John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Touchdown Android

I work for a company that constrains the access to Exchange. It has cut off Active Sync and does not allow iPhones or Windows Mobile devices. Blackberrys are the only way to go. Recently I discovered a program from Nitrodesk called Touchdown that addresses this. I have to say this program is a little different. It creates a self contained interface through either Outlook Web Access (OWA) or ActiveSync and allows you to bring your Exchange Email, contacts and calendar onto your device completely independently from the native mail accounts on your Android phone. This means you can have 2 Exchange accounts, + GMAIL + iMap/Pop3.

The setup is pretty well done and automatically interrogates the host to determine what version of Exchange is running, if ActiveSync is enabled and sets up the connection for you. Once done it starts the download. The initial sync takes a long time. Especially if you have a lot of contacts. Once done you can go in and configure what you want to download. What mail folders, you can turn the calendar off, you can turn the contacts off. It’s pretty well done. The notifications are completly customizable with different ring tones allowed and VERY flexible. For me sice ActiveSync was turned off on my Exchange it can only use OWA which means it can not do push email, but rather does polling. You can totally control the polling interval and can set peak and non peak hours. You can control what happens during these hours so your not bothered by work emails during off hours.

I like this program. It works well does not seem to be too heavy, allows you to move content over to the SD card etc.

They have also taken the time to code Widgets for Calendar, and Mail as well (none for contacts)!

I am on an HTC Desire Z which has SenseUI. They have even written a plug in for SenseUI.

If I had complaints it would include a VERY high price for individuals ($19.95), and the interface is a little unusual. I also did not see how to control the initial Sync to keep contacts/calendar off the device if that’s what you wanted to do.


June 24, 2011 - Posted by | Android

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