Missing Sync Version 5.0 Released

Mac Missing Sync for Palm OSMark/Space today announced version 5.0 of their award-winning Mac synchronization software, The Missing Sync for Palm OS. This major upgrade improves syncing with the Address Book and iCal applications in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, introduces folder synchronization, Spotlight searching of memos and adds synchronization of iPhoto albums and iTunes playlists.

"Version 5.0 of The Missing Sync for Palm OS represents the realization of our two-year plan to deliver an improved Palm OS synchronization experience for Mac users," said Brian Hall, president and CEO of Mark/Space. "Last year, with the release of version 4.0, the focus was on connectivity, device management and usability. Version 5.0 completes the picture by vastly increasing the types of information that users are able to sync, including handheld calendar categories and additional contact record fields, providing a better experience all around."

Most importantly for users, this release of The Missing Sync interfaces with Tiger's new Sync Services technology, allowing contacts, calendar events and tasks to be synchronized directly with the master database on the Mac. Previously, users had to go through Apple's iSync utility and iSync Palm Conduit. Unfortunately, the latter has not been updated to handle the latest handheld database fields, such as calendar event categories, multiple postal addresses, instant messaging addresses, and birthdays. The Missing Sync now does all this and more, even synchronizing contact photos from Palm Treo smartphones and other camera-enabled Palm handhelds.

The Missing Sync for Palm OS & MacVersion 5.0 introduces a new Folder Sync conduit that allows users to define folders on their Mac and Palm OS device that are then kept in sync automatically. For example, if a document is edited on a Palm OS handheld, the updated version will be copied back to the Mac the next time the Folder Sync conduit is run. Users can define multiple folders and unidirectional or bidirectional synchronization.

New conduits for iPhoto and iTunes provide media synchronization. iPhoto albums can be selected for synchronization, and photos can be automatically resized for optimized viewing on the Palm OS device. Additionally, photos taken with a camera-equipped handheld or smartphone can be copied to the Mac, either into a specific folder or directly into an iPhoto album.

The new iTunes conduit lets users select playlists to be synchronized with their device. All audio files in a format supported by software on the handheld are automatically copied. The plugin even supports Smart Playlists that select music at random, so new audio files will be sent to the handheld during every sync operation. Both the iPhoto and iTunes conduits can be set to ensure that a specified amount of storage space is left available on the device.

New connection-aware Conduit Profiles give The Missing Sync the ability to run a specific set of conduits based on the type of connection made between a Palm OS device and a Mac. One use of this feature could be to have all conduits run when the device is connected via its cradle or USB cable, but then to only run a subset of conduits if the connection is over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, saving time when using slower connections.

Mark/Space's bundled MemoPad application runs on Mac OS X and gives users a way to create, edit and synchronize handheld notes. With the 5.0 release, MemoPad gains sorting and searching capabilities, and it also responds to Spotlight searches on Tiger, giving users more ways to quickly locate the information they need.

With all these features and more, Mark/Space didn't forget the importance of easy setup and use. A new series of Setup Assistants walks each user through installing bundled handheld applications and configuring synchronization settings for their specific needs. The user only needs to answer a series of questions, and The Missing Sync takes care of the rest.

Third-party Developer Support and Intel-Based Macs
With the pending arrival of Intel-based Macs, many Palm OS device users who work on the Mac platform are wondering about the future of interoperability between their favorite devices. Mark/Space is working to ensure continued Palm OS device connectivity with Mac OS X. The company's engineers have developed a bridge library for third-party conduit developers that will help them make the transition to an Intel-based Mac platform. Conduits that incorporate this bridge library will not only work with future versions of The Missing Sync and Mac OS X on Intel, but they will also function under The Missing Sync and HotSync Manager today. This software component is available for free to interested conduit developers; it may be downloaded from the Developers section of the Mark/Space website

Pricing & Upgrades
The Missing Sync for Palm OS is available for immediate download (as a four-language installer, including English, French, German and Japanese) from the Mark/Space Online Store. The electronic download sells for $39.95; retail packaged CD's will be available starting several weeks later for $49.95. All customers who purchased The Missing Sync for Palm OS on or after October 1, 2005 are eligible for free upgrades, while owners of any previous Missing Sync product, regardless of platform, are able to take advantage of a special upgrade price of $24.95.

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Must buy for Mac users

Kesh @ 11/2/2005 3:53:44 PM # Q
I've been using Missing Sync for at least three versions now, and it just keeps getting better every time. The latest version adds a lot of great features, especially with the iTunes syncing and the new Memo featuer.

RE: Must buy for Mac users
Purfekshunist @ 11/2/2005 4:29:57 PM # Q
Mark/Space definitely fills a big void in the Palm/Mac world. I'm glad that they continue to update and add new features to their software. In particular, I've been looking forward to the ability to sync multiple (at least two) addresses between the Palm and Mac for a long time now. I'm a bit confused, though - on the Mark/Space website, it indicates that Tiger is required for syncing multiple addresses. I wonder if that's true (hope not, since I'm still running 10.3.9), and if so, why?

RE: Must buy for Mac users
Admin @ 11/2/2005 4:56:26 PM # Q
I believe Tiger is required because 10.4 has a whole new sync services functionality built in that missing sync must take advantage of.
RE: Must buy for Mac users
bhall_markspace @ 11/2/2005 8:21:43 PM # Q
That is correct - the new pim sync conduits talk to Tiger Sync Services so OS X 10.4 Tiger is required for those conduits.

The good news is that once other PIM apps add support for Sync Services, it will be possible to sync with them as well. Both Now (Now Contact, Now Up-To-Date) and Microsoft (Entourage) have said in public they plan to support sync services, but have not said when. The sooner the better!

Since we also support sync services in our Windows Mobile and hiptop versions, your data then syncs across all devices will all apps that support sync services. It is very cool.

RE: Must buy for Mac users
Mike Allwitt @ 11/3/2005 10:59:45 PM # Q
Lets hope Palm and Palmsource are taking note of this. It looks significantly easier and more manageable than Hotsync on Windows...

Maybe palm will get with the picture and provide a new Hotsync solution with some better management options. Things like a profile manager (mentioned in article), coduit management (for add remove), and some better Time translation (though this may require changes the the Palm OS way of handling time...)

At the least a conduit removal tool. nightmare I once had trying to remove a corruped conduit...

Mike Allwitt
Logic X Design, Inc Database Consulting

- Yeh, it's cool. Was it supposed to do that?

RE: Must buy for Mac users
pmjoe @ 11/10/2005 10:33:59 AM # Q
This looks great, but ... (and I don't blame Mark/Space for this) this should be included with Palm OS devices, not an expensive add-on. Lets look at it this way, if I was going to get a new Palm today (which I am definitely considering), I'd be looking at spending an additional 33-50% beyond the cost of the device on software just to get the device to work properly. If I get a Zire 22 (low end), I'm looking at ~$100 for the device and $40-$50 for this softaware. If I get a Tungsten T|X, I'm looking at $300 for the device, $40-$50 for this softaware, and another $50 for VPN client so I could actually use the WiFi. I really hope Palm gets off their butts and does something about this. Certainly doesn't make me want to run out and buy a device when I'm the one who has to cobble together a working solution (at my extra effort and cost).

RE: Must buy for Mac users
pierecker @ 11/12/2005 2:54:33 AM # Q
Missing sync does NO single thing better than Palm Hot Sync.

It looks very nice and it promises a lot but it corrupts data and most of the conduits just donīt work.

Never buy a software from an author that provides no demo.

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