Zimbra, Android, and Syncing
I'm new to these forums, and I'm new to Zimbra, but I just started a job that requires us to have a Blackberry device or an equivalent smart phone to check email on. I have the Android Galaxy S Captivate from ATT. When I try using an app to have my email come to my phone, it works ok, but it doesn't "sync" with the server where when I click on an email, it doesn't change my web client to say "read" but instead just marks read in my phone and doesn't anywhere else. Here are the app options I've tried, but none are working the way the Blackberry handles it.
Standard email app that comes with the phone: Synced account, it grabs emails as fast as I request it to, however when I read the emails, it just stays read in the email and not on the web client.
Gmail app: Synced my gmail and zimbra (with my company) account perfectly. Now I have gmail pushing my emails to my phone from the gmail app preinstalled, and I can even send emails from my work address on my phone through the gmail app, however it still will only sync with the gmail servers to mark a message as "read" but not on the web client still.
Zimbra app: I downloaded and installed it. It sucks. Plain and simple, and I need something with a whole lot more functionality like the options that come with gmail or the email application.
So any ideas on how to make my phone mark a message as "read" and the web client notices it (or zimbra server we have notice it) and marks it on my computer, and when I mark it read on my computer, have my phone notified that I had read it?
Zimbra Mobile for AT&T android?
The AT&T Android market doesn't have a "Zimbra" anything. AT&T only lets you install apps from the market. How then can I get Zimbra Mobile?
Android Setup Primer - May 2011
To help clarify Android issues for other Zimbra people like me who are trying to cut a path through the jungle so we too understand how to set up and get the most out of our phones....
First, on the Android (like the iPhone) there is a data store for email. So you can have 5 email sources/accounts but they'll all go to one single database. When you find the Messaging app you'll find a Universal Inbox where all emails from all accounts are stored. That's probably not practical. You can also open an app that shows your email for each account. For example I have a GMail account, and to match I have a GMail app that first asks me which of my gmail accounts I want to access, and then shows me email from just that account. Also, all my Gmail emails are found in the Universal Inbox. I also have a Yahoo email app, and more.
The Android also has a universal data store for calendars, and a universal store for contacts.
Setting Up an Android Device (smart phone, etc)
There is one distinct area, I believe, where we each take a fork in the road on how to set up our android device:
- Is our Zimbra instance the community edition, or the network edition?
Why does that matter? We'll have to use apps on our Android that use the sync protocols for email, calendars and contacts that are available in our edition of Zimbra.
If we're working with the community edition of Zimbra then we don't have ActiveSync. Not a gigantic loss (is that an editorial?). Instead we'll use apps that support some other sync method:
- for email we'll use imap
- for calendars we'll need an app that uses caldav
- for contacts we'll need an app that uses carddav
For email you'll create a normal pop3/imap account. I can't say this strongly enough: for people that use both desktop & mobile you'll want to use IMAP when setting up your email app on the android!!!! If you don't know why do it anyway. If you need pop3 and you know why then do that. On my phone (droid 2) when I create an account the icon for a pop3/imap account is a postage stamp named *email* (go to settings -> accounts -> add account, and then pick the type of account - ie fb, google, etc).
Point it to your Zimbra server and you'll be sync'ing email in no time.
All you've done so far is configure an email client.
For calendar and contacts you'll need to find in the Android market an app that syncs your calendar using caldav, or syncs your contacts using carddav. Why caldav and carddav? Because the community edition of Zimbra includes those standards. The alternative standard is activesync and it requires the network edition of Zimbra.
If you have the network edition you can utilize ActiveSync. And all I can say about that is that activesync is used with Exchange (Microsoft's enterprise email solution). ActiveSync is a ubiquitous thing, even in the Android world.
Built into my Motorola Droid 2 from Verizon - and I'm not an expert on all the variations of Android devices and service providers - I have an account type named Corporate Sync. The icon is 2 blue arrows in a circle. This is the Exchange / ActiveSync account type. This syncs email, calendars and contacts by using the default Android data stores.
Use this native Android app ('corporate sync') for Zimbra Network Edition unless you want to find your own fancy Android app in the android market.
Any app that you download to add to your Android make sure that it stores its data in these default Android data stores. That way you can create a contact on Zimbra that will also work with other Android apps like the phone app. To bring that to life... I can make a contact in Zimbra and give it a phone number. When that syncs to the phone I can go into the phone app, open my contacts, and there's my Zimbra added contact ready to dial. Or, I can add it using my phone, and when I log into Zimbra web mail I'll find the contact with the info I typed into the phone.
As of this writing I think that may help some who are trying to find their way through the maze of setting up their Android with Zimbra.
You'll find on these forum discussions by people whose Android is not working correctly based on its model, or the specific version of Zimbra.