Hook up Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Mail

I recently upgraded from a BlackBerry mobile device to an Android Ice Cream Sandwich device. I’m less than 24 hours into my experience with the Android device and I’m already wondering why I waited so long to leave RIM behind. Not only does the Android operate much faster and with a more intuitive user experience, it actually supports ActiveSync with Office 365!

Setting up the email account with Office 365 was a bit vexing and I want to share my experience to help streamline the process. I used this article on Microsoft’s Office 365 support site to help get the proper settings in place and the most important pieces for me included the following.

  • Use your Microsoft Office 365 email address and domain name, not your custom vanity domain. In my case, my email domain is webactivedirectory.com but I needed to use my domain of webad.onmicrosoft.com.
  • For the DomainUsername setting, use your full user name and mail domain. For example, if your email address is richcranium@webad.onmicrosoft.com, type webad.onmicrosoft.comrichcranium@webad.onmicrosoft.com.
  • Get your Exchange Server name from the Office 365 Outlook Web Access (OWA) Help > About page. You can try the External POP Settings > Server name value first if you want. However, if you are on a podxxxxx.outlook.com server you will need to use either m.outlook.com or, in my case, the value in the the Host name line on the About page, which is a much more complicated server name like bl2prd0654.outlook.com.

Once I authenticated to the proper server with the proper credentials, the Ice Cream Sandwich OS automatically set up syncing of mail, contacts and calendar. For the first time since we switched to Office 365 in May 2011 I can actually get my contacts and calendar synced to my mobile device. Woohoo! Bye bye RIM! Good riddance!

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