problems. I don't know what. The consequences are severe, so be aware of the issue. If you try MPE, be sure to first back up your Outlook contact data.
  23. neil154

    neil154 Well-Known Member

    I am currently a Blackberry user but will be switching to an Android phone soon and I also use Outlook desktop. I found 2 apps which seem to work well to sync my contacts and calendar between Outlook and Gmail (Go Contact Sync Mod & Google Calendar Sync). These apps seems to work very well and I do not see any reason why I would want to fiddle with MPE.

    Since I am only using this between Outlook and Gmail and not yet with a Android phone I would appreciate your coments and this method of sync and why using some other apps might be better.
  24. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    I use this, and it works fine. What's good about this setup is that once you sign in to Google on your phone, you can forget about the sync and it will do so automatically every time.
  25. carawlins

    carawlins Member

    I am using Android Version 2.3.4.

    I now realize what is going on on my phone. Since I was not able to add the Hotmail account to my phone correctly using the earlier instructions in this thread, I accessed Hotmail.com from my phone directly and THOUGHT I had added the Hotmail account when actually I was only accessing Hotmail.com through my phone browser and the Hotmail account was never added. I guess I need to start from the beginning because I am really lost now.

    I just never realized that setting up this sync would be so difficult. Had I known this, I would have just bought another Blackberry because this process is done without much effort on a BB. Thank you so much for your help. This cerainly has been a challenging and frustrating experience.

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