Missing Sync for Palm OS 5.0.3 full review

Missing Sync has long been the support service for Palm OS users whose devices have been left out in the cold by Palm or their licensees. Working with pretty much any Palm OS 4 or OS 5 device, it provides an alternative method to HotSync for synchronising data on your PDA and Mac.

With this update, Mark/Space has been able to take advantage of OS X 10.4’s new Sync Services: finally, calendar categories are syncable to iCal’s different calendars (important for separating home and work diaries), multiple addresses for the same user, and other standard fields from Apple’s Address Book (birthdays, IM address, etc) are also up for grabs. It will even synchronise contact photos if your Palm device is up to it!

It still supports a range of third-party conduits (FileMaker, Entourage, Avantgo), and includes some of its own. Missing Sync comes with a Mac application called MemoPad that lets you access your Palm notes on your Mac, which is now searchable via Spotlight. There’s support for syncing iTunes playlists, and you can specify an iPhoto album and have the images copied over to your Palm. Missing Sync includes a copy of SplashPhoto Viewer, so you’re guaranteed to be able to view them. Usefully, if your PDA supports a built-in camera you can have Missing Sync copy your latest snaps back into iPhoto every time you sync.

Syncing is supported via USB, Bluetooth, and AirPort connections. Syncing via Bluetooth is slow but useable, but it tends to hammer your PDA’s battery life. You can also share your Mac’s web connection via Missing Sync, great if you’re having trouble trying to get your PDA’s WiFi connection to cooperate with an AirPort base station. It also includes the useful ability to mount your PDA’s memory cards (MMC, SD, or Memory Stick) as volumes on your Mac’s desktop. The killer feature, though, is the new Folder Sync conduit, which you can use to keep multiple folders on your Mac and on your PDA in step.

Initially, we did have problems getting the Folder Sync, iTunes, and iPhoto conduits to work with our test Clié NX73. But after a helpful exchange with Mark/Space’s tech support, they identified a bug in both Clié NX73 and NX90 ROMs. The result? A new version of the app, which works around the bug, was put together, and we were away. I now have access to PDFs of my invoices, the latest ‘In Our Time’ podcast, and family photos, all on a single device.

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