How can Android users synchronize their contacts and email with Microsoft Outlook? There are evident difficulties – while Android relies on Gmail, Outlook utilises Exchange and local folders to store contacts and emails. Syncing one with the other is tricky, and has led to plenty of users dumping Outlook and probably as many putting off buying an Android phone.
There are ways in which the two systems can be synced, however, from basic sharing of contacts between both platforms to full contact, email and calendar synchronization. Apps for this can be free or pay-for, and solutions come from a wide range of sources.
We’re going to look at 4 ways in which you can sync Outlook with your Google Android phone – they’re all worth a try!
Basic Contacts Sync
To simply get your contacts out of Outlook and into Google Android, you need to export them from your Microsoft email client. To do this, go to File > Import and Export > Export a file and select the Contacts folder. Proceed through the options, changing the output format to CSV in DOS format, and choose a location to save the file to.
Once saved, the old-style CSV file can be saved to your Android SD card where the operating system will automatically detect and synchronize your contacts!
Expensive Universal Sync
If you’re looking for something more complete, CompanionLink will allow you to sync contacts, calendar, tasks and notes directly to an Android device without utilising any cloud servers (other than, presumably, the Google cloud that stores your contacts!) This service offers pretty much the same level of integration with as you would get from BlackBerry or Windows Mobile.
Designed to integrate with the Android DejaOffice app, CompanionLink is an expensive choice at $39.95, although a 14 day trial is available for you to evaluate it. Different versions are available offering sync via USB, wireless, and CompanionLink’s own hosted service.
Basic Calendar Sync
To restrict syncing with Outlook to just the calendar, Google Calendar Sync is a top choice. Available via google.com/googlecalendarsync this free tool is installed to your Windows desktop which is then configured to synchronize with a Google account – and by extension your Android phone.
Setting this up is simple – simply check you are using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or later and Windows XP or later (64-bit is not supported) and install the tool. Once installed, run Google Calendar Sync and input your Google account settings. You should then select whether to sync 2-way, Google Calendar to Microsoft Outlook calendar or Microsoft Outlook calendar to Google calendar. Whichever option you choose, there is also an option to specify a sync period, with the delay set as 120 minutes (2 hours).
Another solution is MyPhoneExplorer. Using this free tool you can sync an Android phone with Microsoft Outlook sharing contacts and calendar information as well as exporting SMS messages from your phone. Rather than being an explicit Outlook to Android sync tool MyPhoneExplorer supports various synchronization options and also includes a file browser. In addition, MyPhoneExplorer can also be used with other mobile platforms, and takes the form of a desktop client.
MyPhoneExplorer is available from www.fjsoft.at.