I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Sometimes the serendipity of things startles me.

After my recent exploits into the world of the Motorola V600 cellphone, bluetooth and my PowerBook, imagine my surprise to go online this afternoon and see that Apple has released iSync 1.5 which supports lots of new phones from Motorola and Sony Ericsson, including the V600.

Now it isn’t quite as cool as it could be. You do need a USB cable to sync any Motorola phones. It’s part number SKN6311 and available from Motorola for $30. So no cool bluetooth syncing there. (I do find it interesting to note that the bluetooth setup for the V600 I talked about in my earlier post needs to be configured to “Support Non-Conforming Phones” and that iSync doesn’t support bluetooth on Motorola. Is there a connection? Is there a problem with Motorola’s implementation of bluetooth?)

Thankfully my previous phone was a V60 which I’d set up for iSync so I already had the cable. It works great.

iSync 1.5 and Motorola V600

See that “Cellphone” group I had you make in Address Book comes in handy now. The contacts come over “First-name Last-name” via iSync instead of “Last-name First-name” like with the “Send This Card” method in Address Book. Make sure you go into “Options” and tell it which email address and fax number to send (if any). It’s too bad you can’t get all. You might also want to uncheck “Only synchronize contacts with phone numbers” if you’ve setup any email-only addresses.

Syncing with iCal works as well. Unfortunately it doesn’t correctly handle multi-day all-day events. They show up as colored bars across two or more days in iCal. I use lots and lots of these for work. On the V600 they show as being all-day but only on the first day. Nothing for any other days. The phone supports multi-day all-day events. When you’re editing an event on the phone, set the duration to “Custom” and you can choose how many days it lasts.

So we have iSync with the V600 and it’s good.

There are still a few things that don’t seem to work correctly between the phone and my PowerBook. In Address Book if I click on the Bluetooth button, it wants to Pair with my phone—even though it’s already been set up. And if I tell it to pair with my phone, the connection is immediately dropped. So I’m unable to use the “SMS Message” and “Dial With Cellphone” options in Address Book.

Also the whole “file sending” thing doesn’t work in every way I’d like it to. I’ve been able to drop MP3s into my audio folder on the phone ok and copy pictures that I’ve taken with the phone camera back to my computer fine. But other things give me errors. I’ve read about others using other phones who can select a chunk of text and use “Send File to Bluetooth Device” from the Services menu to have it sent to the phone and show up in the message inbox. Or taking J2ME applications and send them to the phone to install. In the Device Browser the error is “The file transfer failed: unsupported media type.”

It’s a little annoying because in the information about the device pairing in the Bluetooth Pref Pane, it claims the phone supports OBEX Object Push and OBEX File Transfer. From everything that I’ve read, this is the key to making certain files go where they should. It would really be nice to be able to quickly leave text files like driving directions or other notes on my phone. And even though installing Java software by FTPing it to a directory on my website and downloading it with the phone isn’t hard, it would be much easier if I could just drag and drop.

So if anyone has been successful with any of those things I would love to hear about it.