One of the most common requests from readers of my iPhone and iPad Exchange ActiveSync guides is support for synchronization of tasks. Added in Exchange Server 2003 SP2, wireless synchronization of tasks has not been consistently implemented by mobile devices. Android doesn’t have it, and neither does Windows Phone 7 (yet). But iOS 5 will indeed include wireless, over-the-air synchronization of Exchange tasks using ActiveSync.
Apple released version 4 of their iPhone OS iDevice (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) OS last month after a grand WWDC unveiling. Although there are many changes and new features, not all are as obvious and noteworthy as multitasking, home screen folders, and background audio. After working with iOS 4 on an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 for a month, I thought I might highlight my favorite hidden features. Did you know these existed?
Among the many exciting features of Apple’s version-4 iPhone OS is the long-awaited ability to sync to multiple Exchange ActiveSync servers. The new software, now dubbed iOS 4, can synchronize mail, contacts, and calendars between many different services that use Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol, including Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010 and Google’s Gmail service.
Here’s a quick tip, but a timely one now that the iPhone supports multiple Exchange ActiveSync servers: Although Google supports the Exchange ActiveSync protocol to synchronize mail, contacts, and calendars between Gmail and mobile devices, it is not active by default for custom Google Apps domains. It’s pretty easy to enable it, though.
Did your new iPad arrive today? If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to set it up with your corporate Exchange server. The good news is that Apple has been working on Microsoft Exchange integration for years, and the iPhone OS used in the iPad sports fairly complete Exchange ActiveSync support.