Review – Mail Courier Syncs Entourage with Palm

by Reads (5,674)

Mail Courier 1.1 for Mac OS X by Ligature Technologies LLC is a simple program that synchronizes Entourage for Mac OS X with the Palm OS 4.0 and higher.

Many Mac users, particularly new converts like myself or those working in a mixed PC-Mac environment, use Microsoft Office for OS X, which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and the oddly-named Entourage, which is the Mac version of Outlook.

While using these programs made the switch from a PC to a Mac very easy, I was left with the inability to sync my desktop and handheld email. Entourage, inexplicably, doesn’t have the ability to sync email with Palm mail applications such as VersaMail. By installing an update on the Microsoft web site (www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads), you can sync contacts, tasks, notes, and calendar events–but not email.

For its part, VersaMail for Mac despite its name–doesn t allow synchronization between the desktop and the handheld. It is designed for direct email download and sending from a connected handheld. Other third-party email programs I have tried, including Agendus, also don t work for us Mac users. (I have not tried the newest version of Agendus.)

Why can t we all just get along? I can t answer that question, but I did find a solution that finally allowed me to sync my email.

Mail Courier is so simple that it reminds me of the email synchronization that seemed so miraculous on my old Handspring Visor Deluxe. You get just the text, ma am. No HTML or attachments. Today, it is not a robust solution and feels a little old-fashioned. Still, Mail Courier does what it says it s supposed to do, and it s fast.

Mail Courier can be downloaded at no charge for a 30-day trial period. Included is a mail viewer for the handheld, called LigMail, and PDF manual, which you probably will not need to read.

After downloading and dropping Mail Courier into the Mac applications folder, the program doesn t do anything else to walk you through the installation process. Once Mail Courier is in the applications folder, it installs on the handheld the next time you HotSync. When no email appeared in LigMail on my handheld, I opened the Palm Desktop, clicked on the HotSync conduit, and selected desktop overwrites handheld, and then sync d. Presto! All my email appeared on my Palm Tungsten T. After the first sync, I went back to the Palm Desktop and changed the conduit setting to synchronize desktop and handheld.

Mail Courier will sync the following folders: Inbox, Outbox, Deleted, Filed, Draft, and Sent. You cannot set up additional folders or rename folders.

The program allows you to create new mail, delete mail, move it to the Filed folder, and create a signature to append to new mail. You can display mail in order of date, sender, or subject. You can select a priority level of high, normal, or low. You can also, in the Message Details function, add a BCC field, select whether to append a signature, select confirm read and confirm delivery.

When you click on send, new mail is moved to the Outbox and is sent the next time you HotSync.

When creating new mail, there is an Edit function that allows you to: undo, cut, copy, paste, select all, call up the keyboard or Graffiti help. Under the Option function, you can select font, which doesn t really select a font, but it allows you to select the size of the font.

A really nice feature under Options is Lookup, which when clicked, takes you directly to the email addresses in the Palm Address program. You can quickly select an email address, saving many keystrokes.

Pros:
A solution to Mac users inability to sync Entourage v. X email with Palm OS.
Fast, simple program.
Easy lookup and selection of email addresses while writing new email.

Cons:
No attachment support.
No HTML.
Synchronizes only.
Seems a bit pricey considering the limitations.

Bottom Line:
Mail Courier is designed for Palm OS Handheld users who only need to sync their email with Entourage v. X, either to carry with them as a reference, or to write responses and send once back at the desk. The lack of attachment and HTML support limits the program s utility.

Purchase information:
Mail Courier v. 1.1 is available for $24.95 at www.ligaturetech.com.

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