Sync Outlook With Android: Troublesome But Worthwhile

syncoutlookwithandroidIf you own an Android mobile phone and want to sync Outlook to it, you may have a few hoops to jump through before you can do it. Unfortunately for these people, the Google-owned Android would prefer if its customers used Gmail, Google Contacts and Google Calendar instead of Microsoft’s Outlook, which is able to house the user’s contacts, calendar and email all under one virtual “roof”. Google provides Android users who also happen to be Outlook users with options, but don’t work on older versions (pre-2003) of Outlook. Despite these difficulties, there are several different options to sync your Android with Outlook, some of which are free of charge, others, not so much. We’ll try to help you figure out the best option that fits your situation and hopefully get you on the right track. We also have even more Outlook resources on Udemy. Check out this course on Outlook basics or this definitive course on using Outlook.

CompanionLink (Windows)

CompanionLink is paid software that runs on PCs and provides a suite of apps called DejaOffice that run on the Android. DejaOffice contains apps for calendar, contacts, tasks and notes and they are required for every method of syncing except the first. Here are the four methods of syncing using this software:

  1. Wirelessly, Outlook data is synced to Google’s services. Outlook calendar, contacts and tasks are transferred wirelessly to Google Calendar and Google Contacts (tasks are sent to the calendar). From there, the Android device uses the built in sync to transfer Google Calendar and Contacts to the native calendar and contact apps.
  2. Through a USB cable, Outlook data can be securely transferred to the DejaOffice apps on the Android.
  3. Through a local Wi-Fi network, Outlook data can be securely transferred to the DejaOffice apps on the Android.
  4. Through CompanionLink’s CL Secure Hosted Sync service, Outlook data which has been encrypted by CompanionLink on the PC is sent to the DejaOffice apps on the Android through CompanionLink’s secure servers.

CompanionLink has some benefits that make it stand out from other syncing options:

  • Outlook 2000-2013 is supported, including both the 32 and 64 bit versions.
  • The Wi-Fi sync option allows a proximity sync feature that activates whenever the Android is detected on the Wi-Fi network.
  • Private records may be password protected and encrypted providing the highest level of security on the Android.
  • If you want to continue to use the native calendar and/or contacts apps on the Android, you can configure DejaOffice to sync the data in it’s apps with the corresponding native Android apps. However, if you are syncing wirelessly through Google’s services, you don’t need to install DejaOffice.
  • CompanionLink offers free email and US based phone support.
  • CompanionLink offers a 90 day money back guarantee.
  • Updates for the version you purchase are free for life, while other vendors offer only 1 year of free updates.

SyncMate

SyncMate may be used to sync Outlook 2011 calendar and contacts on a Mac running OS X 10.6.6 or higher (Snow Leopard) with an Android device. Syncing takes place directly through USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections or indirectly by syncing with Google’s services. Here’s how SyncMate works: First, Outlook’s calendar and contacts will be synced with the Mac’s iCal Calendar and Address Book. Then, SyncMate will sync the iCal and Address Book with the Android. The sync also takes place in the other direction, meaning the Android Calendar and Contacts will be synced with iCal and Address Book on the Mac. They will then be synced with the Outlook 2011 calendar and contacts. This option is free of charge for the basic version, which syncs manually, but the paid version ($39.95) syncs automatically. One downfall of SyncMate is that it only syncs notes and tasks to devices that natively support them, and since Androids do not have a native Note or Task app, the sync is not supported for them.

Sync2

Sync2 synchronizes the Outlook 2000-2013 calendar, tasks and contacts with Google calendar and tasks and Gmail contacts. The Android device can then automatically synchronize the Android calendar and contacts with the Google account. A tasks app is required to access Google Tasks, since there is no native task app on Android devices. There are many task apps available for free from the Google Play store such as the GTasks app. Manual or automatic sync is available. Although Outlook 2000 users need to install an older version of Sync2, this solution should take care of most Outlook users. Sync2 is made primarily to allow Outlook on multiple PCs to synchronize with each other through Google services. What they have inadvertently done is created a way to also allow Android owners to sync their Outlook data to their devices. The help documents on Sync2 are quite extensive and have pictures with text and arrows pointing to each feature and step.

Exchange

Android devices have built in functionality to sync email, calendar and contacts with Microsoft Exchange servers. Outlook also syncs with Exchange Servers, which makes Exchange the conduit for syncing between the Android and Outlook. This method works with any version of Outlook on a PC or Mac, although cloud-based Exchange servers like Office 365 will require Outlook 2007-2013. Remember that Android devices do not natively have Notes and Tasks apps, so they cannot be synced from Outlook to the Android using this method. It may be necessary to use a third party software like CompanionLink that provides Android Note and Task apps if you wish to sync these. The third party software can work together with Exchange or Office 365 to provide syncing of all Outlook data. To use the Exchange sync method, there are a couple of options available. If you work for a company, you may already have an Exchange server. If you do not have an Exchange server, you still have two options. First, a company may host their email accounts with their own domain names with Microsoft using Office 365 at the cost of only $48 per year per email address ($4 per month). Optionally, individuals may create new email accounts with Office 365 for the same price. There are many benefits to using Exchange 365:

  • Data is stored on Microsoft’s Exchange 365 servers and is backed up and maintained by Microsoft.
  • Exchange 365 uses 3 antivirus programs to scan each email to provide superior protection.
  • Any number of devices can connect to Exchange 365 to sync your data.  Sync your work and home PCs using Outlook, your Android, your iPad and your iPhone.
  • If your PC or phone dies, you can sync Outlook right back with Exchange 365 on a new PC or phone or just go to outlook.com and forget about Outlook on that new PC or laptop.

Need more Android advice? Check out this Android programming course for beginners.