Nokia and Mac syncing

This is all a bit deja vue as I covered this at the start of the year when I had the Nokia E71 but it’s relatively pertinent for mac users. To my surprise, I realised that I had a copy of the Missing Sync for Symbian at my disposal, I must have paid for it at some point but trawling through my emails from earlier this year revealed no evidence of a receipt. Nevertheless, I have a licence code so downloaded the software and set it all up. I’m a fan of the Missing Sync range and have the Windows Mobile, Palm and Palm Pre versions and they all offer much to commend them but I feel the Symbian version is lagging a bit behind the others. It also doesn’t seen to have been updated much since inception so perhaps it has been semi-abandoned by Markspace along the line.

The major problem with it is the way it syncs, via Bluetooth. This makes the usual iTunes and iPhoto playlist and album syncing painfully slow. Transferring a podcast smart playlist was abandoned by me after 17 minutes after it was only about a third of the way through the first podcast. The big advantage of the application though is the easy way it handles installing Symbian apps although to be honest, the Mac handles that okay anyway once you pair your device with it. After that it is just a question of using the Bluetooth File Transfer software to pick a file to send. The E72 then accepts the file via a text message, open it and the application installs itself. All very simple. Having said that the Missing Sync is good at syncing contacts and also my GCal via iCal. I have been using both GCal and G Contacts for the last 6 months and the advantage of that is that is normally simple to get both on any new device, especially an Android one as the info is stored in the “cloud”. If you are a Google devotee and can use these instructions to sync your stuff in real time then you’ll have no need of the Missing Sync in the first place. I might give it another try another time. There is also GooSync which offers a free “lite” version for syncing some PIM info that claims to work on Symbian phones too but I’ve not tried that out as yet either.

The main reason though why I don’t feel the Symbian version is up to much is because of Nokia’s rather good Multimedia Transfer software for the Mac which is a free download from their site. This is a much better way to transfer music, podcasts, videos and photos as it is done via USB and is thus, rather obviously, a heck of a lot quicker. I used this app also with the E71 and it worked a treat. The only problem being that when you look at the photos on the device they are in no particular order, certainly not as the “albums” you sent them as anyway. And of course, if you don’t want the Missing Sync for PIM or are not a Google person then just download the requiste iSync plugin and that should solve your PIM syncing problems for nowt.

So then, to sum up, using the free Nokia app is a good way to transfer media via a mac, software can be easily bluetoothed across and virtually self-installs, PIM stuff (if you are a Google user) can be synced in real time via Mail For Exchange (apparantly) or if you use the mac apps like iCal them Missing Sync will be a decent, if rather expensive option. Overall then syncing via a mac, via some good free stuff is actuully a rather painless experience. In addition here is a useful tip for sending SIS files. If you control click on any SIS file and choose the “Open With” option and then choose “Bluetooth File Exchange” ) found in Applications-Utilities then each time you double click a new SIS file it will automatically send it to your Nokia device via Bluetooth.

Postscript…anybody who doubted my Nokia Email set up problems yesterday may care to have a peek at this little excerpt from Steve Litchfield’s very recent E72 review, which was in fact only published today (December 17th) on AllAboutSymbian:

Predictably, Nokia Messaging on the E72 was just as flawed as on every other device I’ve tried it on. In this case, I couldn’t even complete the setup process, as the wizard just looped around, asking me again and again for my email address and password, with no error messages, no confirmations and no progress. Fail. Yet again. It’s a complex client server system with multifarious connections to many third party services and software packages and isn’t, in my opinion, ready for the prime time yet. In fact, given its complexity, there’s a serious argument that it will never, ever, as a system, be glitch-free.

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