Thursday, February 26, 2009

S60 / Google synchronization almost here

Today I understood that Google has just added ActiveSync support to their portfolio to let users sync contacts and calendar events to their ..... iPhone! Wait a minute, doesn't that mean that I can also use Nokia's Mail for Exchange (MfE) to sync the data to S60 device? I made an experiment and here are the results.

First install MfE, and then set up the account:
  • Server address is
  • Your username and password are the ones that you use to login to your Google account
  • Domain name is mandatory but you can type to that field whatever you want
  • Your email address is also mandatory but not really used, just put your Google email address there
  • Your new MfE profile includes task and email synchronization by default. Disable those, they are not supported by Google.
If you managed to fill up all the fields correctly, you can now synchronize calendar events and contacts between S60 terminal and Google account. My first impression was "Wow, this works!", but unfortunately there seems to be a strange problem with the user credential management. 

It looks that I can synchronize data once and then there must be about 5 minute delay before that can be done again; if I try to sync too soon MfE will display an error message that tells my password is not correct (the same password that just worked fine!). There is probably a problem in Google's authentication module, as MfE synchronization also disables Apple's iCal application from syncing with Google (remember my family calendar?). Soon after MfE sync iCal prompts me to enter the password again and sync fails every time. Just wait a couple of minutes and sync is OK again. 

Before you get too excited, remember that Google officially states that syncing with MfE is not supported. But when this gets official support, we will have a superb mobile service for individuals and small companies - with a very reasonable price tag.


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