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Have You Found the Perfect Sync? 39

Posted by Cliff
from the sync-with-me-baby dept.
DigitalWizard asks: "For me, the perfect sync is a platform independent sync. I have been looking for a website for sometime now; one that will support both SyncML for my mobile devices, and iCalendar for my laptop, with which I can keep events, tasks and contacts up to date on all. If I can use SyncML, I can synchronize just about any handheld device, PDA and phone alike. If the same server would also support iCalendar access, then I can use applications such as Mozilla Calendar, or even Rainlendar to access and edit my data from the laptop. This would be my perfect setup because then I am not stuck to using Palm Desktop or Outlook for my handhelds, and I'm free to try out different OS's on my system without losing all my PIM functionality. Plus, if it's web-based I can access it when I'm away from home. I have searched the web, and found quite a few candidates, but nothing quite fits the bill. I would really like to hear if anyone else has found a website which will do all of this. (Correction: I found one, but upon using it, the synchronization does not work very well.) I may publish my own list of finds in the future if feedback to this one is slow, but I'm interested in unbiased feedback for now. Web + SyncML + iCalendar — Is it out there?"
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Have You Found the Perfect Sync?

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  • At work, everyone has Blackberry's that sync with Outlook and Exchange, so it enables web access and interfacing with Salesforce and all of our Microsoft solutions. Because we are a relatively small shop with VERY standard systems, we've never really needed or experimented with anything else ... although I must say I'm impressed by the slick system you have setup.
  • by JonathanErnst (981839) on Friday November 17, 2006 @02:53AM (#16881000)
    OpenSync (http://www.opensync.org/) does exactly what you are looking : "OpenSync is a synchronization framework that is platform and distribution independent." If you want to read your data from the Web you can sync whatever device or application you want with eGroupware (http://www.egroupware.org/) for example. I'm using it with different phones, PDAs, Evolution, eGroupware, etc. and it works quite well !
  • by spiritraveller (641174) on Friday November 17, 2006 @03:25AM (#16881124)
    I have been through this exact same problem. I gave up and am now using a combination of Gmail (with GTDGmail extension) and my Nokia 9300's calendar application.

    The 9300 has a really good full qwerty keyboard and a 640 pixels wide screen, so for the most part, I just stick with it and don't sync.

    For tasks, I just use Gmail. The GTDGmail extension makes it pretty easy to use the "Getting Things Done" system with Gmail. And since the phone can access the web, I just use gmail's plain html interface over the phone. It is actually faster than using the phone's built-in email client.

    I do backup the phone's data to my Windows machine frequently, and I sync the contacts with Outlook so that they can be exported to Gmail. But that's the only thing I use Outlook for. You could probably accomplish the same thing with SyncML using Mobical.net or a similar service.
    • by famebait (450028)
      I've been wanting to write a direct sync between my SE phone and google calendar for a while now, but never found the time for more than geting "hello world" to work on my phone.

      It should be entirely possible to write a small java (j2me) program that directly accesses the internal calendar on the phone, and talks directly to the external gcal API over gprs or whatever.

      No Outlook, no PC, just sync up directly and wirelessly, whenever and wherever. Do drop me a line if anyone decides to make something like t
  • groan... (Score:5, Funny)

    by BortQ (468164) on Friday November 17, 2006 @03:42AM (#16881166) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like this guy wants everything. Up to and including the kitchen sync.
  • Mobical (Score:5, Informative)

    by barbazoo (604828) on Friday November 17, 2006 @04:35AM (#16881312)
    I think mobical [mobical.net] migh have what you're looking for. I have been using it since 2002 on a wide range of devices and it has always been the best solution for me, and they are not afraid to listen to feedback and implement new cool features.
  • I found the perfect sync. She still wanted to be "just friends".
  • by soccerisgod (585710) on Friday November 17, 2006 @05:34AM (#16881528)

    Sure.

