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Out of the box, the iPhone and iPod touch can sync with Outlook’s appointment calendar and address book—but not its task list. For those who live and die by the to-do, that’s a major omission. Chapura’s KeyTasks comes to the rescue, offering limited but effective task synchronization.
After installing the app, it’s not immediately clear how to use it—until you tap the Sync button. From there you’re directed to create a MyChapura account, then download the KeyTasks utility for Windows. The latter syncs Outlook tasks to Chapura’s servers at designated intervals: every 15, 30, or 60 minutes. You can also sync manually if you prefer. Meanwhile, the KeyTasks app itself has a Sync button you tap to retrieve the latest tasks and upload those you’ve created.
In other words, the program doesn’t sync directly with Outlook—there’s a “cloud” intermediary—but at least it’s fairly automated. (Why KeyTasks can’t auto-sync like the desktop utility, we’re not sure.)
The program works like a charm, allowing you to sort tasks by due date, priority, or subject and to choose whether or not due and completed items are shown. There’s also an option to group overdue items, a nice touch. Alas, KeyTasks doesn’t yet support Outlook categories or reminder alarms (though both will be added in a future release, according to the developer). But you can, of course, create, edit, and delete tasks right on your device, and check off those you’ve completed.
KeyTasks costs $9.99, but read the fine print: That’s the price for a one-year subscription. Given that the software relies on Web servers and storage, it’s understandable—but still irksome. On the plus side, 10 bucks per year won’t break anybody’s bank, and if you feel naked without your task list, it’s a decidedly small price to pay.KeyTasks may be missing a few features, but for now it’s the easiest and most effective way to keep your Outlook task list in sync with your iPhone.