I think it's time to start using our "Room For Improvement" category and get more focused on how the Smartphone platform can improve.
I used a hosted Exchange solution, which means all of my contacts, calendar, and email (for one account at least) sits up on the server. There are tremendous advantages to this, which I'll get into another day, but there's one particular problem with this that bothers me. The ActiveSync client on my Smartphone 2002 MPx has a setting that allows me to specify how often I want the phone to sync with the server. I have mine set to sync every two hours - I have a very low volume of email to the account linked to the server, so frequent syncs aren't terribly important.
When I'm not using my Smartphone, I tend to turn it off and leave it in my jacket - why waste the battery life if I know I won't be using it?Powering down my Smartphone is a scenario that Microsoft didn't seem to anticipate, and here's why: let's say I turn off my phone at night and power it on the next morning when I'm leaving. The last sync time would have then been many hours ago, but the Smartphone won't start a sync shortly after I turn it on - it will wait a full two hours before initiating a server sync. To me, that's a broken implementation - it should look at the time stamp of the last sync and when it sees that it's more than "x" minutes/hours out of date (in my case, two hours), it should immediately fire up a sync. It's obvious my intention as the user to never be more than two hours out of date with the data on my Exchange server, so why doesn't the Smartphone take this into account? There are certainly cases where people will turn off their phones, like getting on an air plane (yes, I turn it off rather than put it into plane mode).
I think a simple fix for this issue would be to alter the ActiveSync client on the Smartphone to look at the previous sync time rather than the power-on time of the Smartphone.