Can someone enable multiple Exchange accounts on mobile phones?

While browsing through my RSS reader I saw an entry in a couple of sites that I follow that Google has finally enabled email syncing through Google Sync.  Google Sync uses the MS Exchange protocol in order to enable push email, calendar, and contact syncing to mobile devices like iPhones and Windows Mobile phones.

Now here’s the problem with most mobile phones and I don’t know if the limitation is with the phones or with Exchange.  I currently connect to work using Exchange to get my email, calendar, and contacts while I’m on the go.  Doing it this way saves me the trouble from having to always crack open my laptop and check for my email while at the same time looking for free Wifi hotspots so I can get on the internet.  Now that Google has enabled email synchronization, a new dilemma has arisen… I want push GMail but I would have to give up my work email.  To me I shouldn’t have to choose between the two, I should be able to get both!

The current crop of Windows Mobile phones can only do multiple email accounts but can’t do multiple contacts or calendars.  Well this isn’t totally true, I can look up people in the company directory but I don’t use that feature too often.  Now the iPhone is a different matter.  I can have multiple calendars on the phone as well as multiple address books and email accounts.  The difference between the different accounts is how all the info is pulled in whether its all created on the device, syncing with a computer, or using Exchange.  If the limitation can be overcome and more than one Exchange account can be used on a phone, I think that would be awesome and would be the ultimate convergence of my work and personal life.

Maybe this type of feature will be included in the next generation of Smartphone operating systems.  I’ve tried numerous times to get an iPhone at a new contract price but it looks like I have nothing to do but wait until at least May.  By that time I’m hoping that Windows Mobile 6.5 will be established and that Widnows Mobile 7 will be well on its way to being released, if Apple follows their normal time line OS4 should be out by July, and who knows what will happen to webOS in the next few months.

Come on someone, enable multiple Exchange accounts already!  It can’t be that hard to implement.

Driving my rental tank….. the Ford Flex

Avis finally came through this week and gave me a decent rental car after two strikes.  Pictured in this post is the tank that they’ve given me to drive on the mean streets of Chicago…. the Ford Flex.  This has to be one of the cooler cars that I’ve driven to date.  Avis gave me a Limited Edition and this thing has all the bells and whistles that a person could ask for.  By far two of the coolest aspects is the remote trunk which raises and lowers the read hatch using the remote and the memory seats that move the seat backwards and forwards to make it easier to get in and out of the car.

I call this car a tank because it feels really heavy and solid going down the road.  I’m sure its got a big engine in it but its so heavy it impedes its 0-60 performance.  I feel like I’m driving my wife’s SUV when I’m driving this thing.  I think if I got into an accident I would totally crush whatever I hit.  If I wasn’t traveling so much, I might even buy this car despite it being a Ford.

Some other fun highlights with the car is that it has an aux input for my iPod, seats 7 people, has all wheel drive, and if you’re willing to spring the money in car navigation.  The one thing that my rental doesn’t have is the sun roof.  Not only does the driver have one but so do all the passengers in the back seats.  I’m hoping that Avis will come through for me next week and give me another awesome car.  If I could request this car again I would.  Booyah!

No more Windows Mobile on Palm Devices :(

It’s definitely a sad day for Treo Pro owners everywhere after Palms’ announcement that they wouldn’t be supporting the Windows Mobile platform any longer.  I caught this little tid bit of news while I was on my way to the airport in Chicago yestserday on WMExperts and later on TreoCentral.  The very anticipated Windows Mobile 6.5 is scheduled for release in October which is less than a month away and people like me who own Treo’s were anxiously awaiting this update for our phones to add some cool new features and just to keep the platform fresh over all.  I mean thats not asking too much is it?  It’s only a point update, we’re not even talking about a full blown gimmie Windows Mobile 7 type of request.

I have a feeling that an official update won’t be coming at all.  I’ve seen threads on how the CDMA Treo Pro has a cooked ROM but no one can break into the GSM version yet.  I’m a big fan of Palm and I would have liked to have them continue the relationship with MS.  I mean everyone needs a backup plan, the smartphone OS arena is getting a bit crowded already and Palm isn’t near the top of the heap like it once was a few years ago.  What I will do is wait things out a bit more although the pull to go iPhone just got a tad bit stronger.  I have high hopes that Palm will release a GSM phone sometime in the future here in the US and stop partnering with a dying carrier like Sprint to launch new phones.  Face facts guys, no one likes Sprint!

The new Pixie was rumored to be an AT&T phone (thats the new Palm webOS phone for anyone not paying attention) but its now rumored to be going to Sprint exclusively, kind of like what they did with the Pre.  I think Palm’s fortunes would have been far better if they tried a carrier like Verizon or AT&T but I can see why they wouldn’t want to do that since both carriers enjoy crippling phones.  We’ll see what the future holds!

