My Phone beta team chimes in

It's been a couple of weeks now since Microsoft's My Phone beta first went live. Some of you are loving it, some of you are loathing it, and some of you are still waiting to get your confirmation code. And Microsoft's not ignoring you.

One of the biggest gripes we've had is that if you're already syncing with an Exchange server, you're SOL as far as syncing your PIM data with My Phone. But Microsoft is taking a look at that, as well as more selective syncing.

Here are three FAQs the beta team says, in its blog,  it's paying attention to:

  • Tighter integration with Windows Live services: Window Live suite of services provides a fantastic user experience around Contacts, Calendar, Photos and other user needs. We too are big fans and ardent users of these services and it is natural for you all to ask for tighter integration so that all of your personal data is consolidated in one single view. The initial goal for My Phone service was to test the concept and validate that we are solving a real problem for the users. Now that we have a resounding vote of confidence for the service our future plans are moving in this direction.
  • Support synchronizing additional data: Your phone is a very personal device for lot of us. For some of us it is akin to having all of life in your hands and it is not fun thinking about losing all of this information. We have tried to support syncing the most frequently used data types keeping in mind the current and future trends but at the same time we have room for growth in this area for syncing additional information. There has also been active discussion around providing flexibility to select folders and files from the phone for syncing it with the service and also providing the option to sync Contacts, Calendar and Tasks even though they are managed by Exchange/ActiveSync.
  • Suggestions on improving the experience on the My Phone Web Site: There have also been number of suggestions on further improving the overall usability of the web site along with the phone application. These are being evaluated on case by case basis and we will be taking those into account for future updates.

What say you, fair readers? How's My Phone treating you?

Dieter Bohn
  • don't like that it syncs every single picture file on the phone, and by every, i mean icons, and program associated pictures. There needs to be an option to set which folders to specifically sync and which folders to leave alone, if it can't differentiate between what are real pictures and what aren't.
  • I like it - especially that it does calendar. Dashwire worked great for me, but no calendar (although they're working on it). I got my initial sync done fine, but now it says I'm using Exchange and it won't sync up my contact, calendar, etc. anymore. I'm not using Exchange, so trying to figure out how to get it up and running again without doing duplicates or wiping everything.
  • Calendar is giving me fits. Sure glad I still have GooSync so my calendar is TRULY backed up to Google Calendar! They've acknowledged that it's a known issue with recurring appointments that are anything but Annual (though I'm still having issues with random bithdays and anniversaries). Also have a significant number of appointments (non-recurring) which aren't syncing up to MyPhone at all. Essentially, the Calendar is worthless to me. I like the backup of Text Messages - that part is pretty cool. Contacts needs some work, which again, they've acknowledged. I have LOTS of contacts which are businesses, and there is no first or last name - I just enter the Company name. Not a problem on my device. On MyPhone, there is no info at first glance, just the phone number! Granted, if you drill down into the contact details, you see that info, but my first several (of 41) pages of contacts on MyPhone are BLANK, which looks scary! I await some significant improvements. It has potential, but it's not "wowing" me yet... Matt
    Windows Mobile Louisville
  • It will be great when Exchange-synced data can also be backed up. Also, the ability to select specific folders to sync and not sync versus only selecting by a data type would be nice too.
  • there was an upgrade to My Phone last night. Dont know whats new yet but I upgraded at my last sync.