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lairdb Jan 4, 11 6:34 pm

Best phone-email-client for Exchange users?
 
I've had a terrible time over the last year, trying to migrate to Android; I've tried a G1, a Galaxy S, and a G2, all with no luck; in the past I also tried an HTC Tilt (running WM6, IIRC).

Mind you, not because they're not good phones, or good browsers, etc. -- but because there hasn't been a one of them yet with a fully functional Exchange client. (Actually, the WM6 client was passable, but 3 hours total battery life wasn't.)

It's getting to the point where I'm even willing to consider an iPhone (though I don't think it passes my Exchange client tests either.)

I'm going on 12 years on Blackberries, most of the time with BES, so I'm used to pretty solid Exchange integration, and I have yet to find a client that does everything I'm looking for.

IMO, I should be able to:
- Receive push email
- Extra credit: Receive push email in designated subfolders
- Move messages among folders (and the actions sync both ways)
- Sync calendar, with support for busy/tentative/free
- Sync contacts, including sub-folders
- Sync or query the GAL
- Search client-side email
- Extra credit: Search server-side email (connectivity permitting.)
- Accept/reject/tentative meeting requests from email app
- Create a meeting request (Extra credit: see availability)
- Configure multiple accounts with full functionality
- View a unified Inbox
- Share contacts with phone's native apps

(I don't really use Exchange's Tasks, Notes, or Public Folders -- some might add those to my list.)

Clients:

The stock* Android 2.2 client (as supplied on the G2) does not support moving messages to folders, or responding to invites.

(*I believe several manufacturers have slightly variant email clients, e.g. Motorola's "Work Email" and an "Email" from HTC that's different from the bog stock client.)

Touchdown seems to be the prevalent recommendation, but it doesn't support multiple accounts, doesn't share contacts with the phone (barring a clunky manual workaround) and has a UI that I don't care for (cartoony, sacrifices functional screen real estate for chrome.)

Moxier mail has a better UI, but isn't robust for many, doesn't support multiple accounts, and IIRC also doesn't support contact subfolders.

K9 is the strongest of the clients I tried, with huge options sets and configurability -- but no meeting-request handling.


Is there a decent Exchange client, other than Blackberry, hiding out there somewhere?

Thanks.

mcgahat Jan 4, 11 7:52 pm

I too think the email clients are extremely limited. I think touchdown was the best for me with Exchange. I like K-9 for POP style accounts. I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in the pipeline for email on any platform that is as good as a Blackberry mail client. I still think they would do well to make a version for Android and sell it as a service etc.

Sorry I didnt really offer you anything other than confrmation of your tests.

CApreppie Jan 4, 11 9:24 pm

I'm no expert, but I'd think Win Mobile 7 should offer seamless Exchange capabilities. Would be in MS' best interest.

DisneyDude Jan 4, 11 9:54 pm

HTC Exchange client is what you need
 
The HTC Mail client on my T-Mo MyTouch 4G does everything you ask including accepting/declining meeting invites, creating meetings, GAL lookup AND moving emails to folders. What more do you need?

javabytes Jan 5, 11 12:19 am

HTC EVO 4G on Sprint (Android 2.2), default mail client:
- Receive push email - YES
- Extra credit: Receive push email in designated subfolders - NO. Mail in subfolders can be read, but is not push enabled.
- Move messages among folders (and the actions sync both ways) - YES
- Sync calendar, with support for busy/tentative/free - YES
- Sync contacts, including sub-folders - YES
- Sync or query the GAL - YES
- Search client-side email - Don't believe so, at least not out of the box.
- Extra credit: Search server-side email (connectivity permitting.) - Don't believe so
- Accept/reject/tentative meeting requests from email app - YES - Can accept or decline; never tried Tentative.
- Create a meeting request (Extra credit: see availability) - YES (No extra credit)
- Configure multiple accounts with full functionality - NO
- View a unified Inbox - NO
- Share contacts with phone's native apps - YES

JClishe Jan 5, 11 10:48 am

The native mail client in Windows Mobile 6.5 is probably the most powerful Exchange client out there. Windows Phone 7 did lose some functionality that WinMo 6.5 had. Specifcially, there are 3 things that I miss most:

