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Tapwave Zodiac 2

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Mark/Space Missing Sync for Palm OS 4.0

When PalmSource said it was dropping Mac OS X support from future Palm OS HotSync releases, Mac and Palm owners were worried. They needn't have been. Mark/Space's Missing Sync for Palm OS not only ensures ongoing Mac OS X-to-Palm OS sync support, but is arguably a better product than the official one.

I turned to Missing Sync because Tapwave doesn't provide Mac OS X support out of the box. Set-up is as smooth as the installation process. Adding a new handheld - the software supports pretty much all the Palm OS devices made available thus far - produces a list of synchronisation conduits, enabled or disabled at the push of a button, and configured by double-clicking.

Mark/Space Missing Sync for Palm OS

A separate tab lists software and content that will be uploaded to the handheld's main memory or expansion cards, if fitted. First time round, Missing Sync installs and app of its own that cleverly mounts memory cards on the Mac's desktop, allowing you to copy files by drag and drop as if the connected device was just a memory card reader. The Palm OS app then removes all the hidden files Finder adds, saving space and keeping a card device friendly, and the card is exposed to iTunes and iPhoto to all relevant content to be copied across from within those apps.

Speaking of Apple's software, Missing Sync also ties in with iSync and its related apps, iCal and Address Book. Alas, you still have to push

A second app neatly synchronises the device's clock with that of the host Mac - almost worth the ticket price alone.

I connected the Zodiac to my PowerBook with the bundled USB cable, but Missing Sync also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sync connections with the appropriate hardware. There's even a reminder facility for folk who too frequently forget to back-up their PDA.

Alas, the current version doesn't include Tapwave's High Scores conduit, but Mark/Space tells that it's available separately and will be rolled into the upcoming 4.0.1 update due in a few weeks' time.

Verdict

Quiet apart from providing Mac OS X support for Palm OS-based devices that only ship with Windows, this is a more feature-packed and better integrated synchronisation tool than the one PalmOne currently offers. Device makers should bundle it.

Missing Sync for Palm OS
 
Rating 90%
 
Pros — Broad support for Palm OS devices
— Integrates with Apple iApps
— Mounts expansion cards on the desktop
 
Cons — Key conduits need to be installed separately
 
Price $40
 
More info The Mark/Space site
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