Exchange Active Sync EAS with Outlook Android app
Question asked by Michael - 12/23/2021 at 2:31 AM
Anyone using an EAS account with the Outlook Android app? It seems to only let us add the account as POP or IMAP whereas the Samsung email app will recognize the account as Exhange Active Sync. Is this because the Outlook app only likes O365 accounts or something else?

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Sébastien Riccio Replied

I was intrigued by this thread so I gave it a test from my Xiaomi MI 10 device.

1. Installed outlook
2. Entered my e-mail address when prompted
3. It showed a screen where I could choose the type of server (Office 365, Exchange, IMAP, POP, etc). I choose exchange.
4. Entered my password
5. Setup done.

The account seems to work and use EAS as I was able to check in connectivity for my test user.

- For the domain i have IMAP, SMTP, EAS, EWS, MAPI autodiscover enabled.
- The user has EAS/MAPI/EWS enabled.
- In the test domain DNS I have:
 * A SRV entry for autodiscover that points to the main DNS name of our server
* An autodiscover.domainname.tld entry that points to a website with valid SSL certificate that redirects /autodiscover/autodiscover.xml to our.smartermail.server/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml
* Also a redirect of domainname.tld/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml to our.smartermail.server/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml (this last one seems very important and avoir a lot of trouble with autodiscover as it is the first url checked by AD).

If it can be of help....

ps: Outlook version

Kind regards.

Sébastien Riccio System & Network Admin https://swisscenter.com
Michael Replied
We tried it on a PIXEL and Outlook recognizes the email as Exchange but doesn't auto fill the server info.
We cannot get the Outlook app to recognize the email as Exchange on Samsung devices.
Steven Belsha Replied
I've also had this problem on my Samsung S20 ultra 5g.  The way I worked around it was to add my email as IMAP and then when I attempt to re-add it (leaving the IMAP account in place) I am offered a choice of server type.  In any case I still have to enter my mail server domain (mail.yourdomain.com).

Hope this works for you.
Douglas Foster Replied
Android Outlook is not an ordinary email client; it is a proxy.   Your connection goes to Microsoft, then Microsoft uses your stored credentials to log onto your server.   Anybody's guess what they do with your data   We tried it when Pixel ActiveSync was incompatible with SmarterMail.   On top of everything else, performance was terrible.   Outbound messages were delayed about 10 minutes.  Suggest you avoid it like the plague 
Sébastien Riccio Replied
Yes Douglas, you're completly right about this. It proxies almost everything through their cloud. AFAIK the new Outlook client for Mac does this too.

This raises a lot of questions:

1) If their infrastructure is going bozo customers can have issues when the target server is running fine (and the customers will blame us of course)
2) It's literally a man-in-the-middle "attack". They can see all the traffic as I guess as the traffic between the client and their cloud probably has to be decrypted and then re-encrypted from their cloud to the target server.

When we can we strongly suggest our customers to use another mail client like for example emClient if they need solid support for Calendars/Contacts/Tasks synchronisation.

Sébastien Riccio System & Network Admin https://swisscenter.com
Douglas Foster Replied
Since SmarterMail upgraded their implementation of ActiveSync,. it has worked well with the Google version of the Exchange client.    I know of no feature advantage for using Outlook for Android.   I would be mildly curious (but undeterred) if someone can indicate why Outlook for Android (or MAC) is necessary.
Marc Rainville Replied
Employee Post
We do test using the Outlook mobile client for ActiveSync and we did verify that we are able to connect with this latest build. Outlook mobile's architecture as described above by Sébastien can easily become out of sync with any EAS client. If any clients are having problems, I recommend that they resync with the server.  The app does include a quick way to for a resync in the Outlook Mobile Settings -> Account -> "Reset Account"

Marc Rainville Software Developer SmarterTools Inc. (877) 357-6278 www.smartertools.com
Stefano Replied
The thing that I hate most about Outlook app is that the connection is not done directly but it passes from a Microsoft server.
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post

While I appreciate Marc posting a workaround, I want to caution people against using Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android. Microsoft is going a very evil route in an effort to have access to all your mail data, no matter the mail server you are using!

Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android are VERY buggy because Microsoft is trying to route all your mail through Microsoft servers, regardless of whether you want them to or not, and you have very limited access to these servers and your data. For example, we are not confident when you delete a message in Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android that Microsoft is actually deleting your messages as opposed to simply simulating that deletion but keeping the message on their server but your mail server etc. The reason for this is because we already know they're not deleting accounts when you delete them so we still see connections from Microsoft servers to customers' mail servers even though they deleted the account out of Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android.

Microsoft has all kinds of reasons why they are taking this route, but you have to admit it's an ethical gray area, at best, to process, store and go through all your emails and learn about people, trends and everything else that makes users' email so important.

Personally, I think people are nuts to use Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android and we may spend some money in the coming months to make sure more people are aware of what Microsoft is doing, because we feel it's really wrong.

Tim Uzzanti CEO SmarterTools Inc. (877) 357-6278 www.smartertools.com
Andrew Barker Replied
Employee Post

Regarding your comments about Outlook for Mac, I think you'll be happy to know that the current version is still using direct connections with the mail server over POP, IMAP, or EWS.
Andrew Barker Software Developer SmarterTools Inc. (877) 357-6278 www.smartertools.com
Sébastien Riccio Replied
Hello Andrew and happy new year.

That is good to know. I hope they will keep it this way in the future, when connecting to on-promise servers.

Kind regards
Sébastien Riccio System & Network Admin https://swisscenter.com

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