Email syncing question with Gmail and Android 2.0

Radar

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Sync to Gmail

That is correct

To clarify, you'd like to have outlook be the way you check your Verizon email, tasks, contacts (calender?) when you are at home, but then when you are on the go, you'd like to have all that information be available and editable on your Droid?
 

myriad46

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OK. Here is the complication. We need to consider where the information that you want to sync lives. I apologize ahead of time for the long-winded answer.

Email: when someone sends and email to your @verizon.com account, it waits in a server at Verizon. You can probably look at it by logging on to some sort of webmail interface, probably at webmail.verizon.com or something like that. Or, as you have it set up, you configure Outlook on your home computer to check the server and retrieve those emails. Once you retrieve the email, it only resides on your personal computer. There are many ways to hijack the email on the way to your computer or have it sent to multiple places, but once it's on your home computer it's hard to send it anywhere, such as to a phone. You could have all your mail from Verizon forwarded to your gmail account, but eventually, your server space at Verizon would get full, because you are never, really, retrieving those emails. You could have your gmail account retrieve those emails, but once that happened, when you logged into Outlook, they would have already been retrieved, and it would be as if you didn't have any mail.

Calendar: there is a program that google puts out called, surprise, surprise, Google Calendar Sync. It does what it says. You install it on your home computer, configure it and it will keep your google account calendar and your outlook calendar in sync; which in-turn would sync up with your Droid. The only clear limitation of this program is that it will not sync multiple calendars. So, if you have events in Outlook broken up into categories (i.e. Work, School, and Family) you can only sync one of them, usually the primary.

Contacts: There is no way to have a real-time sync of contacts between your google account (Droid) and Outlook. It is very possible to export and import contacts in both directions, but it is not something that you would want to do on a regular basis. This is because the information lives on your computer, so there would have to be a program like the calendar that was installed on your computer that took care of the syncing.

Tasks: there is no current way to sync Outlook tasks to google calendar tasks. People have been talking about this being added as a feature to the calendar sync program, but not yet.

So, what to do? Unless you are using dial-up (if so, you will probably not get the intrgration you are hoping for, here is my recommendation. Become a Google convert. Do everything that you doing now but in google. Google mail, google contacts, google calendar and tasks. They will sync with your Droid nearly in real-time and seamlessly. From home, you would just log into gmail which will have a link to calendar and contacts.

Android integration and specifically the Droid, works best with native Google products. This is not only due to good business practice on their part, but a better knowledge of the tech involved to reduce errors and problems.

Further, you will never have to worry about backing up your data again. new phone? No problem. Computer crash? No problem.

Hope this helps.

P.S. No, I do not work for google :)
 

Radar

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Sync to Gmail

This has been a tremendous help. Thanks


OK. Here is the complication. We need to consider where the information that you want to sync lives. I apologize ahead of time for the long-winded answer.

Email: when someone sends and email to your @verizon.com account, it waits in a server at Verizon. You can probably look at it by logging on to some sort of webmail interface, probably at webmail.verizon.com or something like that. Or, as you have it set up, you configure Outlook on your home computer to check the server and retrieve those emails. Once you retrieve the email, it only resides on your personal computer. There are many ways to hijack the email on the way to your computer or have it sent to multiple places, but once it's on your home computer it's hard to send it anywhere, such as to a phone. You could have all your mail from Verizon forwarded to your gmail account, but eventually, your server space at Verizon would get full, because you are never, really, retrieving those emails. You could have your gmail account retrieve those emails, but once that happened, when you logged into Outlook, they would have already been retrieved, and it would be as if you didn't have any mail.

Calendar: there is a program that google puts out called, surprise, surprise, Google Calendar Sync. It does what it says. You install it on your home computer, configure it and it will keep your google account calendar and your outlook calendar in sync; which in-turn would sync up with your Droid. The only clear limitation of this program is that it will not sync multiple calendars. So, if you have events in Outlook broken up into categories (i.e. Work, School, and Family) you can only sync one of them, usually the primary.

Contacts: There is no way to have a real-time sync of contacts between your google account (Droid) and Outlook. It is very possible to export and import contacts in both directions, but it is not something that you would want to do on a regular basis. This is because the information lives on your computer, so there would have to be a program like the calendar that was installed on your computer that took care of the syncing.

