February 12 2009: MacBook Pro 15” ordered.
February 20, 2009: Proud owners of our first MacBook !
Now the integration starts. I went on in length about the issues we had in translating everything from PC to Mac (http://www.2fatdads.com/2009/03/pc-to-mac-switching-pains-part-1/). The only issue we still are having is the lousy integration between Blackberry and Mac, which was actually not covered in the aforementioned post.
Our first attempt was to use the free and Blackberry licensed PocketMac software. This application was miserable in its attempt to synchronize data between the Mac and the Blackberry.
A little background: We were using the latest version of OS X Leopard with two Blackberry Pearl 8100 phones (NOTE: we have since replaced one of the Pearls with an iPhone 3GS 32 GB). Neither of our Pearls had data plans, so essentially they were voice phones with the soul of a PDA.
The first problem with PocketMac is the way in which it creates a new calendar in Calendar, aptly named PocketMac. Assuming that the synchronization worked flawlessly, which it didn’t, the new PocketMac calendar created issues.
- The computer would have the events created on the phone copied to the PocketMac calendar, and events created on the Mac in the appropriate local calendar.
- The phone itself only ever had the calendar entries created on the phone, leaving behind the rest of the calendars behind. Not very useful.
- The synchronization process failed and crashed out independent of whose prfile was used, and which phone was used.
We then proceeded to purchase a copy of Mark/Space’s The Missing Sync for US$39.95. This is by no means our priciest software license, but it was the only software that we ever bought without trying first (Hint: Mark/Space you should consider a try before you buy program!). This application boasted Bluetooth synchronization and greater stability. Our hopes were high, but had the following issues:
- Large contact lists often crashed, leaving the user the impression that the synchronization was working, but didn’t always work. In fact this is disconcerting, as I would rather know that a crash results in a failed synch, as opposed to a successful synch. At least I’d know if it was successful or not.
- There came a point that the Bluetooth synchronization was the only working method, which was inconvenient as we had 2 Pearls that wanted to synch, either of which were associated to a different Mac user. The fast user switching in the Mac created a weird need to force quit from the Missing Sync in order to avoid cross telephone contamination. Definitely a headache that we didn’t need.
Fast forward to July 20, 2009. Research in Motion announces a Mac Version of their Desktop Manager software. RIM announced a release slate for September 2009. According to RIM’s web site (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/desktop/mac.jsp) the Desktop Manager will:
“sync your iTunes® playlists and personal information like contacts, tasks and appointments; install new software, games, and more. BlackBerry Desktop Software will offer the best of both worlds by allowing you to manage aspects of your BlackBerry® smartphone from your Mac”
Hopefully RIM will release something that will actually allow for Blackberry phones to consistently, predictably and efficiently sync with a Mac. We’ve been waiting awhile for this, so please make sure it comes out of the oven fully baked.