Sync findings with Mac, WindowsMobile & Google

So, after losing my job and access to a Exchange box I set about finding a way instead to sync my WindowsMobile PDA (hereafter referred to as PDA) with my Mac.

I visited a few online ‘gobetween’ sites and soon found a minefield of caveats.

http://soocial.com – looks very promising but only does contacts. It syncs from mobles (NOT WM yet), Mac, via a Prefrences app, Outlook, Gmail. All pretty well. Except that’s slow in showing the effects and I got in a heap of a muddle not letting the results show before tryig something else. Anyway, only a part solution.

http://goosync.com – syncs PDAgoogle, does calendars by default. neat, easy to understand, works with PDA using a wifi/3G connection and an app on the PDA. However, to get it to do contacts and tasks it’s a premium service payable by the month and being in UK that’s expensive.

So I gave up and thought I’d bypass online altogether and bought Missing Sync http://markspace.com. Figuring it’s been around long time, rather pay once for a PDAMac solution than ongoing for a PDAonline one.

After three days trying to get MissingSync to work I spat the dummy and wrote asking for a refund and let me go on my way to preserve my sanity. They want to try help me get it working, poor dears, [sigh] and so that saga’s still underway.

So, back to looking at using online as intermediary and find maybe a service that’d do contacts and another calendar using google as a PDAonlineMac gobetween.

Google’s own sync offerings seemed best way to go – http://www.google.com/sync/

A big stumbling block I came up against here is that the Google sync offerings for Macgoogle only work on Leopard versions of OSX (10.5.x & later) and I have Tiger (10.4.x).

So I gave up on the whole idea of using my Mac iCal and Address Book and instead focused on the PDAGoogle sync. And just use online offerings.

I used the mobile sync for WindowsMobile found here http://www.google.com/mobile/winmo/sync.html and it works a treat. A trap for wary players – when you first setup ActiveSync on your WM device it defaults to overwriting you contacts on the PDA with those from Google. I’d cleaned mine out on Google intending to fill with clean lot o my Macs Address Book. So I filled my PDA WITH NOTHING! And remember, I can’t sync my MacGoogle as I am a lowly Tiger user.

Never fear, if you are in that situation, use this excellent little app http://bborofka.com/A_to_G/A_to_G.html to export your Mac Address Book details and import into Google. Then reset ActiveSync to “Keep the item on my device” if there is a conflict (found in ActiveSync on your PDA, under “Edit Server Settings”, “Advanced” button (bleedin obvious, hey), and re sync.

So, I’ve got flawless sync happening between my WM5 based PDA and my Google account’s Calendar & Contacts. And the GoogleMac side of things will just have to wait until I get Leopard on my Mac.

At that stage I’ll then use the inbuilt Address Book gmail sync (after using this hack http://lifehacker.com/393855/enable-google-contact-sync-without-an-iphoneipod-touch) and to sync iCal on Mac to Google calendar I’ll use “Gsync” http://googlesync.sourceforge.net/ or http://code.google.com/p/calaboration/ to get ‘inbuilt’ iCal sync.

Phew

Dave

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