Tasks: there is no current way to sync Outlook tasks to google calendar tasks. People have been talking about this being added as a feature to the calendar sync program, but not yet.

So, what to do? Unless you are using dial-up (if so, you will probably not get the intrgration you are hoping for, here is my recommendation. Become a Google convert. Do everything that you doing now but in google. Google mail, google contacts, google calendar and tasks. They will sync with your Droid nearly in real-time and seamlessly. From home, you would just log into gmail which will have a link to calendar and contacts.

Android integration and specifically the Droid, works best with native Google products. This is not only due to good business practice on their part, but a better knowledge of the tech involved to reduce errors and problems.

Further, you will never have to worry about backing up your data again. new phone? No problem. Computer crash? No problem.

Hope this helps.

P.S. No, I do not work for google :)
 

jsh1120

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myriad146 has done a great job of outlining the major issues involved in a VERY complicated situation. I'd only add a couple of points to his(?) excellent summary.

() The Google Task application is, ahem, less than stellar. However, to their credit Google provides for integration of the gmail with 3rd party applications. I use "RememberTheMilk," for example which is far more flexible and useful than the Google task app. There are other integration tools for task lists, as well. Just do some exploration of Gmail and see what suits you. Mine is set up to display and edit "RTM" from my online Gmail and the tasks show up in my google calendar on my Droid.

() If you're used to Outlook, you may find the Gmail threading of conversations to be problematic. After working with both for several years I find that Gmail is very good at consolidating some conversations but can be confusing and even cause you to miss an email if several people are contributing to an email topic.

One solution to this is to download the K-9 email application from the Market which presents emails separately (a la Outlook.) Just point it at your gmail account and you'll be able to use it either as a substitute or in addition to gmail. I use it as an addition (and I don't have it synch back to gmail.) That way I can manage my email mainly with gmail but I have another view of a long email thread that allows me to find a particular email when I need to. In short, I use it as a "bin" where my gmail collects. I just clear it out periodically to avoid accumulating a large volume of old email.

() Finally, I'll take the opportunity to gripe (once again) about one glaring weakness in the default "gmail" and "email" apps on the Droid. There is simply no way to password protect access to your email if you synch your email between an external account and your Droid. You can lock your phone, of course. But if you send/receive private or confidential email on any email account that you make viewable on your Droid, be aware that anyone who pushes the little icons will be able to see that email. This is a significant weakness in the Droid's handling of email and the major reason that many corporations will simply not allow the device to be used for confidential email.
 
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Radar

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Sync to Gmail

I looked at RTM, looks good. Thanks.

myriad146 has done a great job of outlining the major issues involved in a VERY complicated situation. I'd only add a couple of points to his(?) excellent summary.

() The Google Task application is, ahem, less than stellar. However, to their credit Google provides for integration of the gmail with 3rd party applications. I use "RememberTheMilk," for example which is far more flexible and useful than the Google task app. There are other integration tools for task lists, as well. Just do some exploration of Gmail and see what suits you. Mine is set up to display and edit "RTM" from my online Gmail and the tasks show up in my google calendar on my Droid.

() If you're used to Outlook, you may find the Gmail threading of conversations to be problematic. After working with both for several years I find that Gmail is very good at consolidating some conversations but can be confusing and even cause you to miss an email if several people are contributing to an email topic.

One solution to this is to download the K-9 email application from the Market which presents emails separately (a la Outlook.) Just point it at your gmail account and you'll be able to use it either as a substitute or in addition to gmail. I use it as an addition (and I don't have it synch back to gmail.) That way I can manage my email mainly with gmail but I have another view of a long email thread that allows me to find a particular email when I need to. In short, I use it as a "bin" where my gmail collects. I just clear it out periodically to avoid accumulating a large volume of old email.

() Finally, I'll take the opportunity to gripe (once again) about one glaring weakness in the default "gmail" and "email" apps on the Droid. There is simply no way to password protect access to your email if you synch your email between an external account and your Droid. You can lock your phone, of course. But if you send/receive private or confidential email on any email account that you make viewable on your Droid, be aware that anyone who pushes the little icons will be able to see that email. This is a significant weakness in the Droid's handling of email and the major reason that many corporations will simply not allow the device to be used for confidential email.
 
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