Android Apps Review - Keep Your Life Organized and in Sync with Tasks & Notes for MS Exchange (Mar 25, 2015)
Android Tapp - Tasks & Notes for MS Exchange offers the full capabilities of tasks and notes management (May 27, 2015)
Tasks on a phone
- Direct push synchronization with Exchange ActiveSync
- Tasks and Check-Lists
- Notes (Exchange 2010)
- Email To-Do list / Flagged mails (Exchange 2010)
- GTD with drag & drop support
- HTML body support (Exchange 2007 SP1)
- Multiple accounts, folders
- SSL/TLS and client certificate support
- Badge Icon
- HTML / Rich Edit support with Undo / Redo
- Google Now integration
- Select folders to sync, hide and flag emails
- Android Wear support
- Print support
- Send and receive SMS in Outlook or OWA
- Tasker support
- Invite people and share tasks
- Share notes directly into the app (create items from any other app)
- Password protection
- Quick new item and voice
- Multiwindow support
- DashClock integration
- Floating icon support
- Categories with colors and custom SQL filters (Exchange 2010)
- Custom categories with SQL filters
- Shortcuts - Quick voice / type and Quick edit
- Search, 3 level sort, views
- Backup / Restore settings using Android Backup Manager
- Export / Import data to XML
- Beautiful user interface and themes
Notes on a tablet
- Create shopping and to-do lists
- Can be edited on your PC
- Sort, reset and order items in your check-list
- Context menu for extended actions
- Check and uncheck items
- Special structured text note
14-Day Trial, License and Purchase ($4.99)
The app provides a 14-day trial with all features and functionality and after expiration you are required to purchase a one time license. There will be no refunds so please make sure the app works for you. Of course, we will always support it no matter what. When expired the app will stop synchronizing.
The license is valid on all of your devices as long as you use the same Google account. When purchased the license status becomes "Licensed" and you do not need to ask for your license key. On some devices this is not instant and may take a few hours (an issue with Google API). Just go to Settings - License next day and check that all is ok (or reboot your device).
If you for any reason cannot purchase using the Google Play we have developed a license key system which consists of a reference id (based on the google account) and the actual license key. Send a donation and the reference id and we will provide you with the license key.
Tasks Work But Notes Do Not
This issue is caused by your Exchange server version which is not version 2010 or higher. Each Exchange version has its own ActiveSync version. Microsoft has introduced the Notes support in ActiveSync v14.0 which exists in Exchange 2010. Before this Notes could not be synchronized over ActiveSync and you can only upgrade your Exchange server. Tasks work in any Exchange server.
App Does Not Sync Or Only In One Direction
First, check that under Android Settings - Accounts - Tasks & Notes your account has the [X] Tasks & Notes provider checked. This option needs to be enabled for the synchronization process.
The latest Exchange Server supports ABQ which lets the admin block or quarantine new devices. If a device is quarantined it basically lets you sync new data to the server but does not sync anything from the server. In such case contact the admin to allow your device.
Other issues need a thorough analysis. So first of all enable the debug logs. Then create a new item on the device and also on the server (via Outlook or OWA). Then sync and analyze the logs. The server must publish all new items automatically since it handles the whole sync process.
Each sync command contains a SyncKey which changes with each response and next request from the app must contain the last SyncKey sent by the server. This way the server knows what items we have and what changed from last time and can send the difference. So if the server does not send anything (response to the Sync command) then there is a problem on the server.
The client issues the Sync request (>>> direction) and the server responds with Sync response (<<< direction). The Status must be 1 which means success. ApplicationData contains the whole data of each item in any direction. There must not be any error in the logs.
Eventually you can use the Reset Account to start the sync from scratch. This is also very helpful to analyze the whole server functionality.Last but not least you can send us the logs.
Display Outlook's ToDo / Flagged Mails
The app supports flagged emails from Exchange server 2007 SP1. You need to enable this functionality in the app's account settings (Settings - Accounts - Account - Setup - Flagged Emails). You can also define what folders should be synchronized in the settings.