    /bin/sync

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Google Calendar is awesome, but it really needs to add SyncML. Google already supports iCalendar, but using it in Sunbird seems to be read-only.
  • 85hz (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2006 @09:45AM (#16882854)
    just past the perceptible range of flicker.
  • As soon as I find reliable software to sync my Dell Axim x51v Windows Mobile 5 device, I can dump Windows.

    Gerald
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      Turn it into a Linux device and it will probably work fine :) I'm getting ready to do this with my iPAQ H2210, but then I have Windows CE 4.whatever, not 5.whatever, so I have less reason to stick with the existing software. :P
  • The Perfect Sync (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Friday November 17, 2006 @10:06AM (#16883092)
    You're probably not going to like my version of perfect sync...

    Exchange + Outlook + DirectPush

    Any changes made via Outlook go to the server. Then they are sent to any active instances of Outlook, finally the phone (T-Mobile Dash) is updated with any new mail, calendar or contacts. Conversely, if I add items in the phone they are instantly available on the desktop. In some cases the phone receives notifications faster than the desktop.

    There is also a nice web interface for Exchange that can be accessed securely. It has about 60% of the features of the thick client outlook.

    Of course you have to pay for Exchange - but this solution is secure (SSL) and fairly easy to setup.

    As an added bonus if I lose my phone I can have exchange blow away the contents of its memory remotely.

    Finally real time sync that works!
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There is also a nice web interface for Exchange that can be accessed securely. It has about 60% of the features of the thick client outlook.
      Please don't say that. It may have a "really nice" ActiveX interface, but the web interface (i.e. the thing you get to see if your browser is not MSIE >=5.5) is so far behind Zimbra [zimbra.com] or even GMail that it just isn't funny at all.
  • Zimbra (Score:2, Informative)

    by CoolCash (528004)
    I know that its a paid solution, but http://www.zimbra.com/ [zimbra.com] will do just that. They have an opensource solution, but this doesn't allow syncing to mobile devices. But their network edition supports syncing with Outlook, Mac Mail, iCal and Address book. Also has full sync with Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian OS devices. If you want blackberry support you will have to purchase a third party service.
  • I just got a "pocket pc".
    I really wish I could get the PDA interface from my good old Palm on this hardware... that, plus the "today" view of this would be nearly ideal.
    • AgendaOne might meet your needs. The base functionality in Windows Mobile 5 leaves a lot to be desired. (Note: I'm using AgendaOne on the SmartPhone version of WM5.)
      • by kisrael (134664)
        Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out.

        One thing I didn't realize how much I'd miss... there doesn't seem to be nearly as solid a community for Windows Mobile as there was for Palm back in the day. I haven't found a forum I like or even a great browsable software selection... sigh, maybe I shoulda stuck w/ Treo, though I find the slide out keyboard so much better than that blackberry -ish treo thing.
        • Aye, community support is pretty sparse for Windows Mobile. Which is mainly the fault of MS segmenting it's own market (not all PocketPC versions were compatible with each other). Then there's the SmartPhone version of Windows Mobile, which very little from the PPC side will work with.

          It's a real shame that Palm screwed the pooch back in the early 2000s.

          I keep hoping that Linux-based phones will take back some ground, but none of them were good enough for me to upgrade to this year. So I went with a
          • by kisrael (134664)
            I've got to see if I can't program for this thing...
            I kind of miss PocketC on Palm..
            theoretically I can get a MSDN type thing from work, but I'm trying to find out where to start with that...
  • The next version of Horde [horde.org] will have support for CalDAV [wikipedia.org]. Guess what else will in the next update, that's right, iCal [apple.com]!
  • iSync worksforme (Score:2, Informative)

    by otis wildflower (4889)
    Meh, iSync does the job with a minimum of fuss, and it worked with my old SonyEricsson P800, and it works now (after a little XML encouragment) with my Nokia E70. It does calendars, alarms, contacts, even contact pictures. Verynice.
  • Has anyone tried "Tilana Reserve" yet? I just found this service from a friend of mine, and I must say, it's pretty nifty. They are currently offering their service for FREE! I highly recommend it. http://www.tilana.com/ [tilana.com]

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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