The time has come for me to upgrade my mobile phone. There are some seemingly interesting new handsets on the market. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for instance, or the Sony Xperia S. There will undoubtedly be some (possibly many) people for whom these products are perfect. But there are aspects about them which mean they’re not right for me — and probably a whole lot of other people who need to synchronise their contacts and diary with Outlook. These phones are not designed to do that — at least not easily.
The point is that both are true Google phones, using the latest Android operating systems. These have been designed in such a way that you HAVE to use Google Contacts, Google Calendar and other services in Google’s Cloud. But if you use MS Outlook 2010 on a PC using Windows 7 64bit, then it seems to be impossible to do so.
As far as Google Calendar is concerned, Google Sync doesn’t work; nor will the other applications which claim to be able to achieve this result. I did try to use a Nexus but had to send it back after less than a week as unfit for purpose.
The critical point came where I was trying to import my contacts. Some way through the process, the error message “unforunately contacts has stopped” appeared. The phone was displaying the contacts list at the time. The result was that I was no longer able even to make phone calls; the handset would not let me display the keyboard. The only way to recover this basic function was to reset the phone to its factory settings, losing all data in the process.
Having thought about the Xperia S, I decided to talk to Sony about it. The helpful adviser told me that there was no way of directly connecting the phone to Outlook on my PC which meant that, once again, I had to go through the Google Cloud. I decided not even to try.
I’ve seen been on a number of forums where similarly disgruntled people have expressed the same frustrations. Google, presumably in its efforts to diss Microsoft, now seems determined to alienate the vast number of people who depend on Outlook for their diary, contacts and even CRM. It’s not earning them any brownie points and losing sales of what would otherwise be highly desirable products.