In order to see the items you should use the All category view which mixes all tasks in one view. By deleting such task the corresponding email remains on the server and it will clear the flag. By completing such task the flag will change to Completed. This feature is new and should be considered as experimental. Hope you like it.
Categories are supported from Exchange 2010. The ActiveSync protocol does not support specific category synchronization. This means when you add a new category in Outlook or OWA it will not appear automatically in the app. Instead each item bears its categories when syncing from the server and if such categories are missing in the app they are automatically created. So as long as you use those categories (they are assigned to some items) they will appear in the app when such items have been synchronized. However, for the reason above the colors in the app will be different because they are randomly generated. If you want to add all categories from the server to the app instantly, create one item that has all those categories assigned and synchronize.
Category Views / Custom Filter / Default Values
The app provides the category views capability. Any category can be displayed in this section and you can quickly change the view from a folder to this category and all items from this category will be displayed. We went a step further and created something we call category filtered views. These are categories with a custom SQL filter. Such categories are no longer considered as categories that you can assign to items and let you define any custom SQL filter such as display only today tasks, tasks with these categories already completed etc. The options are endless. For this reason you will not be able to use those categories to assign them to items and additionally it will not be possible to specify your custom view filter in the Views dialog because there could be collisions in those filters. An example of such collision could be that the category filter shows only tasks and the Views filter shows all items. This is why Views filters are disabled and only the category filter will be applied.
The full custom filter tutorial with examples is present in the app in the Category screen - Spy glass button - Tutorial. It describes all available fields, examples and use of the custom sql filter. Please, consult the tutorial screen in the app for more details.
Another important part of category views is the Default Values section. It provides the default values for newly created items in this category. For instance if you create a new item in the All category where would be the item created? In the past there was a mechanism to guess the correct folder (take the first item's folder in the list or use the first folder in the drawer list etc.). The results were undesirable. This is why you can specify any default values for items created in the category filter view. The "folder=" variable designates the final folder where the item will be created and you can either use the folder name or folder variables ("%default_tasks%" or "%default_notes"). You can specify task attributes, tags (categories) etc. Use the field names from the tutorial.
Sending SMS is supported from Exchange 2010. First of all you need to enable/register your device to be able to send messages from your Exchange Server. This is done in the app's Accounts - Account - Setup - SMS Messages. Enable the option and make sure the notification message is successful. From now on the ActiveSync/Exchange server is aware that your device supports sending SMS messages. When you restart Outlook, select from Mail Home the action "New Item" "Text message (SMS)"
After sending a new message the SMS object will get synchronized to the app and the app will send the message to the proper recipient using the mobile network. The message will also be put in your SMS history on your device for archiving purposes. It is highly recommended to use the Push feature so messages are sent instantly through your device. To send from Office 2013 you need to use [MOBILE: xxxxxxxx] in the to: box. Where xxxxxxxx is the recipients phone number.
How To Use Google Now / Voice Robot Feature
After you invoke Google Now in voice listening mode by saying "Ok Google" you need to say "Note to self" followed by the voice note you want to record. For example, to record a voice note to remember to buy eggs tomorrow you say: "Ok Google" then once Google Now is listening: "Note to self buy eggs tomorrow". Google now can be used also on Android Wear using the same syntax.
You can also use the Voice shortcut and in this case simply omit the "Note to self". The voice robot functionality is enabled for both modes and it defines a rich capability to describe your task's attributes. There is a sophisticated engine which can be simply extended if needed.
The following syntax is supported:
"Remind me to go shopping monday at 2pm priority high"
due - use today, tonight, tomorrow or day names (monday-sunday)
priority - use high or low
reminder time - any time syntax is supported (2pm, 14, 13:45 etc.)
How To Use The Drag & Drop Feature
That app has a drag & drop capability which makes it possible to quickly move items between the grouping of the current view. Suppose that you have a task item Due Today and you want to quickly move it to Tomorrow. Normally you would use the task's attributes or use the Due menu. However, you can simply long tap the task in its left area and drag it to any grouping category you want. It works for most of the group by modes.
