The PhoneBoy Blog

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A Peek at Mail for Exchange

One of the things I got hooked up with this week is a service called Mail for Exchange. It’s basically a hosted platform similar to Blackberry that allows you to access up to five different servers from a Nokia Eseries handset, including an Exchange server. Yes, it does push email like Blackberry too. I am not using the standard commercial offering of this, but rather some sort of internal pilot. I’m also using a non-supported handset to boot–a Nokia N93–so my comments here might differ from your experience. (Side note: I expect any Series 60 Third Editon device will work, but only Eseries devices are supported

I was given the instructions on how to set up my device to access our server. A lot of screens to slog through here, but the settings were described in a simple, understandable manner. It was also a little harder to enter some of the settings in via a numeric keypad.

Once I got configured–I chose to do manual syncs, given that I do not regularly use the Nokia N93 for this kind of thing–I hit synchronize, and down came the email, contacts, and calendar entries. Everything came across more-or-less as expected. Our internal email directory uses parentesis in name, which seemed to cause a small headache for Mail for Exchange as it escaped them with a backslash. A visual glitch, but didn’t appear to affect functionality.

The email is delivered into a special inbox created inside of the built-in Symbian email client. It works more or less the same way. A small portion of large emails are delivered to the device. As you read the message, the rest of the message is pulled down into the device. Attachments are opened using the device’s native viewers. When you sync again, any local changes are pushed to the server as expected.

The service appears to be offered through Cingular in the US and other carriers throughout the world. If you’re looking for something Blackberry like but cheaper, and don’t want to deal with running your own Intellisync Mobile Suite server, then Mail for Exchange may be the right solution for you.

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