Exchange support improves in Android, but TouchDown still sets the bar

Support for Exchange continues to improve in the Google Android OS, but 3rd party application TouchDown has features unrivaled in Android or HTC Sense and is worth the $20 one-time cost.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I mentioned the enterprise improvements made in Google Android 2.2 (Froyo), but after installing this update on my Google Nexus One I discovered that the Exchange experience was too weak for me and I needed something better. I have tried HTC Sense on various devices and as I mentioned when looking at the HTC Incredible the current HTC Sense 2.5 UI is missing a couple key parts for me, namely the ability to search the server and the ability to control privacy settings in new appointments. Strangely, the HTC Desire ROM I had on my Nexus One before 2.2 actually supported both of these functions. Thus, I went back and visited an old friend to see what was new and discovered a very new version of TouchDown that meets and even exceeds everything I could want in an Exchange mobile client.

If you use Exchange at work then I highly recommend you check out the TouchDown website and look through the feature list to see the amazing depth of support for Exchange that they provide for only a single one time cost of $19.99. Even more impressive to check out is the update list where you can see how far they have come since I starting using the client back in January 2009. All of these updates for the last year and a half were also provided to registered owners for FREE.

With further support for Exchange in even the native Google Experience Android devices, you may ask why someone would pay $20 for a third party solution. I personally think there are many valid reasons to continue using TouchDown, including the ability to search the server, the ability to create events with privacy settings, and

I installed the latest official version (6.0.0002) on my Android 2.2 Nexus One and found it working well so I then installed the latest beta version (6.0.0010). The beta appears to work the same as the latest official version and I have not noticed any issues with my email, calendar, or contacts. I like using the TouchDown Universal widget on my first left Home screen panel and am quite happy with TouchDown.

One of the coolest features in TouchDown, especially if you are in your car a lot, is the ability to tap and hold on an email and have your Android device read aloud the sender, subject, and email body.

Very few mobile phone Exchange clients give you the ability to create appointments with attendees, but TouchDown takes that even further with the ability to get real time availability information for the meeting attendees.

As you can see I think there is still a very valid reason for paying $20 for an application like TouchDown, even with additional support of Exchange in Android.

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