Mail syncing on the little #Hero
These posts are not usually very techie – I try to leave that to my geeky friends. So if I’m not being precise enough in the text, please refer to sentence 1 of this document.
I’ve been using the Android-powered HTC Hero for some time now, and I have to report that I’m a very happy and satisfied customer. Even disregarding my own experience, I think HTC is doing an amazing job in transforming itself from an anonymous OEM manufacturer of mobile devices into one of the leading, if not *the* leading smartphone-focused handset manufacturer in terms of positioning and strategy. Kudos to Peter Chou and his team for that. (it’s *never* just one guy, not Steve Jobs, not Bill Gates, not Larry Ellison. that’s just the way the media likes to paint the picture).
Anyway, back to the Hero. One of the things that were important to me – vital, actually – was Exchange / Outlook integration. That’s what my business email runs on, that’s where my contacts and calendar are. So that was a first priority. Prior to deciding on the device, I checked multiple sources – web sites, reviews, called the local HTC distributor. All these sources confirmed that Exchange integration was built-in, out of the box, and that I wouldn’t have to download or install any additional syncing software. Mind you – that wouldn’t have been such a huge problem but this was definitely better.
All these sources were proven right. Unpacking the phone when I got it, one of the first things I did was activate the Exchange integration. The procedure walked me through, and the only thing I needed to bother my colleagues in the office about was 2 or 3 fields asking about host & domain names. We could have done that on the phone but they were more than happy to stop by my office and take a look at the then-new little machine.
Anyway – that was all done in 5 minutes or so, as wass the GMail part which was even easier, only needing my Google account details. The default setup arranges for GMail and Outlook to be used from different, separate email clients and that’s exactly how I prefer it. Needless to say, I’m sure I could use a single client for both, or find a more sophisticated one than the default offering, etc. etc. However so far these two work fine for me and I’m not particularly inspired to hunt the Android Market for something else.
Syncing both Outlook and GMail is very easy and fully wireless – no docking stations or cables needed. In the phone’s setup menu, I define the preferred syncing frequencies – every 15 minutes for Outlook in my case – and that’s all there is to it. Of course plugging into my home and office WiFi networks saves money, and sometimes out of curiosity I look to see what’s available in public spaces. Waiting at the car wash a few days ago, one of the open networks’ names was “N00b pwnd!” – probably best not to connect to that one I guess.
So, if you’re in the market for an Android smarphone, and Exchange / Outlook integration and syncing is important to you, look no further than the HTC Hero. Oh, and by the way, amazing as it may seem it comes with Google Maps included as well 😉