My mobile phone’s a BlackBerry. I love how stable it is, I love the community support, the battery life, and so on and so on, Except I battle with the fact the RIM haven’t done anything about licensing ActiveSync. So, I understand there’s competing platforms, etc, but honestly, I don’t care. As the consumer, I love the phone, but I NEED ActiveSync to synchronise my contacts and my calendar.
Using the Blackberry BIZ service, I’m able to scrape my OWA URL and send and receive mail along with three other accounts I receive mail on for various customers. All in all a great phone that does mail and SMS really well….
Moving on as we were talking about how the phone DOESN’T do ActiveSync…… What’s the problem were trying to solve? For a variety of reasons, tethering the phone (connecting the phone via the USB cable) and synchronising with the BlackBerry desktop sync doesn’t always work for me, since I’m highly mobile AND I use 64bit Outlook on 64bit Windows, and the desktop sync applet doesn’t know what to do with 64bit Outlook yet. So I love the phone, but I don’t like that I can’t sync my calendar and contacts over the air.
Until I tried AstraSync. Having an Exchange MVP as a customer on something as potentially emotionally charged as mobility enablement can be challenging, but the support folks managed me quite well, and I bought a copy well over six months ago. Since I’m not on an unlimited data plan (I DO live in Africa), I don’t want to sync every 5 minutes or even every 4 hours, but rather when it suits me, and then only the bits and the folders I DO want to sync, and so far I’ve been really happy.
How does that save my bacon? For a travelling consultant who lives by contacts and calendar, having an accurate picture of my daily schedule is huge. Outlook 2007 still allowed me to sync up via the BlackBerry Desktop sync client, but that’s not convenient in any way. So sitting in traffic needing to phone someone for an appointment on a calendar entry or a contact that I added a day or two ago, without having been able to sync or forgetting to sync, has raised my blood pressure somewhat on occasion. Having ActiveSync on my phone fixed all of that really quickly, and I’m quite grateful for a stable ActiveSync app that I can depend on for my synchronising needs.
So thumbs up on AstraSync for making my BlackBerry potentially the most useful phone I’ve had in years.