So many reminders/tasks apps, yet none can sync to Outlook

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Commodore, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Commodore

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    I've seen literally dozens of different reminders/tasks apps on iOS, each one "exploring" a slightly different take at how the tasks are displayed, handled, managed, etc. There's an app of this kind pretty much every day on Apps Gone Free... Yet none of them even tries to offer syncing with Microsoft Outlook's tasks. I was wondering, what the big deal about this is? I don't see any rational explanation about why it's not included with the default Reminders apps (even if it were merely turf wars between Apple and Microsoft, this probably wouldn't be the case, as Contacts and Calendar are synced normally between the two); or at least with some of the many other reminders/tasks apps available.
     
  2. twerppoet

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    You might be able to bridge it with a third party service.

    If memory serves Toodledo can sync with your Outlook account, and there are several iPad apps that will sync with Toodledo. I seem to remember other app/services that will do this (Remember the Milk?), but am unsure.
     
  3. Commodore

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    I assume this is a "cloudy" sync? My policy is to sync the "holy trinity" of PIM (i.e. contacts, calendars, tasks) only directly (locally) between my devices, without using any cloud service, so that would be out of question.
     
  4. twerppoet

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    I think we've had this conversation before.

    My prediction is that your policy is going to make life very difficult for you. Local sync is a dying technology. iTunes itself is dying. Apple has already started breaking it up into separate stores and services. I've no idea what will happen to the local syncing features, but suspect they will be integrated into iCloud or other cloud services.

    I'm not saying you are wrong to want this, but the vast majority of the market has determined that cloud syncing is secure enough that the convenience outweighs the extra security of local syncing.
     
  5. Commodore

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    I think it's quite the opposite... that - in light of surveillance and other revelations in the last couple of years, as well as more and more critical vulnerabilities being discovered literally on a weekly basis now - an increasing number of people are realizing that it's not all bright and shiny in the land of clouds, and looking for alternatives.

    Also, the fact that something is not available on the market and consumers are forced to take something else instead if they want to get the job done, does not indicate that there's a high demand for that substitute in terms of "market has spoken" (in theory perhaps, whereas in practice it's more like "No meat? Eat grass and leaves instead. Hey, there's high demand for grass and leaves, let's all sell those now.").

    Sure, I'm all for a startrekish omnipresent "cloud", where you can sync anything with anything, and get data on anything or anyone just by saying it to the nearest device, and the device dumps a nanosecond cloud backup before you drop it on the floor... I want that. We all do. But before we go into this, we need to change the current economic and political system.
     
  6. twerppoet

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    Time will tell. The market has been out of sync with what people want before, but it tends to be self correcting.

    I moved to mostly cloud syncing because the local tools sucked and were prone to errors like duplication and data loss when used across multiple devices; especially multiple OS's. It's not that local syncing has to be that way, but when cloud syncing solved most of those problems, and added some other nice possibilities, Apple and others pretty much abandoned improving local syncing. At least in iTunes.

    If the demand for local syncing remains strong, or grows due to security concerns, someone is bound to discover and exploit that market; eventually.

    However, I think it more likely that we'll simply see stronger efforts to secure cloud syncing.

    It will be an interesting ride.
     
  7. Commodore

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    Indeed.
    Well, I've never had any issues syncing iDevices with Microsoft Outlook -- it seems like "they" finally got it. Unlike syncing Pocket PCs or H/PCs (which is Windows talking to Windows), or various other phones, with Windows/Outlook -- since 1997 or so -- it just never ever worked 100%.
    What I find strange in this particular case is what's so special about Tasks/Reminders that they didn't implement it (and not even one 3rd party app attempted to do it)...
     
  8. twerppoet

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    I'm guessing that Microsoft doesn't provide much (if any) support outside of full Exchange clients. Both email and calendar have some standards to build on, and many cross platform services to pressure Microsoft into provide some compatibility. Also email and calendars by their nature tend to be things we want to share while most task lists are merely things we want to sync; thought that's changing. Shared task lists are finally becoming a thing outside of enterprise.

    When companies think of syncing instead of sharing, they tend to think only of their own platforms and apps.

    But that's all guesses.

    At any rate, as you suggest, there has got to be a reason. Far less used services than Microsofts's tasks have apps. If someone could figure out how to do it, they most likely would have, because there is money to be made.


    Syncing with Exchange servers, including tasks, is another matter. Several app provide this, but that, of course, means all your tasks, contacts, etc. are stored on that Exchange server. No different than using another cloud service. Just a matter of what company(s) you decide to trust
     
  9. Commodore

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    Interestingly enough, my trusty old Nokia N900 would also sync tasks without any questions whatsoever.

    Well, another one of these peculiarities is the existence of many various multimedia players and file browsers (and "storages") for iOS, all of them usually support cloud storage and have some internal web server for transferring files... yet only a bunch of them (e.g. FileBrowser, Buzz Player...) also include Windows/Samba sharing support (for transferring files and streaming multimedia files).

    Maybe it's just some turf wars.
     

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