Wednesday, February 23, 2005

iSync to the beat

I've just taken delivery of a new phone - a Sony Ericsson P910i. Why that one? Well, the Treo 600 I've been using for the last 12 months or so has given up the ghost - that horribly designed stubby aerial that only an American phone needs has started to wobble, making call quality poor. The Treo 650 isn't going to be around until Mid-March and I needed a phone. I've had a P800 and a P900 before, so this seemed a good stopgap until the Treo 650 makes landfall. I actually wanted a sexy V3 from Moto, but the software quality on those is not great and with 500 addresses, the contacts function is too slow to use. What I don't get it why SonyEricsson haven't figured out that Apple is a cool place to be. Syncing with the Mac requires a degree in Computer Science. SE should be partnering with Apple and providing great software that works out of the box. Here's how I have to sync (thanks to Lozishere):
First step: Go to /system/library/application support/syncservice and then find a file in /501 called SymbianConduitDefaults.plist. Drag this file to the desktop. Now delete all the folders contained in /system/library/application support/syncservice/. They will be called things like 501, 508 etc. Second Step: Open and then quit iSync. Third Step: Open the file you just dragged to the desktop. Open it in textedit if it asks you for an application. Delete the file's contents and replace it with the following: kBTEmptyFolderIsOkayReally kBTFilteringDestinationFolderID F 126881400.11 kBTFilteringDestinationFolderName General kNSSyncConduitFilteringContactGroupMap kNSSyncDeviceID 00-0f-de-87-3d-56 kNSSyncDeviceName LoZ kNSSyncDeviceShouldSlowSyncCalendars kNSSyncDeviceShouldSlowSyncContacts kNSSyncDeviceUseCalendars kNSSyncDeviceUseContacts kSymbianConduitModelKey P910-1 kSymbianHasDeviceSynced
What on earth is all that about? What happened to plug and play? Or cradles and hotsync buttons? God knows how this guy figured out what needed to be done. Apple cannot go mainsteam until two things are sorted:- (i) easy interfacing with multiple supplier devices and (ii) proper rendering and interoperation of major websites (there are still too many,e.g. HSBC online banking, Parcelforce etc that don't work properly - the business case is not there for them). Tomorrow's task is going to be to follow the instructions above and see if I can make it work. I happen to know that getting a Moto V3 to sync, even to a PC is hard though - for whatever reason they decided not to support Outlook (!!?) and so you have to export all your data to a text CSV file, reformat the fields to map to Moto standards and then import again. Doing that the other day took 6 hours for a friend! I'm all for integration, but first I want interoperability and interconnectivity. No scratch that. Actually, I don't really care about integration. I'd like interop first, we can worry about photo ipods some other time.

4 comments:

  1. Actually SonyEricsson are partnered with Apple for syncing - they were the first phones to work fully with iSync as announced at one of Steve's keynotes. I've had several SE phones work out the box no problems with iSync via Bluetooth.

    Also the HSBC site works fine on a Mac, just use Netscape.

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  2. Hey Jason - hope all is good with you. I've plugged in and got syncing - but it's not quite out of the box. Some fun with bluetooth first; then I find that I can sync contacts with the address book, but not task lists, email, SMS etc. That's functionality that is available on the PC version that comes with the phone, but there is no equivalent Mac s/w.

    I have a digital cert for my hsbc account that only seems to work on a PC with IE. What am I missing? have you got it working in netscape?

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  3. Couple of other maybes:

    If iSync can't sync with some Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones, make sure personal firewall is off.

    When you try to sync with some Sony Ericsson and Nokia phones, this alert can appear:

    "Unable to establish connection."

    One solution is to turn off personal firewall, alternatively, if you want, leave firewall on and configure the firewall settings to open the port to the phone. Click New and enter these settings:
    Port Name: Other
    Port Number, Range or Series: 3004
    Description: Bluetooth

    Also see http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25803

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  4. My HSBC/Netscape/Mac setup may work because that's what I started with to set the whole thing up in the first place.

    It may well be that once you've gone down the whole IE/Windows route you can't return (cue ominous music!).

    The HSBC Internet helpdesk are actually pretty helpful if you care enough to sort this one out!

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