Together with the Windows Mobile 5.0 launch yesterday, Microsoft also introduced the follower of currents ActiveSync 3.x version - ActiveSync 4.0. While ActiveSync 4.0 is compatible with previous Windows Mobile versions for Pocket PC or Smartphone, 4.0 is required for Windows Mobile 5.0.
While ActiveSync 4.0 is more stable, it also offers some new or improved features like native Bluetooth sync, the synchronization contact person pictures between Outlook 2003 Contacts and Windows Mobile Contacts. Also new is that ActiveSync is able to handle your media file synchronization better - if you have Windows Media Player 10 installed. If so, ActiveSync works similar to Portable Media Center synchronization where your playlists and files are synchronized automatically. Also - important for Smartphone users - the Mobile Favorites are synchronized finally!
Depending on which device/Windows Mobile version you have connected with your PC, the look and feel can change. Left the well known ActiveSync 3.x UI if a Windows Mobile 2003SE device is connected, right the new ActiveSync 4.0 UI if connected with a Windows Mobile 5.0 device:
Other new features and improvements are:
- Improved throughput over USB connection by means of USB 2.0 support
- Improved connection reliability for Exchange ActiveSync
- Improved support for multiple partnerships
- Parity between PC sync and Exchange sync
- Improved usability
- Support for new data types and Outlook properties
- Enhanced security
Right now, ActiveSync isn't commercially released but a developer preview is already available for everybody. If you decide to try out ActiveSync be sure to install it over ActiveSync 3.8, otherwise you will lose the Office file conversion feature (I hope Microsoft will fix this with the final version) with Windows Mobile devices lower than 5.0.
Important: Don't upgrade to ActiveSync 4.0 (yet) if you use WiFi to synch your current Pocket PC. Microsoft has dropped W-LAN support with ActiveSync so you can not keep your device updated wireless anymore! I really hope that the current status is just because it's a Developer Preview and the "final" version will get it back - I hope!
Please use the comments/forum bellow to tell Microsoft how much you need/miss WiFi support (if you need it) and I will make sure Microsoft will get your feedback!
Cheers ~ Arne