Before I start this guide, I want to preface that some of the screenshots I can’t get back, because unfortunately, I neglected to get them as I was starting up. and now I don’t see a way to get them back.. I will try to dig in the documentations to see if there are docs there just to streamline the instructions.
1- What you need:
- Verizon XV6700 (or, I guess any verizon smartphone should work just as well)
- Verizon unlimited data plan – VERY IMPORTANT– you can do without it, but I seriously don’t recommend it
- A messaging client on your SmartPhone (I recommend Flexmail 2006)
- PC running windows of some sort … (or Linux with Wine) … basically anything that you can run MS Outlook on.
- Account with the Verizon Wireless Sync site
- 2 Email accounts (POP3). Using IMAP is not supported in the configuration we’re using. trust me though, it won’t be inconvenient if you set it up correctly.
During the article, I will put up a method of doing things, and for the heck of it, I’m going to put the model that I use personally, this way you’ll know that at least my model works if you want to replicate it. so… in my case, I’m using the following:
- Verizon XV6700 Phone
- Verizon unlimite data plan
- Flexmail 2006 on my phone with 2 accounts setup, GMAIL account, and my own domain…. will explain more later
- PC running Windows XP Media Center with MS Outlook 2003 w/ SP1
2-Information about email addresses
It is important that you have your email addresses all setup correctly before you proceed with this. it mostly involves setting up POP3 and tell it to correctly retain or delete messages upon retrieval.
Note:the wireless sync in the manner we’re going to be using it (with Outlook) does not support IMAP. the other method (internet mail method) does support IMAP but does not support POP3 incoming over SSL. So we’re going to setup one email address in outlook with POP3. you can set that up however you want… SSL or non SSL.
It would be preferrable if you have an email with capability to do forwarding, or even better, redirecting. (No… using outlook rules to forward the email is not going to work… since outlook will actually be shutdown when you’re going to need that functionality.)
You will be using this to forward mail to another account to make it available when your computer is not on.
Your second email address can be anything that your pocket pc mail client supports. you want something simple, and you don’t even need a lot of space in it, since it’s mostly going to serve as a temporary repository for your mail when outlook is not available.
3- The Process:
a- Setup the Wireless Sync Software on your PPC.
In order to start setting this up, you need to first install the Wireless Sync software on your phone:
The process is pretty straight forward, just let it do the install (It’ll take a couple of minutes). When the installer is done, you should have a new icon, that looks exactly like the installer (don’t confuse them). that one will actually be the application.
the first time you run it, you should get a prompt to either sign in with an existing account, or create a new one. Unfortunately, I already had an account, so I couldn’t guide you through the creation of the one. however, If my memory serves me right, the steps I will be giving a little later are the same ones that you would be prompted with during the signup for a new account
- Signing up for an account providing your cell phone number, and assigning a new password
- Choosing your device from the list of devices, and optional but recommended install the Outlook plugin.
b- setup your account correctly on your PC before proceeding on your PPC.
Now that your software is installed on your PPC, there’s some setup we need to do on your actual PC.
First, go to the website: https://www28.wirelesssync.vzw.com and logon with the account you just created.
You should see the screen for setting up everything, it should look something like this:
If you don’t see this, then you can get to it by click on on Setup/Account on the top right of the screen.
At first, you will not see the two devices that are listed on my screen.
Click on Add Sync Device. Now go ahead and choose your device, and make sure you check the “Also install Trip and Appointment Plus Extensions for Microsoft Outlook“. You should get the following screens… follow them step by step until the outlook plugin is installed.