How To Work With Check-Lists
Check lists are used to display a shopping or similar lists with a possibility of checked items. Any item (note or task) can become a checklist (use the top right arrow to expand the attributes and Add CheckList). The advantage of this feature is that any Exchange client (Outlook, OWA) can edit them because they are stored in the description as multiple lines and the [X] for checked items as a prefix. You can also define your own checklist delimiters in the Advanced options (should your items be separated by "," or similar).
App Displays Folders That Are Not In Outlook Anymore
This is caused by the Exchange server which still sends all deleted folders that are located in the Trash folder. Go you to your Trash folder in Outlook and delete those folders from there. They will then disappear in the app too.
Can The App Use The Current Exchange Accounts?
Unfortunately, this is not possible. Android supports such thing but developers have not implemented this support for corporate accounts (Google accounts work fine). Another reason is that each vendor has their own Exchange ActiveSync implementation (Google, HTC and Samsung) and they differ.
Credentials And Information Security
We have received several inquiries about the app being secure. The main concern seems to be about the account password being published or sent somewhere. We can assure you there is no such thing. The app connects directly to your server and never sends the credentials anywhere else. This can be verified by installing the WireShark app on your device (a packet monitor) and spying on the Internet traffic from the app. You will see there is only one secure connection to your server.
Please, enable the debug logs under Settings - Advanced which will log all ActiveSync traffic and other useful information to the root of your internal memory (org.myklos.inote.log file). This file will be then attached automatically when sent via the Settings - Support - Send Feedback report.
Creating Account And Authentication Problems
An account is created in Android Settings - Accounts - New Account - Tasks & Notes. Just fill in the username, password and server. In most of the cases this should be enough. In some cases it will not work, there can be multiple reasons for this, most of the time it is the username format. Read the error message you get and proceed below (you can also enable debug logs to get more information)
HTTP 401 Invalid Credentials
The server cannot authenticate the user for serveral reasons. Make sure your password is correct. The only other thing you can tinker with is the username format. To make things hard Microsoft have several formats which they support and only one of them will probably work. If you think about how you log into Windows then pick the format which is closest to that and you will probably be ok
Option 1 - email
This is the easiest and would be something like "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Option 2 - domain\user or \user or user
Note that this format uses the backslash character NOT the slash character. You may have to go down a few levels on the symbol screens on your device to find this (this is a Microsoft convention so noting I can change unfortunately). An example would be something like "emea\johndoe". Some systems allow this to be abbreviated to "\johndoe" or the almost common sense "johndoe".
Options 3 - server\email
Again this uses the backslash character. An example would be "emea\email@example.com" or a more complicated "emea.uniqtec.eu\firstname.lastname@example.org"
HTTP 403 Access Forbidden
The server does not allow the device to login due to some policies. Most likely because of the ABQ (Allow Block Quarantine) feature of the Exchange server. The new device must be enabled/allowed by your administrator in the Device Management console.
HTTP 404 Not Found
The server you specified does not support the ActiveSync protocol. Quite common with Tine2.0 where ActiveSync is not enabled. It can also mean you have an incorrect server name. Always ensure this works and brings up an authentication page (which means the server is correct and supports ActiveSync)
SSL Handshake Error
The server does not contain a trusted (signed by CA) certificate. Just check the Trust all SSL certificates option
Try the following server names:
In case of any problems, just send us the log file and we will check it for you.
Sync Problems / Reset Data
Should the synchronization not work for any reason and you have verified this in the debug logs, there is a way to force a full slow sync from the server. Please, make sure you understand that all data or changes on the client will be lost as this is how ActiveSync works. The first initial sync gets all data from the server and deletes all items on your device. You can always use the backup feature just to be sure.
Go to the Settings screen and tap the "Tasks & Notes" item 5x in the About section. You will get a notification of "Development mode set to 'true'". Now go to the Accounts and tap your Account and select Options. Now tap the Reset Sync Data item. This will mark the account for full slow sync and all folders and items will be synchronized from the server again.
If you like the app and feel it should be translated to your language you can do so easily yourself.. , Just let us know and we will send you 2 xml files and include the translation in the next version.