New iSync Brings New Compatibility

by Jason Deraleau

Related link: http://www.apple.com/isync




Yes yes, I know, I haven't written in a while. Sosumi. I'm feeling overwhelmingly compelled to write about the new release of iSync that came out today. So here I am :)



The new iSync bumps the version to 1.1 and more than doubles device support. Most noteworthy is support for many, many different cellphones on a variety of carriers. Personally, I've had Sprint PCS for somewhere around four or five years. One of my biggest gripes these days is the fact that they don't have a Bluetooth capable phone. A lot of that angst came from the fact that I really, really want to sync my phone's address book and calendar with my PowerBook.



My phone still isn't supported, but at least some from Sprint are. I only need to change phones and not carriers. Good deal! Also added to iSync 1.1 is the ability to sync Safari bookmarks between Macs using .Mac. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. It's a cool feature, don't get me wrong, but I want to sync _more_ than just my bookmarks. I want to be able to sync my choice of files, something along the lines of how Backup works.



But, while the new iSync might lack the ability to sync files, it does (finally) include some conflict resolving features. If entries on your various devices conflict, you are presented with a small window describing the conflict and allowing you to choose how you want to resolve it (i.e. which device takes precedence). You can also check a box to have all conflicts with the same devices involved be resolved in the same manner.



Overall, iSync 1.1 brings some nice features that I'll definitely be putting to use in the near future. Okay, I confess. I synced my iPod, PowerBook, and Visor Edge about four times already. I wanted to see how well the conflict features worked. Good job Apple!



What kind of devices are you syncing?


4 Comments

gbshuler
2003-06-04 08:11:09
Sprint PCS and mobile web
Lately I have been daydreaming about a PowerBook (now starting at only $1599!) and a mobile phone I could use as a link to the web.


I consult at various client sites and cannot always tap into their net. It would be so cool to use the mobile phone. I know you can do it with some of the Bluetooth-enabled phones. I am not sure any from SprintPCS work.


As a satisfied customer of SprintPCS for more than 3 years, I hope they offer something soon. I am thinking about "Switching" (as we Mac'sters say). If anyone has a working scenario I would interested in a Weblog on this..

anonymous2
2003-06-06 11:54:40
iSync Still Inadequate
The new iSync does indeed support more phones (I finally got my Sony Ericsson P800 to sync, once I realized I had to allow port 3004)


The biggest problem with iSync, though, is that the application as a whole is woefully inadequate. It doesn't "synchronize" in the user-friendly meaning of the word -- if you've entered information into various data stores, iSync won't coalesce that data, it simply pushes whatever info is on your Mac out to all those other devices. Most notably, you can't import the contact information from your phone into Apple's Address Book.


Let me repeat that: iSync won't import the contact information from your cell phone into the Address Book on your Mac!


If you're like me, you probably prefer to keep your phone numbers in your phone where you can speed-dial them, rather than on your computer where you have to look up an entry and key in the number, possibly making a mistake [You remember the commercial: "I tried calling Phoenix -- and I got Fiji!"]


I understand that organizing distributed data is a Hard problem, and there's no way Apple would be able to account for the myriad of potential foul-ups, duplicates, and frustrated users they'd have on their hands if they tried, but by touting iSync as a be-all, end-all solution, Apple is giving its users false hope, promising them salvation, but solving only part of the problem.


To paraphrase the old adage, "If you're only PART of the solution, you're still part of the problem."

anonymous2
2003-06-07 23:24:42
Sprint PCS and mobile web
i can connect to the net using my sanyo 8100 and os x. it was a snap to set up. Speed and latency make it undesirable as primary connection but nice to have in a pinch. check this out: http://www.macsprintusers.com/
jldera
2003-06-09 04:52:06
iSync Still Inadequate
I can't say I'm disappointed in the newest iSync release in the least. I've read some horror stories from other users, but have yet to encounter any problems on my own. It seems that people are finding issues with the new phone support more than with iPod or Palm support. The latter two being what I'm using iSync for. Also, I'm surprised that iSync doesn't pull data from a phone, considering it will pull data from a Palm. I'm hoping to pick up a T68i in the next couple of months. Then I'll get a better feel for the cellphone features and any potential bugs that might crop up.