For the pioneers of plug and play simplicity, Apple sure doesn’t make it easy to use their products with other products outside the Apple-approved family. Steve Jobs' biggest address to the MacWorld conference in recent years came in 2007 with the unveiling of the iPhone. During that talk, he made a specific reference to the “Notes” feature and indicated that syncing notes with Microsoft’s Outlook would be part of the phone’s functionality. Alas, it took until the release of the 3.1 firmware upgrade 2 years later for Apple to make good on that promise.
It may seem counterintuitive, but you need a program originally designed to catalogue and download music in order to make your phone communicate with your Outlook. Apple users already know that everything happens through iTunes, but PC users are often mystified by this fact. Download iTunes through apple.com.
With Firmware Set 3.1
If your iPhone is updated to firmware set 3.1 or later, you have Note syncing functionality built in. Make sure that both your Outlook and your iTunes are loaded with the most current updates. When you connect your phone to your PC via a USB cable, iTunes should open automatically. Choose “iPhone” from the devices menu in the upper left-hand corner. In each of the settings tabs, you can check off items you’d like to sync including calendar, contacts, music and notes. Choose Outlook in the “Sync from” drop-down menu. You will only need to do this once. Every time you sync from now on, it will sync the items you’ve selected. You can also tell it to “Sync automatically when my phone is connected,” and simply connecting your phone in the future will initiate a sync.
Before Firmware Set 3.1
Builds prior to 3.1 could sync contacts, calendar and mail messages with Outlook, but notes were not an available option in the sync menus. There is a little third-party item called iOutNotes that patched the problem, but be aware that loading any third-party software on an iPhone that is not approved by Apple puts you at risk of a bricked phone. The easier course of action is to upgrade your firmware to 3.1. Also, since the iPhone now includes note syncing, the developer responsible for iOutNotes no longer supports the program.
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