alan little’s weblog

nokia 3650 second impressions

11th August 2003 permanent link

Bought a bluetooth USB thingie, got it working between my iBook and the phone, copied my phone numbers from the SIM card into the Nokia’s internal address book and, after a little bit of messing about with firewall settings on the iBook, iSync had the address books on the phone and the iBook both up to date. Excellent. This is the first time in years I’ve had one consistent, up to date address book - ever since I had the Psion Series 3 and a mobile phone and no means of keeping them in step.

Then I thought “ah, now I can also sync the iBook and the desktop with iSync without having to shell out $100 for a .Mac account”. I had previously thought I could do this by just running webdav on one of the Macs, until I found out that iSync doesn’t use webdav, and simulating how it does work is a non-trivial reverse engineering research project. Doing it via the phone works well enough, although I lose information that the address book on the phone doesn’t support like groups and country-specific address formats. (Also haven’t yet found out where to switch off the phone’s address book’s silly & irritating default display of last name, first name. Thought at first this might be a concession to German over-formality, until I switched the phone to English and it still did it.)

Step 2. iSync doesn’t support calendar and to-do list data on the 3650, but changing the line in the xml config file where it’s switched off takes ten seconds, and works. Now I have those nicely coordinated too.

The calendar and to do list apps on the phone are rudimentary - disappointingly nowhere near as nice as the ones on the Psion Series 3. And of course, the other end of the sync link isn’t so wonderful either: the to-do list functions in iCal could be generously described as Just Barely Adequate. I know I could buy decent organiser packages both for the Mac and the phone; but then I probably wouldn’t be able to sync them reliably and I’d be back to square one. Rudimentary, in sync and in my pocket is better than good but somewhere else.

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