Treo Pro WM 6.5 available….. for CDMA

I’ve been following a bit of news lately revolving around Windows 6.5 and I have been seeing cooked ROM’s popping up everywhere for other devices except for the Treo Pro.  Some awesome programmers at PPC Geeks was finally able to accomplish this great feat for the Treo Pro after many months of waiting.  Unfortunately for me this ROM is only for the CDMA version of the Treo Pro and not the GSM one (which I have).

Here is a link to the TreoCentral discussion thread on how to get to the ROM for the Treo Pro CDMA as well as some basic instructions on how to flash the ROM to the phone.  Just a note of warning, flashing a phone with a non-official ROM might make it brick so definitely do this at your own risk.  I’ve never flashed a phone before but I might try this out if the GSM version is cooked up in the next few weeks.  I’m hoping this will bring some awesome improvements to the Treo Pro so that I can keep the phone for a good long time.  Unfortunately I won’t be getting Windows Mobile 7 since it doesn’t meet the miniumum requirements set out by Microsoft.

Thats it for now, if something interesting happens tomorrow maybe I’ll blog about it or just wait till this weekend.

Avis Chicago, why do you hate me?

I’ve been coming to Chicago for 2 weeks now and both times I’ve rented from Avis I’ve gotten a pretty craptacular car.  I don’t get how I’m getting all the cars I just love to hate in a rental, its like the people at the Avis desk in Chicago know what rental to give me to ruin my week when I arrive at their facility.  I’m beginning to think that being Avis First doesn’t really mean anything to the company at all.  It’s just a way to make the members feel special that they achieved this status and that there is a very slight possibility that you’ll be treated better.

I can say that when you call the Avis First number they are very nice for the most part and do their best to help you out.  When you’re at the lot and all they can give you is an HHR or PT Cruiser, its a bit hard to choose considering both cars are on my “don’t rent this car to me list” on my Avis profile.  This week is particularly insulting, I got a high milage Toyota Corolla with no keyless entry system.  I rely on that keyless entry system to find my rental car since I don’t recall what I drive during the week most of the time and listen for the “beep” of the horn when I hit the button.  The last time I got a Corolla I switched rental companies from Hertz to Avis.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any other rental companies that I can use, Hertz and Avis are it for me.  I won’t be going back to Hertz just yet, Avis will get two more chances before I give up on them and switch back to Hertz.  Boo!  The rental car companies need to be more like the airlines for their reward programs, now thats really saying something LOL!

Skipping the VMA’s again…. For the US Open

This year I decided once again to skip watching the MTV VMA’s. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and losing interest or if the show is getting worse year after year….. I will go with option 2 for this post.

Even before the VMA’s started I already lost interest due to the host that they chose. He hosted the VMA’s last year and man did he suck, why they brought him back is beyond me. I did Tivo the awards but it’s more to see the musical acts than to see who won what award. I’m sure the show will be rerun again and again like they always do but I don’t know if my hotel this week even has MTV.

There was an excellent alternative o the VMA’s last night, the US Open Womena Final on ESPN 2. I thought that was an interesting channel choice to show the final. Most of the time this type of event would take center stage on one of the major networks but due to all the rain delays the womens final was played on Sunday and the mens final bumped to Monday. I ended up staying up to watch the match instead of going to sleep like I should have. The mens match is today but i’m going to be at work so I’m going to miss it on tv. I will probably catch news snippets and live scores on espn on my phone but there’s nothing like watching it live on tv. If I had tickets I would have tried to find a way to excuse myself from work :). Maybe if I get the chance next year I’ll be able to go and see the Open live which is always an excellent experience.

Where is my Phone OS upgrade?

I have only been using my Treo Pro for a few months but in those few months I haven’t received one upgrade to the OS for my phone. My wife who owns an iPhone has already receivd at least one upgrade to her phone and I’m sure that she will get a few more. That seems to beg the question, where is my upgrade?

I think I know how to answer this question. Much like the PC arena, MS had to cater to a whole host of different manufacturers with different screen sizes, processors, and features. This puts someone like me at the mercy of my device manufacturer. MS provides the base OS while manufacturers tweak it so it can be used on their devices. This might contribute to the long development and test time for any version of Windows Mobile to date. I feel web worse for people that were using Palm OS which I used to use. Those users haven’t received an update in I don’t know how long and were recently given webOS for the Pre but any older devices are stuck at whatever version they are on.

The iPhone is following typical Apple doctrine by controlling not only the harder buy also the software on the phone. This has lead to a yearly update for all iPhone models so far wth a few minor updates hete and there. Thr iPhone hasn’t changed all that much since it’s initial release. The storage has gotten bigger an the hardware is a little better but other than that it’s still the same iPhone people know and love.

I would be interested to see what would happen if Apple took the MS or Google apprach to smartphones by releasing the software to manufacturers to make all types of phones rather than controlling the hardware and software. I suspect their dev and testing time will increase considerably but I doubt I will ever see Apple take that route. Oh well, I can do nothing but wait for Windows Mobile 6.5 and see if that improves things or if I am going to be getting an iPhone in 2010.