Episode 3 – Sync

android, iphone_to_android February 11th, 2015

This is a series of blog posts documenting my switch from iPhone to Android. To read the whole exciting saga, click here.

Being able to bring my contacts, calendar items, notes and tasks into my phone is what makes it a Smart Phone. Android uses ActiveSync to connect to Exchange mail servers, and the capabilities are on par with other ActiveSync clients like iPhones and the new Blackberry phones. With it, my mail is synchronized, as are my contacts, address lists and calendar items.

I looked at my phone this afternoon, needed to pull up some information I had saved in my Outlook notes and remembered that ActiveSync doesn’t support notes. iPhones don’t support notes via ActiveSync – there’s a feature in iTunes to sync notes.

I found a program called Tasks and Notes for Exchange, which offers notes sync as well as offering support for David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, outlined in the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

My phone is a Motorola Atrix 4G. Motorola offered a service called MotoBLUR, which appears to be a way to sync data and applications between phones and through a web site. Annoyingly, you need to create a MotoBLUR ID before logging into the phone the first time. I did so, and while the phone works just fine, the information didn’t make it across to the web service. All of the sync features sold in the marketing documents are gone from the site, and all they’re selling is device wipe features. I spent 45 minutes on chat with Motorola tech support and got the distinct impression that the application’s best days are behind it, and that Motorola has moved on.

The MusicLink service appeared to be a way to sync music from iTunes to the phone. it’s been replaced by MOTOCAST, which also appears to be down; the domain is valid but there’s nothing there. The Music app is hardcoded to look to podcast.com for content, and there’s only a handful of podcasts listed. The domain is for sale. I’m reminded of online ghost towns like Myspace and Tribe.net — the servers are plugged in and online but no one’s there.

Android phones shine when connecting to Google services, I’ll document setting up my personal accounts to sync to the phone in a later post.

Apple has a thriving store for all content and can sync all content from Outlook either directly through ActiveSync or through iTunes.

WINNER: Apple.

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