Wireless Network Administration: Integrating Android with Microsoft Exchange

The Android’s core Email application can integrate with Microsoft Exchange e-mail. To do that, you must first enable ActiveSync on the Exchange server. After you have enabled Exchange Mobile Services and ActiveSync on your Exchange server, you can easily configure the Android phone for e-mail access. Just run the Email application on the Android phone and follow the configuration steps, which will ask you for basic information such as your e-mail address, username, password, and Exchange mail server.

Unfortunately, the Exchange features available natively on an Android phone are pretty limited. Although the Email application can sync an Exchange inbox, it can’t synchronize your contacts, calendar, or task list. As a result, you need to turn to a third-party application to be able to fully access your Exchange mailbox from your Android smartphone.

To access an Exchange mailbox from an Android phone, you can purchase and install an application called TouchDown, from a company called NitroDesk. It provides much better Exchange integration than the native Email application. Here are just a few of its features:

  • View not just your inbox but other mailbox folders such as Sent Items or Drafts as well.

  • Download attachments.

  • Create meetings and accept or reject meeting invitations.

  • Synchronize with your Outlook contacts list.

  • Create or delete out-of-office replies.

As of April 2010, TouchDown was available from the Android Market for $19.99.