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.

Flash for mobile devices needed!

After using a number of different mobile devices over the years there is one thing that is always missing, Flash support. Flash allows for some really cool and dynamic websites but they can’t be run on the current crop of mobile devices, even the iPhone doesn’t provide this type of support. Windows Mobile has a browser called Skyfire that can do it but the website has to go through their servers first and the web experience isn’t nearly as good as the iPhone.  The native browsers for iPhone, Windows Mobile, and even Android don’t provide this native support for Flash sites and you just see this little place holder where the awesome content should be.

Enabling Flash and Silverlight (the MS competitor to Flash) for mobile smartphones would be fantastic. I would be able to see some of the cool content on some of the more dynamic websites out there like Flickr, MLB Game Day or the embedded videos on sites like Engadget or Gizmodo.  More importantly, I could play some cool online games like Farmville or games on Yahoo Games which are Flash based as well.

I have heard over the years the same complaint from websites like WMExperts and TreoCentral that regularly review new smart phones and the question of Flash support always comes up, especially on whether or not it will finally be in the next update from MS, Apple, or Palm. I will admit that Flash sites are pretty memory intensive (my personal website used to be in Flash) but after all these years you would rink that MS, Palm, and Apple would have included this by now.  There are some third party options but they don’t seem to have the spit and polish of some of the more well developed players like Pocket Internet Explorer and Safari for iPhone.

I guess the only thing that I can do is continue to suffer without it and hope that Windows Mobile 7, webOS 2.0, and iPhone 4.0 include Flash and Silverlight support. Whoever conquers this hurdle first will probably be the front runner when the time comes for me to get a new phone in 2010.  I’ll continue to watch the tech blogs and smart phone websites for any news of this function finally coming out.  Now if someone could find a way to get Windows Mobile 6.5 on my Treo Pro I’ll be happy as a clam!

Media sync is slow on Windows Mobile

Tonight I’m trying to sync some music to my Treo Pro and its just going way too slow for my taste.  500+ songs is estimated to take around 200+ minutes to sync which is my humble opinion is just way too long.  I can copy that many songs in way less time from computer to external hard drive or I can sync all 4000 songs on my iPod Touch.  I’ve tried syncing with Windows Media Player and Winamp and both of them take sooo long to put music and playlists on my phone.  I don’t really use my Treo for music, its mostly there as a back up to my iPod in case I drained the battery or something.

There are a lot of different media programs for Windows Mobile like The Core Pocket Media Player, Kinoma Player, and Pocket Tunes.  All these solutions cost money though and being the cheapskate that I am, I’m not readily willing to purchase this software to listen to my tunes on my beloved Treo.  I did try Kinoma Player before but I found it a bit too complex just to get my tunes, it was a full featured media player with video and what not but it just wasn’t for me.  I’ve seriously considered getting Pocket Tunes but as one of my previous posts have indicated, Windows Mobile software is just way too expensive sometimes and at $35, thats a big pill for me to swallow just to play music occasionally on my Treo.

Good case in point, I started syncing my Treo at 10:00PM, its only at 11% complete and its only 500 or so songs.  Thats just terrible!  There are quite a few reasons why I still don’t have an iPhone but if music was really really important to me I probably would have forked over the cash for the 3GS.  On the horizon is Windows Mobile 6.5 but I’m not sure if Palm is going to release a ROM update for my phone since not that many people have it.  I know that AT&T won’t do it because to them, I’m not even using a phone supported by them, I’m just using their service on their network.

What I’m hoping for in the next version of Windows Mobile is something closer to what they’re trying to do with the Zune HD. For those of you that don’t know, the Zune HD is Microsoft’s direct competitor with the iPhone.  It didn’t sell so well (at least I don’t think so since I see everyone walking around with white Apple ear buds all the time).  The Zune HD is set to be released in September and I think it has some elements of what is going to be in Windows Mobile 7 which should come out sometime in 2010.  The interface is going to have multi touch like the iPhone and iPod Touch and as a bonus it will have something that both the iPhone and iPod lack…. RADIO!  It’s going to sport an HD Radio turner so you can tune into radio stations from the device.  This normally isn’t a big thing but I think radio is still a pretty powerful and it gives you some variety away from your playlists and podcasts.  I’ll eagerly await the next version of Windows Mobile but if nothing compelling comes out in terms of device and OS, I might be iPhone bound come next July (if AT&T will let me upgrade using the new contract price or else I’m stuck till November 2010).

Apps for Windows Mobile are expensive

I am currently one of the only people in my family currently using Windows Mobile on their phone.  At least 3 people in my family are using iPhones and all the rest are using regular phones.  I don’t count the people using regular phones in this blog post because they don’t use apps except for whats already on their phone.  Well anyway, on to the latest and greatest rant shall we?  HA!

I have been using Smartphones for quite a while now (give or take 5-6 years I think) and I can never go back to a regular cell phone.  There are so many cool applications that you can get for your phone to make it even better than what it came with but for some of the TRULY awesome apps you gotta fork over some cash to do so.  I paid some money for my Palm Applications (ListPro and Chattermail) and they were totally worth the dough I forked over which was somewhere in the $30 range.  I’m using a Treo Pro now and it runs Windows Mobile and most of those apps are around the same price if you want something with at least some decent functionality.   I’ve tried both FlexMail and Pocket Informant which are pretty decent but cost around $25, as of this posting though FlexMail is only $10.  I’ve looked at different websites and they all sell the same kind of software no matter where I go for my Windows Mobile applications  they all recommend the same apps over and over again.  Now enter the iPhone!  I have an iPod Touch so I’m familiar with the platform and I’ve cruised around the app store looking for apps and I’m always surprised at how cheap everything is for apps, even from vendors that have Windows Mobile equivalents.

Lets take an example shall we?  Pocket Informant is a super bad ass Personal Information Manager (PIM) that I was trying out on my Windows Mobile phone because they had a trial version available.  The thing was totally slick but I was put off by the cost which was around $25.  For that kind of money, I think that the regular PIM tools that came with my phone will do just fine thanks!  I looked on the app store and its on there for only $13, man do I feel ripped off!  Granted its not as full featured as the one for Windows Mobile but come on, thats a huge difference for getting the same app.  I’ve seen it for a few other apps like Documents to Go (almost $80 on WinMo but its only $10 and only does Word but with the promise of an Excel upgrade).  Something doesn’t smell right over here in my view.  Just because I’m using another platform you’re going to kill me in pricing?  I might as well get an iPhone for the super cheap apps!

One fact remains true though and its that Windows Mobile still does business stuff better since it comes bundled with Office Mobile so out of the box I don’t really need to buy anything.  Thats not true for the iPhone where “there’s an app for that” to do word, excel, tasks, etc…. as long as you’re willing to fork over some cash to get the functionality.  Although the apps are expensive for WinMo, they are there to mainly enhance functions that are already there in the phone (with the exception of games of course).  I hope they try and drop their prices a bit for some of the better apps so that they match what is going on in the App Store that apple is sporting.  I’m patiently waiting for Palm to release a Windows Mobile 6.5 firmware upgrade so my phone can kick more ass.  After next year its going to be a true toss up as to whether I stick it out with Windows Mobile (hopefully 7 will be out), webOS (if the platform hasn’t died by then), or just getting an iPhone (hoping for a removable battery, external storage, and maybe a 64GB drive in there).

I think I’m done experimenting with WordPress for the day.  So far so good!  Now if they would only enable Flash elements on WordPress.com I would hail this service as totally superior to Blogger!