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Windows Live Support on Android
The Android mobile platform is built by Google, and as such primarily intended to be used in combination with their accounts. As a matter of fact, an Android powered device will not even work without one. Although the newly released Windows Phone 7 seems the most logical option for anyone using Windows Live Mail (previously known as ‘Hotmail’), there are options on Android as well.
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Setting Up Hotmail as an Exchange Account
For everyone with a more recent Android phone running version 2.2 or higher, Windows Live Mail is ‘officially’ supported. Although no dedicated, Microsoft-made, email application exists on Android, unlike Gmail or Yahoo Mail, Android users can still synchronize with their Windows Live Accounts. This is done through Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. The settings for setting up your Hotmail account are as follows:
Email: FULL email address, for example email@example.com
Username: FULL email address, for example firstname.lastname@example.org
Password: Your Password
Domain: Leave Blank
Certificate: Accept SSL Certificate when asked for
These settings will allow Hotmail, or Windows Live, accounts to fully sync with any application on Android that supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. This means that not only emails, but also contacts, calendar and tasks will be synced. Examples of applications on Android that support Exchange ActiveSync are Roadsync 2.5, Moxier Mail, Nexeo, K9, Touchdown and of course the native Mail application in Android 2.2 and upward.
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Dedicated Third Party Applications
Native Hotmail support is not very widespread on Android. There aren’t many applications that can automagically configure your Hotmail settings, but the ones that can help Windows Live Mail users out in some way are the following:
MailDroid is a decent email application on Android that supports Hotmail, or Windows Live Mail if you will, ‘natively’. When initially setting up your email account the application asks for your login details after which it finds the servers by itself. That is all there is to setting up your Hotmail account in this application.
Messages are downloaded fast and your inbox is nicely indexed in Maildroid, where messages are filtered by day. It is also possible to access other folders although folders like ‘sent items’ only contain messages that are sent from the phone. Although this is a minor drawback, the extensive options make up for it. All in all, MailDroid is a decent Android Hotmail app for anybody that wants some native Hotmail support on his or her Android device. The application is free, but ad-supported, in the Android Market.
Unfortunately MailDroid is the only application with native Hotmail support. Hot Email is another application that is specifically developed for the email service but doesn’t do much more than serve as a portal for the Windows Live Mail web login screen. Essentially it is nothing more than an Internet browser that only supports one address, that of Hotmail. Unsurprisingly, it is good in what it does, but for a powerful smartphone like Android, completely redundant. For anyone that still wants to try it out, it is free in the Android Market.
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Google Android: Not for Dedicated Windows Live Users
Although exchange support is now available on Android, Hotmail or Windows Live users that are true to their Microsoft accounts will not be satisfied on Android. Dedicated support is also unlikely, as Microsoft has recently released Windows Phone 7 (although the company has embraced its competition before). It is safe to say that your device of choice in terms of true and total Windows Live support should therefore not be an Android one.