Google’s over-the-air synchronisation tool – Google Mobile Sync – launched this week, enabling sync between your Google account and your mobile phone. Here’s a quick comparison to Apple’s OTA sync service, MobileMe.
|Supported devices (1)||iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile||iPhone and iPod Touch|
|Sync Type (3)||Automatic||Automatic|
Yes = synchronisation plus access via a web-based interface
- Contacts only sync on Symbian phones. More info here.
- Data charges not included
- Manual sync on Symbian
- Subject to limitations of Google’s contacts
- 5 calendar limit with Google’s sync
- MobileMe syncs To-dos between Macs, but not with the iPhone. Some third-party workarounds are available to sync Google tasks with the iPhone.
Google’s mobile sync is enabled by setting up an Exchange account on your iPhone. I think it’s only a matter of time before Google starts pushing their email as well, and I can also see this extending to integration with Picasa and (if it happens) the rumoured Gdrive online storage service.
I think this is an excellent free service from Google and will satisy many users. But I won’t be using it for the moment.
Why not? Using Google’s service severs local contact and calendar sync through iTunes, rendering Address Book and iCal on my Mac somewhat less usable. I can get iCal to sync with Google using their CalDav service, but I’ve found the Address Book / Google sync a little bit flaky. If I did want to use Google sync with their online apps, Mac desktop apps and my iPhone, I’d have to sync calendar data using Google sync and through iCal, but sync contacts only using Address Book on the Mac. All in all, it seems like too much complexity.
Saying that, once set up, those things tend to run fairly smoothly. To be honest, I’m more concerned with the currently known issues, especially regarding modified recurring events. I don’t want my calendar polluted with incorrect data. Eventually, those problems will be rectified, and when they do, I’ll probably be doing the Google mobile sync too.
Let me know what your experience of Google’s service is, particularly if you’re using a Mac.