Thursday, July 23, 2009

Edit Word Documents on your iPhone with "Documents To Go"

Recently I heard about a $5 iPhone app called Documents To Go which allows editing of Microsoft Word documents. If you're not familiar with the iPhone, it has built-in viewers for e-mail attachments in several common desktop file formats, including Word, PDF and Excel, but does not have an editing capability. Documents To Go adds that capability, at least for MS Word files today and for Excel in a future update.
The way I heard about this app first was when several users complained (all on the same day, curiously) that it did not work with our service! At first I couldn't understand what a Word document editing app had to do with our service, but once you realize that there's no easy way to get the files onto and off of the device, it becomes more obvious. Add to that the fact that Documents To Go comes from renowned device sync client developer DataViz, and the penny drops...
Documents To Go can communicate with an application you install on your desktop computer, to fetch and save files, but if you spring $5 extra for the Exchange version, it can read and send files through a corporate mail server, or of course our push e-mail service (we fixed the compatibility problem soon after the first reports). It has its own sync client software, and shows up as a separate device as far as our service is concerned. It has its own settings page where you enter your username, password and, much the same as for the phone's built in client:

Then sync your inbox (my GMail account in this example), which will display all the messages with compatible attachments:

Word attachments can be opened and edited like this:

Then saved on the device, back to your desktop, or e-mailed directly from the app which is what I did with this document, and here it is open in Word on my PC:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Push E-Mail is Here!

Big news: We've launched our new 'push' E-Mail Sync Service. The iPhone, Palm Pre, Nokia S60 Series and Windows Mobile Phones can use push E-Mail Sync.
Your mailbox is accessed by our service via the industry standard IMAP protocol which is widely supported by corporate servers and also by most hosted e-mail services,
including Google's GMail.

New messages appear on your device within seconds with an optional beep or vibrate alert. iPhone users don't need to keep the mail application open:

Push E-Mail sync is part of our $25/yr Premium Service. In addition to e-mail sync, premium users get priority support and the ability to sync an unlimited number of calendars, with no restriction on history. Premium service is run on separate machines from the free service for optimal performance and reliability. Once an account is upgraded to premium status, e-mail can be configured by clicking 'change' next to 'E-Mail' on the web site:

There is a streamlined configuration process for GMail users. If the account has an or address this screen is presented and you only need to enter your password to finish:

For other users there is a comprehensive setup screen that allows all the mail server settings to be entered individually:

There's more information on our web site and if you'd like to comment or ask a question please check out the new E-Mail and Premium Service areas on the Nuevasync forum.

I have to thank all the users who helped us test e-mail sync over the past few weeks. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has supported us with unsolicited donations. Those donors will all receive complementary premium service.