* Can't read DRM protected email on WP7 (can on WM 6.5)
* Can't search the corporate directory on WP7 (can on WM 6.5)
* No "remove from calendar" button when you receive a meeting cancellation (there is one on WM 6.5)

However, WP7 has a really cool "I'm running late" button that sends an email to a meeting organizer that you're running late for the meeting. I've actually used that one :)

All of that said, there's a WP7 update scheduled for this month (in fact it could even be announced at CES this week), so it would be worth seeing if the update contained any new functionality to the mail app.

swanscn Jan 5, 11 12:38 pm

Funny, but my exchange client on my droid does all these things, but it came from my company so I do not know if it is available generally.

As to the WM phone my buddy got one in November and we could not get it and exchange to cooperate. He took it and his notebook back to the ATT store where he bought it. They could not make it work either, he left with a IPhone which worked first time. (Strange, one would think)

typical Jan 5, 11 3:00 pm

RoadSync does most, if not all, of what you need from what I've seen of it (I saw it on Symbian, it's also available on Android). I've worked mostly for Notes-based companies though so I've not had reason to try it myself.

lairdb Jan 5, 11 3:53 pm

Thanks to all respondents; some good feedback and comments.


Originally Posted by mcgahat (Post 15584243)
I too think the email clients are extremely limited. I think touchdown was the best for me with Exchange. I like K-9 for POP style accounts. I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in the pipeline for email on any platform that is as good as a Blackberry mail client. I still think they would do well to make a version for Android and sell it as a service etc.

Yes -- but it's peculiar to me that they persist in their... distinctive... UI and contacts non-integration. RIM has, at least twice, talked about putting the BlackBerry client onto other platforms, but AFAIK, they've never actually done so. Certainly no Android effort publicly announced. (Putting my PPM strategy hat on, I can make pretty significant arguments against, but if their share continues its precipitous collapse outside large enterprise, they may have to.)


Originally Posted by CApreppie (Post 15584779)
I'm no expert, but I'd think Win Mobile 7 should offer seamless Exchange capabilities. Would be in MS' best interest.


Originally Posted by JClishe (Post 15588228)
The native mail client in Windows Mobile 6.5 is probably the most powerful Exchange client out there. Windows Phone 7 did lose some functionality that WinMo 6.5 had.[...]


Yes, but one (of a few) reasons I'm interested in moving away from BlackBerry is to go to a widely supported platform. I'm skeptical WM7 will get there.


Originally Posted by DisneyDude (Post 15584952)
The HTC Mail client on my T-Mo MyTouch 4G does everything you ask including accepting/declining meeting invites, creating meetings, GAL lookup AND moving emails to folders. What more do you need?

Not much. (Well, a carrier that covers my house, which T-Mobile doesn't. I'm actually philosophically a T-Mobile fan, because of their realization that if you're not paying off a device, you shouldn't be screwed on rates and you should be allowed to unlock -- but they don't cover my house.) I'd like a hard keyboard, but I could probably live without.

Does your "HTC Mail" app support multiple accounts? Multiple push accounts (e.g. Exchange and GMail)? (Is it named "HTC Mail"? Perhaps I could get a different handset and then find it and sideload it....)


Originally Posted by javabytes (Post 15585706)
HTC EVO 4G on Sprint (Android 2.2), default mail client:
[...]
- Configure multiple accounts with full functionality - NO
- View a unified Inbox - NO

Ah -- that's a bit of a hang-up. The unified inbox isn't completely crucial, but having work(Exchange) and personal(GMail) is. I wonder if your app is the same as DisneyDude's.


Originally Posted by swanscn (Post 15589087)
Funny, but my exchange client on my droid does all these things, but it came from my company so I do not know if it is available generally.

I'm under the impression that Moto does their own email client, like HTC. One of the requirements I didn't mention was global compatibility, so the Droid 2 Global is possible... but nobody's been able to confirm all the email functionality. Does your client (whatever it is) do all the list above?


