Cemaphore has released MailShadowG, which allows users of the T-Mobile G1 to synchronize their email, contacts, and calendars with a Microsoft Exchange server. This is a highly-requested feature from those who would like to use this smartphone for business.
The G1, which runs Google's Android OS, is strongly tied to Google's online services. This device keeps its owner's personal information synchronized with the appropriate Google service, but this doesn't help the millions of people who depend on Exchange for business-related messages and scheduling. That's where something like MailShadowG steps in.
Outlook as Intermediary
Unlike Exchange ActiveSync -- Microsoft's software that allows many other smartphones to synchronize data with Exchange -- MailShadowG does not make a direct connection between the mobile device and the Exchange Server. Instead, Cemaphore's solution provides bi-directional synchronization of email, calendars, and contacts by working through Microsoft Outlook running on a PC.
So, for example, an email arrives on an Exchange Server and is pushed out to Outlook on the user's desktop. It is then synchronized by MailShadowG with the Google Gmail server, which pushes it out to the G1. This process works in reverse, as well.
"I love MailShadow for Google. It does exactly what it says it will do," said Dennis Garman, Senior Systems Engineer for Advanced Information Technologies, Inc., an IT provider based in Buena Park, Calif. "It's also fast. I receive my email on my laptop and my T-Mobile G1 phone at virtually the same time."
This is not a new idea; many BlackBerry users get their email in a somewhat similar manner. The primary drawback of this solution is that it requires the user's PC to be running. At least one other company, Aardvark Labs, is working on a more direct synchronization option.
Pricing and Availability
There are versions of MailShadowG for both Windows Vista and Windows XP.
It is available at a special introductory rate of $29.95 per user per year until November 30. The standard price will be $49.95.
Users can purchase or download a free 15-day trial version from cemaphore.com.
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