This is a cell/ smartphone’s primary use case; but it isn’t as cut and dry as you think…
If you remember my intro from the other day, you’ll remember that what makes a smartphone smart can be summed up in one word – Integration. We’re going to come back to this point a number of different times over the course of this week, just to make certain everyone certain that they understand that missing an integration point can effect more than one app or piece of functionality.
For example – Failing to correctly setup and configure a primary email account will affect your ability to make and place cell calls.
I know. It’s strange except for one very important point – the address book in your smartphone is a universal address book. It has names, addresses and phone numbers in it for everyone that you want to communicate with, in any and EVERY way you will want to communicate with them. That includes email addresses, Skype addresses, Facebook and Twitter name, etc. If you don’t get your address book set up right, then you’re going to have issues taking and placing calls. Period.
The biggest thing I want you to do here is to NOT get overwhelmed. Yes. You’re right…there’s going to be a lot here that may or may not make sense to you right away. If things are confusing, then the biggest thing you can do to help yourself is
That’s what the discussion area is for. If something doesn’t make sense to you, ask a question in the discussion area. I’ll check through the comments (if any) and answer your question(s). If need be, I’ll answer it in an article if the answer requires a bit more than a one-two step answer. It’s not a big deal…
So… step one – get an email address if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, then you need to make certain that it will work appropriately with your new smartphone. You’re probably also going to want to make certain that this service (remember that word for later…) also has a compatible calendar and task list or to-do list. You’re likely going to want to keep track of those and your phone makes a great tool for that. Here are a couple GREAT examples of mixing and matching PIM (Personal Information Management) services that will likely have to be forced to work.
Hotmail/ Outlook.com/ Exchange on Android – it works, but Google stopped supporting Exchange ActiveSync on Android. All this means is that if you have your email, contacts (address book) and calendar here, getting it to show up on your Android phone just got more difficult. Chalk this up to the smartphone and ecosystem wars going on between Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Exchange on iPhone – Google isn’t the only one who stopped licensing Exchange ActiveSync (Microsoft’s Push eMail Sync System) on their devices. Apple did it too, and now getting the information there for new users of new Exchange eMail accounts is more difficult. It’s still possible, but you may have to configure things manually. I know I do…
Google Apps/Gmail on iPhone – If you have a Gmail account and you want to sync it to your iPhone, it isn’t as easy as it used to be when both Google and Apple were licensing Exchange ActiveSync. Now that neither support EAS, you either have to be grandfathered in via Google Apps, or pay $50 per year, per user to enable the feature. I don’t know many consumers that do this.
Ok… so your next question is obviously, “OK, Chris… What DOES work?”
That’s easy – stick to the ecosystem; or pair like animals together.
If you’re using an Android device, use or get a Gmail or Google Apps account. If you’re using an iPhone your best bet is to use or get an Apple iCloud mail account. If you’re using Windows Phone, you can use Hotmail/Outlook.com or Exchange email addresses without any difficulty. All of these will have Calendars and Task/To-Do lists. You can set them up later.
See how the smartphones and support systems match up? That’s what each company wants you to do. They want you to use their SERVICES (I told you to remember that word from before…) with their devices. Google and Microsoft are all moving to a subscription based software licensing model when it comes to many of their software titles (like, Office 365, for example) and supporting services. They want to lock you in so that you have to get what you need from them (that way, THEY get your dollars). The mixing and matching of devices and services that we did between 2008 and 2012 is ending. It’s getting harder and harder to do that. So, if you have an Android device, you might want to consider using Gmail. If you have an iPhone, you might want to consider using iCloud, etc., even if that means you have to stop using an address you’ve used for a long time.
Your first step, after signing up for a new email address is getting your contacts from the old system to the new system. You’re likely going to want to do most of the work here on your desktop PC. There’s (potentially) a lot of information to capture, so you’re likely going to want to type things in on a desktop or laptop. Doing this on your smartphone keyboard is gonna suck.
Depending on the number of contacts you have, you can try to use the export system your old account has. There are up to 9 different sets of instructions here (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks are available in Gmail, iCloud and Exchange); and all three have decent help systems that will show you how to export these items. If you have problems, leave me a comment and I will give you as simple a how-to for your situation as possible; but if you can send email, you can probably figure out how to export these three items into a format that can be used for importing into another system.
The same can be said for importing items. Look to your new email’s help system for importing items. After you get everything into the new system, we’ll setup a sync relationship and then make a test phone call.
However, if you’ve never had a smartphone before, then you probably don’t’ have a lot of contacts. If you have less than 100 entries in your old device’s phone book, you can probably type them into your new email account manually. To update your address book, use the following instructions on the following different systems. These instructions assume you have already created an account on the appropriate and/or relevant system.
A quick note on importing contacts from social networks, like Facebook and Twitter: Most social networks ask you to input an email address and a phone number into your account profile. If you or your friends did that with, say your Facebook account, then that information will likely be imported into your new email system if it gives you the opportunity to import those contacts.
Outlook.com – These instructions will help you
a) Import some contact records to Outlook.com from 4 compatible social network and/or email sources (instructions included only because the options displayed automatically when the People app main page appeared)
b) Create a contact record for yourself.
1. Open your web browser and navigate to Outlook.com.
2. Log in with your Microsoft Account’s user name and password. The Outlook.com main email page will appear