Originally Posted by typical (Post 15590311)
RoadSync does most, if not all, of what you need from what I've seen of it (I saw it on Symbian, it's also available on Android). I've worked mostly for Notes-based companies though so I've not had reason to try it myself.

Ah, I forgot to mention RoadSync. IIRC, I did try it during my G2 trial, but I couldn't get it to connect at all, and searching, it appeared that there were a fair number of concerns with support and no good answers. Low prospects of success == set aside.

noam Jan 5, 11 4:22 pm

Just in case you do end up looking at the iPhone, here is how it measures up:

YES - Receive push email
YES - Extra credit: Receive push email in designated subfolders
YES - Move messages among folders (and the actions sync both ways)
YES - Sync calendar, with support for busy/tentative/free
YES - Sync contacts
UNSURE - including sub-folders
YES - Sync or query the GAL
YES - Search client-side email
YES - Extra credit: Search server-side email (connectivity permitting.)
YES - Accept/reject/tentative meeting requests from email app
YES - Create a meeting request (Extra credit: see availability)
YES - Configure multiple accounts with full functionality
YES - View a unified Inbox
YES - Share contacts with phone's native apps

typical Jan 5, 11 4:32 pm


Originally Posted by lairdb (Post 15590700)
Yes -- but it's peculiar to me that they persist in their... distinctive... UI and contacts non-integration. RIM has, at least twice, talked about putting the BlackBerry client onto other platforms, but AFAIK, they've never actually done so. Certainly no Android effort publicly announced. (Putting my PPM strategy hat on, I can make pretty significant arguments against, but if their share continues its precipitous collapse outside large enterprise, they may have to.)

They have - it was called "Blackberry Connect" and offered few of the features of an actual Blackberry (push email, calendar sync, but not folder support and very clunky contacts handling). I had it on my old Nokia E61i - 3G with Blackberry before the Bold appeared. It was available for old Nokia, SE and WM devices.

There were constant rumours between 2007 and 2009 of a whole new "Blackberry Application Suite" to run on WM and Symbian devices and basically emulate a Blackberry on top of their hardware. BGR ran several stories and even a full review of it, but it never made it out.

http://www.bgr.com/tag/blackberry-application-suite/

GadgetFreak Jan 5, 11 9:51 pm

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)


Originally Posted by noam
Just in case you do end up looking at the iPhone, here is how it measures up:

YES - Receive push email
YES - Extra credit: Receive push email in designated subfolders
YES - Move messages among folders (and the actions sync both ways)
YES - Sync calendar, with support for busy/tentative/free
YES - Sync contacts
UNSURE - including sub-folders
YES - Sync or query the GAL
YES - Search client-side email
YES - Extra credit: Search server-side email (connectivity permitting.)
YES - Accept/reject/tentative meeting requests from email app
YES - Create a meeting request (Extra credit: see availability)
YES - Configure multiple accounts with full functionality
YES - View a unified Inbox
YES - Share contacts with phone's native apps

Yes. The OP might wait a few days and see if the mythical Verizon iPhone materializes. ;)

new2japan Jan 5, 11 10:07 pm

You went through all of that and didn't get a Blackberry because.....?????

Perhaps you can go into the food forum and note how you've gone to McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, etc, and have never had a really great meal or dining experience.

Blackberry exists to be what you're asking. Why you've wasted so much money on other things is beyond me.

jonu Jan 5, 11 10:21 pm


Originally Posted by new2japan (Post 15593012)
You went through all of that and didn't get a Blackberry because.....?????

Perhaps you can go into the food forum and note how you've gone to McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, etc, and have never had a really great meal or dining experience.

Blackberry exists to be what you're asking. Why you've wasted so much money on other things is beyond me.

No BES?

DisneyDude Jan 6, 11 9:52 am

Lairdb, T-Mo does not work at my house either (at least not inside) but the WiFi calling works fantastic, as good as or better than the ATT microcell that we use for my wife and daughter's iPhones. The big advantage of WiFi calling is using it abroad (Tokyo) and being able to call home without incurring roaming charges. (can't do that with the microcell) I rented a local MiFi box (needed it for work) and was able to use my phone while traveling round the city. Did not need to rent a Japanese phone for the week.


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