Review of Pocket Mac Pro
Ok. A while back I got an evaluation copy of [Pocket Mac Pro] and [Pocket Mac Phone Edition] for review to play with on my PowerBook. I will be reviewing Pocket Mac Pro here. The reason for Pocket Mac is Microsoft don’t have software that will sync with your Pocket PC with your Mac, which makes perfect sense since it took apple so long to release software to allow you get your iPod to talk to your Windows machine.
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So Pocket Mac does all the syncing stuff from your Mac to your PDA and back again. Sync calendar, contacts, tasks, email, music (using [iTunes]), photos (using [iPhoto]) and some other features I haven’t fully used just yet. I have had it installed for the last 2 or 3 months on the Mac, and it just shows that I don’t use the Mac as much as I though I would. I think I have synced about 10 times. There are a few issues I have, and I will talk about them in a min, but first, the good points.
As you know I run an exchange server at home, which keeps all my contacts, calendar, email, etc. I for some reason can’t seem to get the Mac to talk to the exchange server, even entourage. This is annoying. So, pocket Mac helps that a little. My PDA goes off, syncs with the exchange server wirelessly, and then when I sync with the Mac, it takes the calendar and contacts and puts them into the Mac. Very handy to have your data on all machines. But obviously, that’s not the reason for pocket Mac. The reason is to sync the other way too. And pocket Mac does a very nice job of this. I use iCal to sync online calendars ([F1] race dates mainly) to the Mac. When pocket Mac sees this, it takes them and puts them on my PDA. So that works.
So here is a list of features that I have played with so far. There are probably more, but I haven’t used them, just yet.
Sync music from iTunes to PPC. Its syncs a play list. Very cool. I wonder about smart play lists…
Syncs photos from iPhoto. Portable photo album. Also see this as a limitation.
Sync over Bluetooth. Handy when on the road and don’t have the sync cable.
Install PPC apps on a Mac (exes and cabs). Also handy if you don’t have a windows machine near you.
Here are the limitations I have found so far.
iPhoto won’t sync photos taken on the PDA to iPhoto. Only syncs to the phone, not from it. This was a feature I feel I could use a lot. I take a few photos on my PDA, and to sync them into iPhoto would have been very handy. Its probably setup, but I can’t get it to work…
Music ends up on the device, not storage card. There is a check box to say where you want to put the music. I said on the storage card (same with the photos actually) but it syncs it to my “My Documents” folder on the device its self. There is limited storage there (I think about 64mb free at the moment) but my Storage card has over 500mb!
PDA limited to sync on 2 computers, workstation and dell laptop win out over the PowerBook. This is not a limitation of Pocket Mac, more the PPC in general.
Calendar and contact syncing sometimes flakey. Crashed a few times, needing a reboot of both power and phone. This is annoying. I had to turn sync automatically when I pair with the PDA because of this. If I tell it to sync manually, it sometimes works. Don’t know if it’s me, my PowerBook, the devices or the software.
My I-Mate smartphone 2 won’t sync with software. Limitation of the phone I think. I can’t seem to get it to sync over Bluetooth to the Dell Laptop either, but it should sync over USB, but doesn’t…
Can’t have both phone edition and pro on same machine, just yet. This causes problems or some sort. I was told this when I got the review copies of the software. It would be a nice feature though.
So, that’s my provisional review. I will talk about this in a podcast in the next few days. I think this is the first major review I have done on the blog. If you like it, tell me and I will continue playing with software for you. If not, tell me also, and I don’t know what I will do. Thanks for listening.