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Review: SyncMate utility for Mac and devices

Jack Wallen takes the new SyncMate utility for a spin to see how well it really syncs up all the devices listed in their supported products.

SyncMate recently released a new version of its syncing utility for Mac and assorted devices. Jack Wallen took it for a spin to see how well it worked.

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You have a Mac. You have an iPhone. You have an Android phone, a Sony PSP, Windows Mobile device, a Nokia S40, and multiple USB flash drives. How in the world do you keep all of these devices in sync without losing your mind? Believe it or not there is a tool that will allow you to keep multiple devices in sync at the same time and without having to jump through multiple hoops. That tool? SyncMate.

SyncMate is a tool built for the Mac platform that can sync multiple options on multiple platforms (for a full listing of what features will sync on what devices check out this matrix. In some cases the sync is performed in three directions, some two, and some one. So you will definitely want to examine closely the matrix to know for sure if what you need will sync in the correct direction. For anyone with multiple devices that need syncing, SyncMate is a rather handy application to have on hand. But is it a tool you need in your toolbox? Let's take a look.

System requirements

  • Processor: PPC/Intel
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later

Who's it for?

SyncMate is for anyone who has multiple devices (which are listed among the supported devices) and wants to sync them all, at once, on one Mac-based computer. This tool is especially helpful for those with less patience or know-how to manage a sync solution cobbled together from other tools to work with all of the devices they have. This is, for those the application applies to, a one-stop-shop sync tool. SyncMate is also ideal for those with multiple phones (say a work and home phone) that need to be in sync with one another.

What problem does it solve?

If you have ever tried to juggle the syncing of multiple devices on one computer, you know this can be a real hassle. And with the smartphone becoming more and more key to the business user on the go, keeping in sync is crucial. With a tool like SyncMate you can now keep it all pieced together on all of your supported devices. If you opt for the paid version you also can include your iTunes, iPhotos, and browser bookmarks. The iTunes alone is worth the price of admission!

Standout Features

  • Google account syncronization.
  • Online backup with or without encryption.
  • Solid logging information.
  • Read SMS messages on Mac.
  • Convert videos to AVI, MPG, MP4, WMV, ASF, 3GP
  • Resize images while syncing.
  • Syncronize folders and files.
  • Back up data from USB drive.
  • Automated syncing.
  • View/search call history from Mac.

Click to enlarge.

What's wrong?

The biggest issue I have found with SyncMate is that it's not 100% reliable. Although very promising, when a sync causes any loss of data (or mangling of said data) than said syncing program has serious issues. Some people might say that small glitches are to be expected, but when syncing information between devices, especially when syncing business devices, those syncs better be 100% reliable. SyncMate is close to 100% - but I have noticed some oddities, such as inaccurate dates being applied, and incorrect notes saved. It's close - but close isn't perfect.

Another smaller issue - The makers of SyncMate claims that it will install on OS X 10.4 or better. However, I could not install the most recent version on 10.4. So, if you have 10.4 you might need to hunt around for an older version of the software or (as in my case) update to at a more recent release of OS X.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you need to have multiple devices synced on a Mac platform, you could do far worse than using SyncMate. Is it perfect? No, but it does get better with each release. This tool is certainly worth the trouble of correcting a date or note (on the rare occasion is does make a mistake) if only for the time it will save you syncing all of your devices and all your various formats.

User rating

Have you deployed SyncMate? If so, what was your experience? Have you had date mangled during syncing? Have you experienced seamless usage? Share your thoughts with your fellow readers.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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