Author Topic: Sync Windows 8 Calendar and People with Android  (Read 10431 times)

droidmin

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Sync Windows 8 Calendar and People with Android
« on: November 18, 2012, 09:20:39 PM »
So you have Windows 8 and now you want to use the cool Calendar and People apps on the start screen.  But, you want them to sync with your Android phone (or iPhone). What is the best way to get them to sync?

At the time of this writing, there is only one way to do this:  Use Hotmail/Windows Live/Outlook.com accounts at both places.  For the sake of brevity, I will only refer to Hotmail from now on, but understand it also means you can use your Windows Live or Outlook.com account as well.

Hotmail is the preferred method of syncing things in Windows 8.  You can use your Hotmail account to sync email, calendar, people (contacts), and documents (through Skydrive).  You can also use this same Hotmail ID on the Android (or iPhone) to sync the same things.  If you don't have a Hotmail account yet, sign up for one with Microsoft.  Then set it up in Windows 8, allowing it to sync mail, calendar, and people.  Then set up a mail account on the Android using the Hotmail account.  The type of account will be an "Exchange" or "Activesync" account.  I have personally found this to drain my battery excessively.

Alternatively, there is Microsoft app available for the Android called "Hotmail" that apparently does not have the battery drain problem and does the same thing as setting up the mail account locally on the Android.

Of course, you can also sync your Hotmail account with Outlook as well.  I have written a full review of the process at syncdroid.net/hotmail.

Finally, you can also install the Skydrive app on the Android so you can have your documents in both Windows 8 and on the Android (or iPhone).  There are also other document sharing solutions like Google Drive and Dropbox, but Skydrive is built into Windows 8 already.

I realize I have not gone into great detail here and there will be a lot of questions.  Do you have another or better idea?  Let us know!

pearlie111

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Re: Sync Windows 8 Calendar and People with Android
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 11:57:35 PM »
Hi.  Thanks for the info.  How do you sync Tasks and Notes to your Windows phone?

droidmin

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Re: Sync Windows 8 Calendar and People with Android
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 03:44:55 PM »
@pearlie111, thanks for joining us.  I have an Android phone and this site is specifically focused on Android devices.  If nobody else answers, you may be best to take this to a Windows 8 phone forum.

You can set up a Windows Live account in Outlook and on the Windows 8 Phone.  This allows syncing of calendar and contacts and I believe tasks as well.  However, Notes are not synced.  I think MS wants everyone to move away from Notes in Outlook and use their OneNote program instead.  OneNote apps have been made for the Android and iPhone as well.  I think those of us who like having our notes in Outlook are about to be considered dinosaurs.  Even with the premier MS product offering of Exchange Online (part of Office 365), they only sync calendar, contacts, and tasks with Exchange Online.  The proof of my theory is also found at Outlook.com (which works hand in hand with Exchange Online), which has calendar, contacts, and tasks, but notes are missing.  MS does not WANT to support Notes in Outlook.  They WANT you to switch to OneNote.

OneNote on a PC can be synced with MS Skydrive, which is free.  A free Skydrive app is available for Android, iPhones, and Windows 8 Phones.  The free OneNote app can also be installed on the smartphone.  The OneNote notes are then synced to the smartphone via Skydrive.  MS has provided most of the pieces of the puzzle for you.  You just need to convert all your Outlook notes to OneNote notes and then use OneNote. I'm not saying you have to LIKE this.  If moving your Outlook notes to OneNote is acceptable, you will also find there is no easy method.  However, it is possible and is described here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/johnguin/archive/2011/01/06/an-outlook-routine-to-export-sticky-notes-and-then-import-them-to-onenote.aspx

A drawback is that encrypted notes within OneNote are not provided to the smartphones.  I know this is not available to the Androids as of this writing, although it is a highly requested enhancement.  I can find nothing to indicate encryption working on the Windows 8 Phone for OneNote.  While Outlook Notes were never encrypted, it is nice to have them encrypted on mobile devices.  It's harder to lose a PC sitting in my office than it is for me to lose a small portable phone, so I have no problem with Outlook notes not being encrypted.  But I do have a problem with no encryption for notes on phones.  I personally have them encrypted on my Android phone with VCOrganizer, but CompanionLink also supports encrypted notes.

To conclude, it seems obvious that MS wants us to stop using Outlook notes and start using OneNote, but they do not provide any easy method of moving the notes to OneNote.  They also don't provide a way for encrypting our notes on the smartphones in OneNote.

I hope this helps.