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September 09, 2008

Flashreport: Nokia's Mail for Exchange version 2.05.005 on the N82

by snoyt

My company allows external exchange 2003 access through webmail and OWA. Fiddling with this a colleague managed to get Nokia Exchange support working and thus I have been running it now for a couple of weeks. Mail for exchange offers push type sync of agenda, contacts, tasks and e-mail. Sadly no notes. Here are some quick impressions...

stability: Terrific, it has been working perfect since day 1.
syncing:There are different sync schemes for work and playtime. For worktime you can set working days and working hours, playtime (offwork hours) is the rest. Sync times are: always on, every  15, 30, 60 minutes or 4 or 12 hours.
battery usage: Terrific. I see no battery level drop over a whole day. I sync 8 hours and during free time once every 4 hours. Of course when transferring huge amounts of data this will impact the battery. But keeping it in 'always on' sync mode itself has not any noticible battery impact.
options: It syncs, agenda, notes, todo, contacts and e-mail. All works nicely. Some things and options I do miss. Contact images do not get synced! No html support in e-mail. Limited support for company adressbook lookup (only name, e-mail and telephone, no office location and group member info, no pictures). Some symbian contactdata does not match and sync with exchange (carphone number i.e.).

Currently my N82 no longer needs to sync at a pc. It now syncs it while I am on the move. Occasionally I sync the mobile bookmarks to my web browser at home and of course there is the live blogger/Nokia photo's sync. But that's it.

My quick look score: 90%

It is a very reliable stable piece of software that takes good care of the essentials in a production environment. It is not however completely up to modern smartphone standards. It could use some extra features. The ability to set temporary sync profiles for a day or a couple of days: travelling, roaming, day off, working in the weekend is missing. Also the option for network profiles is missing, sync profiles that sync when the company network is detected. My N82 can scan for known wifi networks every 10 minutes without worrying for batterylife and hook me up to SIP and e-mail when in range. So yes it can be done. It's nice to have beta labs, but where can we request reasonable features for already finished software? Where can we contribute suggestions for improvements on software done?

Grouping of contacts, todo's and notes would be great. So would HTML support. Then again neither is supported by the default mail client and S60. Syncing of contact photos is not available in OWA I suspect (the exchange webclient itself does not show them either/yet).  So I can't really fail Nokia for these missing features. I also doubt if S/MIME is supported for e-mail. I see more and more use of S/MIME for important messages and would love support for it.

download here or use the download application on your Nokia.

Thanks for reading,



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Bob Kaneko

Do you know what the differences are between "Mail for Exchange" and "Roadsync" are? If I currently synchronize my N95 with my PowerBook using iSync for contacts and calendars, can I still do that with Mail for Exchange running? I noticed that if you download and install Mail for Exchange, it warns you not to use PC Suite to sync or you may have corruption problems. Also, what is the Mail for Exchange directory thing? Would I want or need it? Thanks for the great article.

snoyt here: Hi Bob, the directory thing is installed when installing Mail4Exchange and al. The separate thingy is incase you want no mail but do want to browse your companies contact directory of exchange. Most like anything working while Mail4Exchange is running is bad news. And I think Mail4Exchange is always 'running' in the background. You could consider isyncing your Apple to the exchange server at work. That should work safely.

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