Apple CEO Steve Jobs used his opening keynote speech at Macworld Expo New York to introduced iSync, which synchronizes address books and calendars between Macs and the new generation of Bluetooth-enabled GPRS mobile phones, PalmOS devices and Apple's iPod portable digital-music player. Apple is working with mobile industry leaders Cingular and Sony Ericsson to offer Mac customers the first easy-to-use, integrated Mac to Mobile" solution.
"Cell phones are the world's most popular digital device, but up until now, there's been almost no co-operation between them and personal computers," said Jobs. "iSync lets users have the same up-to-date address book and calendars everywhere - on their Mac and in their pocket."
Sync, and swim Apple claims that iSync ensures that address books and calendars (Apple also announced 'the world's best calendar on a computer, iCal) flow seamlessly from a user's Mac to all of their digital devices and back. Rather than requiring a separate synchronization application for each type of device, iSync works with the latest Bluetooth mobile phones, Palms and iPod to keep all these devices up to date.
"Now, if you lose your phone, you don't lose your life," said Jobs.
iSync (list of iSync-compatible devices is available here) will be available as a free download starting this September, and requires Mac OS X version 10.2.
Blue tomorrow "Bluetooth has arrived! This is the start of something really big," exclaimed Jobs. To enable Bluetooth on your Mac, you must download Apple's Bluetooth software, and plug in the £41 D-Link DWB-120M Bluetooth USB Adaptor ("temporarily unavailable" from the UK Apple Store) to any available USB port.
Katsumi Ihara, president of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, joined Jobs on stage. "This is an important milestone. There is great synergy between Sony Ericsson and Apple in terms of how we see new services developing for the consumer and in our commitment to make applications easy to use," he said. "Apple's approach to working with mobile technology will scale well into the next generation phones that take on imaging, music and entertainment functions, and we see many more ways that our products can complement each other in the future."
"iSync could be the killer app for GPRS. Cingular is thrilled to see Apple take the lead in bringing easy-to-use mobile solutions to market," said Stephen Carter, president and CEO of Cingular, who also took to the stage. "With a Mac, our customers using the new Sony Ericsson T68i phone are at the leading edge of the mobile services revolution - keeping their contact list and calendar up-to-date between their Mac and their phone, sending and receiving text messages from their Mac, and surfing the web with our new Wireless Internet Express Network. I applaud Apple for embracing open standards."
Jobs suggested that soon iSync users will be able to sync their iPhoto libraries with their phone, and their home Mac with their work Mac.