Make sure you don’t click on “Download Complete” until your download and installation is actually complete. Ok, so this is the remainder of the installer screens…
Now that your client is installed, you can click on download complete. don’t worry about what that screen says, and don’t follow what it says there for now.
c- Disable Calendar, Contacts, Email, Tasks and Notes from ActiveSync. (VERY IMPORTANT)
This step is pretty important. If you don’t do it, then you might wind up with a bunch of duplicate entries, and a confusing situation, so do yourself a favor, and go to your ActiveSync software, and Disable the ActiveSync for the above mentioned items. While your device is connected, go to to Tools/Options and uncheck these items. let it save the settings, and you should be good to go. (If at any point before you do this step, your device attempts to do a sync, go ahead and cancel it to avoid the duplicates issue, or even better, do step c before you install any of these clients, this way you’ll be totally on the safe side…
d- Install the PC Monitor utility
Ok, before we go on, let’s recap. so far you should have the following:
- Your ActiveSync for Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and Email disabled
- You should have the Wireless Sync Utility installed on your PPC, and an account created with VZW Sync.
- You should have been able to login to the VZW Sync website with the account you signed in with, and added your device with the outlook plugin.
If you have these above 3 steps, then you’re on the right track.
Now, here’s the tricky part. to follow, go back to the Account Setup screen on the VZW site.
Under Configure Email Sources you will see 2 options:
Internet/POP3/IMAP Mail and
Corporate Email Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino
My guess is that this is where it’ll confusing for some. most will be tempted to choose Internet email because most don’t have an Exchange account, or if you want your personal email setup, then you’re most likely going to use one of the free ones (i.e hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc …) The trick is to actually choose Corporate Email, not Internet Email. this option will allow you to setup your outlook PC monitor to watch for any changes on your outlook and sync them up with your PPC. so go ahead and do that, and click on that. You will be presented with the following screen:
Choose “Install the PC Monitor software on this PC now” and click Next.
Click Install. follow the instructions to complete the installation.
p.s: The installer looks awfully similar to the outlook plugin, but it is actually something different which will insert a new item in your start menu.
Sweet… you’re almost there!! Now you have the wireless client, and really, there isn’t much to configure with it… when you click on that, your basically will get to a configuration screen that will allow you to:
- Enter your username and password for your VZW Sync site….
- Check your Activity Log (which is pretty helpful if anything fails, or just to know what’s happening at all times.
Now if you go back to the website account page, you should see both devices. I haven’t messed with which one to choose, and I don’t even know what’s the different, but I found that the default works, so I left it as is.
e- How it all works!
So you may be asking… ok, so now that I set it all up, how the heck am I gonna use it… well worry not, I shall tell you! 🙂
Think of it this way… this wireless sync is replacing your Active Sync (at least in all the items that we unchecked from Active Sync. (of course, it doesn’t support third party application syncings… for that, you still have to use your USB sync cable).
So, that being said, your contacts, calendar, tasks notes, AND email will be synced the same exact way.
I don’t have to say much about calendar right now (maybe a little bit later with some special functionality gained with this)… Email however is a little bit tricky … mostly because usually, you want to have your email available for retrieval at all times, but your calendar, and tasks and whatnot, you can wait on syncing till you get home, or in our case, till your PC (laptop or desktop is online).
Your Wireless Sync email is going to be syncing with the ActiveSync Email folder in your Messaging client. From your PPC, you can customize what to sync, how much to truncate of the message, how long you want to leave the message, and other options… I strongly suggest you tinker with those setting to get your optimal preference. Wireless also will sync your Outlook folders: as necessary. This tripped me out at first, and I wasn’t able to tell why some outlook folders were showing up, and some weren’t. It will ONLY show the folders that contain active mail that match your preference criteria, it won’t clutter your folder tree with empty folders… good stuff!!
ok so you’re all set from this side.
A couple of TIPS:
- I would recommend that you setup a desktop that you can always keep on for syncing, this will make your email, and syncing capabilities available anywhere you are within EVDO access. If that is the case, you can skip step f altogether, as this will be meant for people who WILL NOT have their PC online all the time, of if they have a laptop, like myself.
