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New Palm TX Forced Me to Address Mac Sync Options
Pages: 1, 2, 3

I Sync It's Gonna Be All Right

A better solution



Missing Sync's feature list is enough to make anyone who's tried the previous two options start salivating. Photos straight from iPhoto? Songs from iTunes? Pick a folder on your Mac, and have it always synched to the Palm? Wow, sounds much nicer.

Despite an installer rather than drag-and-drop install (I always distrust the former, although I can't really say why) and an annoying reboot, I was ready to go with Missing Sync.

Lots of assistance to help you get going

The setup assistant guides you through

Thankfully there's plenty of help provided, including a lengthy user guide in PDF format. The Setup Assistant is a biggest help, especially if you've just been through a series of sync troubles. It helps you switch all of your Palm-related stuff to Missing Sync, and makes it easy to set up the transfer of iPhoto albums, iTunes playlists, and any folder(s) you specify on your Mac, which will subsequently be kept in sync with the Palm.

If you're running Tiger, that is. Under Tiger, Missing Sync is able to make use of the new Sync Services feature; with previous versions of OS X, it is still dependent on the iSync Palm Conduit.

And it simply does a better job of syncing data. More fields, in more apps, are supported by Missing Sync. It's faster, too.

You get stuff done better, faster

Ultimately, Missing Sync provides a far more useful and user-friendly experience than any of the other available options. Because it takes the time to guide you through the setup process, there's none of the confusion involved with getting iSync Palm Conduit working, nor do you find yourself stuck in the old-school, workable but restricted environment of Palm Desktop.

Missing Sync, therefore, represents the best chance you've got of really getting your Mac and Palm to work together. Sure, it's going to cost you $40, but given the radical difference it makes to the experience I think that's good value for money.

Synchronicity

The Palm TX is great because it offers an excellent screen and dual wireless connectivity, at a fantastic price ($299 at the time of writing). The drawbacks are lack of a cradle, no voice recorder, but worst of all, the pitiful state of Palm synchronization.

Right now, it's a mess and has the potential to leave many people completely confused; let's hope both Palm and Apple are able to put some effort into improving the situation before too long. In the meantime, Missing Sync from Mark/Space offers a well-thought-out and incredibly useful alternative. If you don't mind paying extra on top of the price of your TX (or any other Palm, for that matter), buying Missing Sync will be money well spent for most people.

With that caveat in mind, I'd say a Palm remains a good choice for Mac users. All they need do is remember that unless they're prepared to pay that extra $40, their experience with data synchronization will be a troublesome one.

Giles Turnbull is a freelance writer and editor. He has been writing on and about the Internet since 1997. He has a web site at http://gilest.org.


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