Review: The Missing Sync 3.0
Price: $29.95 (download); $39.95 (CD-ROM); $14.95 (upgrade from 2.x)
Requirements: Mac with USB, Mac OS X 10.1.4, Sony CLIÉ PDA, Palm Desktop 4
While the PDA market may not be something Uncle Steve will ever admit to envying, Sony has certainly gone out of its way to make PDAs that have all the style and panache we Mac users are used to from Apple’s products. Not only are the various CLIÉ models the pinnacle of PalmOS PDA style, but they are, in this reviewer’s humble estimation, the best value for the money in the low-end and mid-range PalmOS market.
Having recently used a PEG-S360 for a week before trading it in for a PEG-SL10, I found myself in need of some way to sync the CLIÉs to my TiBook so that I could recover the data left by the untimely partial demise of my Palm IIIe. Enter Mark/Space’s wonderful software that does exactly what it claims to do: sync a CLIÉ with a Mac.
Reviewing electronic copies of software has its drawbacks. I can’t give an opinion on either the CD-ROM or the upgrade version, although I don’t anticipate problems with either one. In the interest of full disclosure, there have been comments on message boards around the Mac Web claiming problems with the download; I received the review copy via e-mail with no problem at all but as such, I am unqualified to comment on any download issues.
The software installed without a hitch, although it did require a restart. I don’t claim to know all the details of what was installed but I suspect this restart may be avoidable, and if so, it would be prudent for Mark/Space to re-write the installer. Once restarted, I merely had to select the HotSync application on the PEG-S360 and it just worked, as smoothly as my IIIe had worked on my Wall Street (although much faster due to the USB connection).
I had tried to sync the S360 prior to installing The Missing Sync and had failed miserably no matter what settings I tried. When I returned the S360 and exchanged it for the SL10, I immediately brought the SL10 home, hooked it up, and HotSynced again, with no problems at all. I’d love to test the software with every CLIÉ model, but getting Sony to send me a free NR70V is proving to be a bit difficult.
Mark/Space claims the MP3-capable CLIÉs (neither the S360 nor SL10 qualifies) can be used as an iTunes music source; likewise, they claim the photo-capable CLIÉs (including the SL10) can sync with iPhoto. I was unable to test either the iTunes support (still waiting on that NR70V) or the iPhoto support (requires a Memory Stick) but I can say that it didn’t like my moving iPhoto out of the root level of the Applications folder in OS X. The Missing Sync iPhoto plug-in got dumped in the root level of my Applications folder; moving it into the iPhoto application’s Plug-Ins folder (via Show Package Contents) should remedy the problem.
One final caveat: if you have an original CLIÉ PEG-S300 (or if your 700-series device is still using Palm OS 3.5.x), The Missing Sync will not allow USB HotSync under OS X; the OS 9 version, which is included with the OS X version, should allow these devices to work. Mark/Space says Palm OS 3.5 support may be included in a future OS X version of the software.
If you have a CLIÉ or are considering purchasing one, this software might just be the single must-have accessory for your stylish new pocket pal. If you’re considering a higher-end PDA, however, check around on the Net and with other users; some field reports indicate you may not need The Missing Sync for USB sync with some of the newest models, although you’ll still need it for the iTunes, iPhoto, and Memory Stick features.