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SYNC: Microsoft announced ActiveSync 4.0 for Windows Mobile [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 11.05.05 - 22:40:51 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 17186x
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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

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Posted by krypticide on 12.05.05 - 03:26:40

Don't see any advantages to 4.0 over 3.8 on a 2003 SE device.

Posted by jomni on 12.05.05 - 07:30:28

It's only required for WM5 otherwise, stick to the older versions.

Posted by Stephan Schmidt on 13.05.05 - 17:07:59

krypticide wrote:

Don't see any advantages to 4.0 over 3.8 on a 2003 SE device.

For me it seems that it syncs faster with my SP3.

Posted by farnold on 15.05.05 - 12:41:40

Strange enough, after I installed AS4 over 3.8 I cannot get a connection for my XDAII anymore. Any ideas?

Posted by Arne Hess on 15.05.05 - 13:19:33

farnold wrote:

Strange enough, after I installed AS4 over 3.8 I cannot get a connection for my XDAII anymore. Any ideas?

That's weird. While I have heard about such problems (for instance from other MVPs) also for me it's working well and the way you did with installing it over the old one is the right way. I wouldn't recommend a blank installation either so this can't be the problem at all.

Posted by farnold on 15.05.05 - 14:47:05

Arne Hess wrote:

I wouldn't recommend a blank installation either so this can't be the problem at all.

That was my second attempt, but it left me with the same problem...

Posted by Linton on 11.08.05 - 17:43:33

There is no way I would consider upgrading from 3.8 if 4.0 final does not have WLAN syncing capability. It is so much better and convenient than having to cradle it or mucking about with bluetooth connections. It just works. Hope you are listening Microsoft.

Posted by JohnA on 28.10.05 - 00:24:25

Syncing via Wi-Fi is a MUST-HAVE.  Moreso than Bluetooth.

Have WM2003 (pre-SE), and sync 90% the time via Wi-Fi.  Still running AS3.8.

Posted by Andrew on 23.11.05 - 13:35:13

Am I right in thinking there is NO SUPPORT FOR ACTIVESYNC VIA WIFI in Windows Mobile 5.0 ???!!!

ActiveSync versions prior to 4.0 refuse to connect to my Windows Mobile 5.0 device and ActiveSync versions from 4.0 onwards don't support WiFi !!!

How rubbish is that!

I'm considering whether to take the 5.0 device back while I'm still inside the 14 day return period.

Posted by Andrew on 23.11.05 - 14:22:23

Ok, so, I've done a bit more research (eg. the top of this page!) - and the HP web site ;

These both confirm that versions before 4.0 will not connect to WM 5.0.

And on microsoft's web site they say if you want to use ActiveSync with WiFi you have to use versions up to 3.8.

If you need this feature "use an earlier version 3.x" they happily suggest!

However no version prior to 4.0 works with WM 5.0.

So I am supposed to take a huge cut in functionality for waiting around for WM 5.0 to become available.

What a rip-off!

Maybe if we all shout loud enough, they'll put this feature back?
I don't mind having to enable it in a options screen.

For goodness sake it's ridiculous!
And of course they don't tell you ahead of time that they have removed features from the new version.
It's taken me an hour and a half to get to the bottom of how come I can't get AS to work over WiFi with WM 5.0

Posted by ScottCressman on 25.11.05 - 23:35:20

Agreed. I don't know how they could have completely removed this feature due to "security reasons" (rather than making sure the default simply disables Wi-Fi syncing) when many of the new devices support Wi-fi, like mine. HORRIBLE DECISION. Bluetooth is slow and a pain in the ass. I don't want to carry around another cradle. WTF am I supposed to do now? Please oh please fix this Microsoft.


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