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TouchDown Exchange - the Best Android App Ever...this week

Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday April 04, 2012.

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I've been primarily an Android user for a long time. But that was not possible, for real, until one thing happened. That thing was the TouchDown Exchange client by NitroDesk. Until that time, Exchange support in Android was basically non-existent, and I was a long time Exchange user who was coming over from Windows Mobile.

Since that time back in late 2008, I have been a TouchDown user. No other Exchange client, built-in or otherwise, comes close to matching it for functionality.

The application is as flexible as the developer, who often adds features based on user requests. In fact, new features are always flowing into the application. If you are interested in always having the latest and greatest version of TouchDown, you'll be happy to know that the developer actually makes nightly beta builds available.

As a proper Microsoft Exchange client, TouchDown does a lot of things. Users get push access to Exchange email, contacts, calendars, and tasks. That's a given. But you also get cool features like an Outlook-style "Today" view of what's going on, a nice set of widgets, an "all folders" email inbox view that is perfect for mobile devices, powerful filtering, themes, out of office messages, multiple calendar views, and meeting request support. If you are using an Exchange 2010 server, you even get notes and SMS sync support. Have multiple Exchange accounts? No problem, TouchDown supports multiple profiles.

One of the best aspects of TouchDown, though, is its configurability. Users can select which function buttons appear on the message viewer screen, for example, and there are so many settings that can be tweaked to make the app function as you like. You don't have to mess with them to get things working, of course, but it's nice to know that you can.

But when it comes to Exchange, there's often one other person that you need to take into account. That would be your IT administrator. Due to all of the enterprise security features offered by TouchDown, though, he's not going to be a problem. TouchDown supports remote wipe, policy enforcement, SSL connections, PIN use, encryption for both user data and attachments, and, recently added, support for Certgate smartcard signing.

The downside for TouchDown, if there is one, would be its $19.99 price. But if you live and die by your email, then that price is not that hard to swallow. There's always the chance you can get your company to pick up the tab, too, once you show them all the nice security features it offers.

If you use Exchange on Android and don't use TouchDown, then you owe it to yourself to at least try out its full-featured 30 day trial. It's well worth your time. Worried about what to do with your tablet? NitroDesk makes a tablet-friendly version, as well, that supports a nice paned interface.

"Best App Ever" is a feature on MobileBurn.com where we point out some of our favorite apps. They don't have to be new, but they will be applications that we actually use ourselves and truly like. If you have an idea for an app we should check out, contact us here.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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