Calendar invites and other frustrations on Windows phones
I have been using a Windows phone for just about 6 months now. There are things that take getting used to, but overall, I quite like my Lumia. My other phone is a vintage Android and due for a replacement; the more choices I see in the market, more I delay!
So, I read with interest Mukund Mohan’s piece on why he thinks the Xiaomi MI3 is just not the phone for him. His reasons are unexceptionable. I only want to point out that one of the reasons he uses a phone, is email.
Mukund has an issue with receiving configuring emails on the MI3 with Microsoft Exchange. To quote:
First: email. As I mentioned, I have Exchange and our corporate policy requires encryption of the phone to access email. That does not work with MIUI. After 5 restarts and 4 hard resets, I still dont have my Exchange email. Which also means my calendar is not available. It is a known bug according to Xiaomi and there is no ETA on the fix.
The work around is I downloaded another email client, which seems to work, but my contacts and calendar on Exchange still dont sync. That absolutely is a deal breaker for me.
Now, I have been using the Windows phone (Lumia) and it does not handle calendar invites in mail at all- UNLESS, you guessed it, the invite is created from a MS-Outlook client.
How lame is that?
Broken calendar invite
If I send a calendar invite from my Google Apps email, he will receive an email, but it will not have the .ics file as an attachment – forget the embedded calendar invite that shows up in other mail clients. I did a Google search for this issue and came up with this on the Microsoft forum. As you can see, the issue is pretty old and there is really no solution. Does Microsoft really think the whole world uses Outlook?
This, in a quick succession is my second frustration with MS- the last one was when we figured their Outlook API will share all details of the Contacts except where they work. Think; they will share the email, mobile everything- but apparently the place of work is classified information.
When I started using the Lumia, I was floored with the battery life and the smoothness of the scroll even in a cheap phone. The display is great as is the screen- no screen-guard for the last 6 months and the screen is scratch-less.
The first major irritant was the inability to mark emails as spam from within the phone email client. Apparently Microsoft voted for minimalism here in their design- but, with me doing almost all the email work on my phone, it really is a pain to use the laptop to manage my mail filters. I have lived with it, not happily but .. well! The issue with the Calendar invite is more serious, however.
Since the Windows phone marketshare is 3% of the smartphone market worldwide and not showing signs of increasing, Microsoft has to do all the running to ensure it does things that others already do. If I am unable to accept your calendar invite on my Windows phone, I will not campaign to have the world work on Windows phone or Outlook.
Let me show you how the same calendar invite created from Saleswah CRM shows up on a colleageue’s phone email client running Android 4.3.
Just in case you were wondering, the Windows email client shows the calendar invite email as this (see below to the left):
See above, to the right how the same calendar is displayed on my ancient Android 2.3.6 phone- a phone I am almost ashamed to show in public :). I rest my case.
We are MS- fanboys. We develop first for Windows and Phone and then on to other platforms. Why do I get the feeling that MS simply does not listen?