May 12th, 2011

Ice Bear

Android/Outlook Sync

How odd, you would've thought that by now there would be an app for syncing Outlook to my Android phone and vice versa.

There seems to be several that will happily copy calendar/contacts in both directions, but not actually synchronise them.
And by the I mean (Just so we're all on the same page) that the app should look at my android and outlook contacts and compare them. The ones it recognises as being the same should then be merged so the information in both would just appear once in either contact list.
Same for calendar information.

I'm totally ok with duplicates being created the first time I sync, but after that there is no excuse.
Especially once I have gone through the contact list and pruned the duplicates.

I have a rather nice HTC Desire Z but, by the Emperor, the HTC 'sync' software is an abomination.
The first time it 'syncs' it will copy contacts to Outlook, but after that it completely fails to make any updates in either contact list. And it doesn't do calendar syncing despite claiming that it does.
The HTC sync software also causes another odd problem.
At work, both where I am now and my last place, when I synced with Outlook most my contacts would no longer be 'choosable' i.e. if I put a recipients name in the 'To:' field in Outlook it won't resolve to one of my contacts.
And if I click the 'To:' button so I can pick from the list of contacts the same ones wouldn't appear.
Most vexing...

I then tried Android-Sync which can only be described as an insane contact list wrecker and ruiner of calendars...
After taking a back-up of my contact list I let loose the dogs of war and damn, did they go to town...
Most of my contacts were triplicated and some I suddenly had 4+ of in my contact list. So much fail, so little time.
My calendar was suddenly full of the birthdays of everyone on my Facebook friends list. Again 3+ of each of them...
And other calendar items were duplicated or triplicated again.
Now, I'm actually ok with this in principle, but after I had gone through my contact list and re-synced all the duplicates returned.

So, in short, ARGH. How very very annoying.

So, any suggestions for Outlook/Android sync tools?
Ice Bear

HTC Desire Z (Moar whining)

So, I've had my HTC Desire Z for a while now, and although it is a great phone, I have a few issues with it:

1) The photo gallery stops reporting all pictures
This is quite annoying. The gallery will report that there are, for example, 44 images but when I browse to the folder with a file manager utility I can see there are more.
This is fixable by a reboot of the phone, but it's bloody annoying as it will happen again eventually.

2) Contacts stop being linked
Linked contacts is a reasonably nifty concept where you see, for example, your phone contacts, Facebook friends, Twitter contacts and so on in your phone book, but instead of, potentially, having multiple entries for some people, you can link them so you only see one entry with all the information merged into the entry you can see.
Good concept, but many of the contacts regularly get unlinked so I have to go through them and link them again. Very annoying.

3) HTC sense doesn't work
Well, the online part of it doesn't. One of the selling points of the phone is that if you can't find it, you can go to their website and send a message to to the phone so it starts ringing loudly. You're also meant to be able to lock the phone and post a message on it in case it gets stolen.
It should also keep a record of your contacts in case your phone breaks as well as your text messages so you can see them and reply to them even if you don't have your phone on you.
This did all work, but if it breaks for you you're screwed.
Their support people claim that they have been upgrading their servers and that's why it's not working.
This they have been claiming since about November 2010...

4) Doesn't sync contacts/calendar with Outlook correctly.
Well, I think I dealt with this in my last post -_-