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Using iSync and Bluetooth

by Wei-Meng Lee

Apple has released the beta version of iSync, the synchronization software based on the SyncML protocol. iSync synchronizes the contact and calendar information on your mobile devices with your Macintosh. In addition, if you have more than one Mac, it will also help to synchronize the information in your address book and iCal calendars. (.Mac membership is required.)

The mobile devices supported by iSync include the latest GPRS, Bluetooth-enabled phones (such as the popular Ericsson T68 and the Sony Ericsson T68i) and Palm OS devices (such as the Palm m515). iSync also synchronizes the information on your iPod with your Mac.

To download iSync Beta 1.0, go to The download is about 7MB. You need to have the latest Mac OS 10.2 Jaguar running.

Installing iSync

Installing iSync is a snap, provided you have already installed iCal. iCal is required for iSync to work. You can download a free copy of iCal from

iSync beta 1.0 contains two packages--iSync and iSync_Palm. The latter is required for synchronization with Palm devices.

Screen shot.
iSync contains two main packages with the latter for Palm devices.

For this article, I have tried iSync using my Ericsson T68 and my Palm m515. I will walk you through the steps to get the devices connected as well as how to set up Bluetooth on your Mac so that the synchronization can be done wirelessly.

Adding the T68 Using Bluetooth

For Bluetooth connectivity on my Mac, I used the Billionton USB Bluetooth adapter.

When you boot up your Mac with the USB Bluetooth adapter plugged in, you should see the Bluetooth icon in your System Preferences window:

Screen shot.
Locating the Bluetooth icon in the System Preferences window.

Clicking on the Bluetooth icon reveals the four tabs for configuring Bluetooth access. As I want to establish a connection between my Mac and my Ericsson T68, I'll go to the Paired Devices tab, and click on New....

Screen shot.
Click on the Paired Devices tab to pair new devices.

You also need to turn on the Bluetooth radio on your T68 and set the phone to be in the Discoverable mode.

Screen shot.
Pairing a newly detected device.

Once the T68 is found, click on Pair to establish a relationship between the phone and the Mac. You will need to supply a passkey to ensure that the connection is secure. If the pairing is successful, you will be prompted with another screen allowing you to choose the services that you can use with this phone.

Screen shot.
Choosing the services to use with the phone.

Once this step is completed, you should be able to see your T68 icon in the iSync window:

Screen shot.
The newly added T68 phone.

To start syncing, simply click on the Sync button:

Screen shot.
Clicking on the Sync button will begin the synchronization process.

To further customize the syncing option, you can click on the T68 icon and select the relevant syncing options.

Screen shot.
Clicking on the T68 icon reveals more options for syncing.

iSync will synchronize the Contacts and Calendars information on the T68 with the Address Book and iCal on your Mac respectively.

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