- Syncing will always be available from your PPC to the server (the website). which means that, even if your desktop/laptop is turned off, you can still make changes to anything on your PPC, and run an Xpress Sync, and that will upload all this information to the website, and will sync it next time it sees your desktop online. another SWEET!! 🙂 You can always check your sync status and what’s been done from your PPC from within your Wireless Sync Utility. your Sync Status page will look something like this:
— Also, in your Wireless Sync software on your PPC, you can go to Menu/View/Connection Summary… and that will give you the same screen that you can see on your PC.
- Play around with your Wireless Sync Software, it has tons of options that I did not cover in this article… (feel free to ask me and I can try my best to help with it). One very important thing I would recommend, ESPECIALLY if you are installing this on an XV6700 with no extended battery pack, make sure you disable any automatic polling whatsoever. or make the interval like 2 hours if you insist on it. reason being… auto polling DRAINS THE BATTERY SO FAST!! so… be warned. I know I said it many time before in this article, but I don’t think I’ve said it enough yet 🙂
- Make sure you take advantage of the Appointment plus feature! It’s a sweet sweet very seamless feature in the Wireless Sync that I think you would love.
here’s a scenario, how many times you have an appointment or a place to go… you got the directions in your notes, but haven’t gotten the chance to actually get them from mapquest or whatnot…? … I know I have many times… and it sucks… cuz then you go scrambling around to find a piece of paper or to figure out how the heck you’re going to sync the directions to your PC with AvantGo or whatever. so … Appointment Plus actually takes the pain out of all that. this is where the outlook plugin, or the Wireless Sync Verizon website comes in. All you have to do is setup an appointment with the plugin, or from the site, and it’ll seamlessly integrate in your Outlook calendar and on your PDA. you can view the entry normally within your calendar application, but you can also look at it with appointment plus, which saves that appointment in a local HTML files on your PDA, and opens it with links to directions, a map, and detailed information your appointment. here’s a couple of screen shots about from this function.
f- What am I going to do with my email when my Desktop is offline?
Alright, so now that you’re all setup, you still don’t have a way to get any new email your receive if your desktop or laptop is offline. Well, I have a solution… not everybody might like it, but it seems to work perfectly for me.
remember when I asked that the first email address would have forwarding functionality?… well this is when you’re going to use it.
- setup a forward from your first email address to the second (temporary repository for email). don’t worry, this would still deliver email to your primary mailbox.
- on your temporary account, set it up to NOT leave messages on the server once downloaded… as to avoid having email cluttered after you’ve downloaded it, especially if that email account doesn’t have a big quota.
- Setup a POP3 account that is completely independent from your Wireless Sync email with the account information from your temporary email account.
Voila! now, all your email from your primary account also exists in your secondary account. so whenever your desktop is offline, you still have all your forwarded mail in your secondary account. (now you may understand why outlook rule forwarding wouldn’t work in this case.
I recommend that you don’t set this email to retrieve mail automatically at an interval or at email startup.. because most of the time you will NOT be using it…
Maintenance Issue: One maintenance issue that might be annoying for some is the fact that sometimes you just won’t need to use that temporary address, as your wireless sync is always active. during that time, all your email is getting stacked in your temporary account, since you haven’t accessed it yet, it won’t get deleted from the server. here’s my suggestions:
On your temporary account
- Delete the email from the web interface occasionally.
- Occasionally do a retrieve mail from your PPC, then delete the messages, and this will delete them from the server
- Disable the forwarding feature on your primary account if you know that you will not be using the secondary account for an extended period of time.
In my setup, I have the following:
- A Gmail account for my primary mail. the reason I use this is because it allows authenticated outgoing SMTP which I use for my temporary account as well.
- In my case, the temporary account is a mail server I have at home. in most cases you guys won’t have that option, so I would suggest that you would just get another POP account (I recommend http://bluebottle.com, which has free POP access). sorry hotmail folks, it won’t work for you… in fact the whole outlook sync won’t work for you if you have hotmail, unless you’re paying for the premium account.
Well.. I think that should cover most of it. I hope you found this guide helpful. please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this. I, by no means, know everything about it, but I’ve learned what I learned by playing around, and I love playing around… so I can try to help wherever I can!