Outlook For Android-I’ll Stick with CloudMagic!

in Mobile Cloud, Mobile Computing, Productivity

android outlookEmail on mobile devices is of prime importance to me as I juggle feedback and responses on five accounts. On my desktop I use Mailbird and for some time I have been using CloudMagic  on two Android tablets and Moto X Style.  Last year, along with tens of thousands of others, I was saddened to hear that Microsoft had swallowed up Sunrise calendar and was integrating it into the mobile Outlook app.  At the moment Sunrise is still running as a stand alone app but it may be only a matter of time before Microsoft flicks the switch and it has gone forever.

Judging by the comments on the Google Play Outlook page I should have taken notice of the negative feedback from almost 125,000 users – okay, there are five starts from around 350,000 users but all I can say is that they must be easily pleased.

One typical comment stated: “Done with outlook. This is the third time the app reset on me and dumped all if my emails and settings. Having to start all over again. When it was working it was awesome. Three strikes and you’re out.” And another “Buggy – average Every time I upgrade the app it turns notifications 4 calendar events back on… Please fix… Calendar also looks crap”

In my view there is no way this app is fit for purpose and ready for prime time. Here’s why.

Sunrise A Pale Shadow

I decided to take a look at the new, integrated Outlook for Android app with built in Sunrise. I wish I hadn’t bothered. Inside Outlook Sunrise is reduced to a shadow of its former self.

When I tapped the calendar button in week view, the screen moved backwards and forwards to the start of the month to today several times before deciding that today was where it wanted to be.  Whereas standalone Sunrise could connect with a fair amount of third party services, the integrated Outlook version can only link with Evernote, Facebook and, unsurprisingly, Wunderlist, which MS also bought out last year. Thankfully, there is no sign that Wunderlist will suffer the same fate as Sunrise in integration and disappearing from the open market.

Thankfully because it links with GCal  it does pick up my Todoist task and the agenda view is not too bad.

Outlook IMAP Setup A Nightmare

With CloudMagic you set up an account, establish your how-ever-many email accounts you have and that’s in. Pick up a difference device, log into your CloudMagic account and the service is automatically populated with all the settings from the previous device. Signatures, colours, folders – everything is there.

With Outlook you have to create each account individually on each device. Do the maths. Three devices, five accounts – that’s fifteen lots of input. Assuming it goes well, it’s still a PITA but if there’s a glitch connecting to IMAP or SMTP servers then it descends into a nightmare.

Alternative Calendars

At the moment standalone Sunrise is still running but if you, like me, think that Microsoft will turn it off then you will need to look at alternatives. My two hot contenders at the moment are Today Calendar and aCalendar. Click links for reviews.

To summarise, I am surprised that Microsoft has released this flawed product. I also feel desperately sorry for the Sunrise developers who have seen their first rate calendar app reduced to a snake oil sideshow. I am, now off to delete it from my devices.

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