isync 1.1

iSync 1.1. The “dot one” is for an extra shot of sucking.

If I were Apple Development, I’d be really upset with myself right now.

Apple routinely never says a word about products in development, and never gives a sneak peak at things (With the exception of some of their more radical technologies – OpenDoc, Cyberdog, and Hot Sauce being of note) and didn’t say word one about support of new mobile phones or upgrades to core technology in their iSync product.

For those that don’t know, Apple has a product called iSync that is supposed to make your life better by syncing a bunch of devices together, making it easy to manage your digital mess of a life by having your iPod, Palm OS device, and mobile phone all in sync with one another. Same numbers. Same appointments. Same information on your computer, phone, iPod, and PDA.

Sounds great. But it only works if you’re willing to sacrifice a lot – and in the case of at least two people on the Apple discussion site, a lot means “Your entire addressbook”. I will not comment much more on that other than ask aloud why these people didn’t back up their P800’s to the memory stick before doing something like run iSync. Isn’t that “Computers 101”?

First things first. iSync supports new phones. Everyone rejoices. Finally bozos with non-Bluetooth phones can join the 90’s and synchronize a mobile phone with a USB cable on a computer.

Those of us bigger bozos with Bluetooth-enabled phones (I actually have three phones with Bluetooth now. Sad.) are in better luck. Still no Nokia 6310i support – but I wasn’t expecting that. What I was expecting, and have 50% of – is support for the Nokia 3650.

Now, cute that it has an icon there of the 3650. But I can only sync the addressbook? Huh? The first few syncs even ate my girlfriend’s entry, and that of my friend Bryan too. Weird.

A third sync and they came back. This wasn’t in the log as to why, and I have no guesses. I have everything doing okay now – and I did a full backup of my 3650 over Bluetooth to my Windows PC before doing this, so I didn’t really care either way.

It WILL sync photos assigned to people from the phone and to the phone into Addressbook.app. That’s pretty slick, and I suppose for some people worth the price of admission right there. Plus the new QuickTime supports video formats from the 3650 out of the box. Nice again.

But I can’t sync ToDo’s or Calendar appointments to the phone via iSync, so it loses. I can, from my Windows XP PC, sync my 3650 via Bluetooth to my office Exchange server. Like it or not, that’s nice – and Apple dropped the ball there. Hard. And it sucks.

Next up is the iPod, which is a pretty stupid garbage-in garbage-out device so it doesn’t really change much in this release. iPod holds calendar stuff and contacts. Just like it always has.

Nothing new here, so I’ll move on to future disappointment. Palm OS devices:

Why Apple continues to hamstring, hobble and cripple iSync with this totally poor excuse for Palm OS support is beyond me.

You can sync your calendars. But not Memos or Voice Memos. You can sync contacts (Thank God they let you do that, I guess) but you can not under any circumstances manage your data according to categories. Why?

There is no way to, say, have a meeting under “Day Job” in iCal and have it get put into the same category on your Palm. No way. Doesn’t happen.

Likewise Contacts. I have probably around 1200 different contacts and I like keeping them in categories so I don’t have to page through lists of them when I’m driving. I like hitting group, letters, and quickly finding them and initiating a Bluetooth dial from the Tungsten|T to my mobile phone.

These days it’s even more important to me that I be able to sort appointments and tasks by category! Sorting and making sense of the data on my Palm is totally pointless, and an excercise in futility. Everything ends up in Untitled or whatever ONE category you assign on the Palm once you hotsync. Duh, Apple.

If I had time to, say, dig through dumpsters on Sunday nights in Providence maybe I wouldn’t need to categorize my appointments. But dammit, Apple, I’m a busy lad that needs help organizing my life and my responsibilities. Your software can’t do that, therefore it sucks.

Sadly, while I had high hopes for iSync 1.1, I’m going to have to revert to Palm Desktop and using Nokia’s software for Windows to keep things moving. A real pity that Apple just doesn’t Get It but they’re proving – three for three now, that their developers just don’t care about Palm OS support enough to make it good.

I’d rather use iCal and Addressbook – Palm Desktop is ugly and annoying – but at least it works.

itunes music store bugMy laptop started flaking out, I reinstalled the OS and restored /Users from backup.

Now I can’t play music I purchased without “activating” it. The computer is configured to be the same name as it was before, but it’s asking me to use an authorization to play it!

Ack!

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