With the advent of cloud environments from just about every vendor in tech these days, syncing is becoming ever popular. Every mobile device syncs with some computer through iTunes or over the air, and in my experience many times out of ten the devices need a little help. The latest version of SyncMate might be the best answer yet.

This review focuses on the new features of SyncMate and follows up on a review by Jack Wallen in 2010.

SyncMate 3.6 offers these new features:

  • Syncing with Android devices – allows any Android phones or other devices to sync with your Mac.
  • Syncing iOS devices (iOS 3 or higher) via USB – using SyncMate in lieu of iTunes for general data, the Expert version supports syncing iTunes data as well.
  • Syncing iPod Classic and Nano – support for iTunes and other data for iPod.
  • Sync with mounted storage – any writeable mounted storage that attaches to your Mac can be used as a sync target for your data.
  • Plugin Improvement – version 3.6 also brings a number of fixes for previous plug-ins and features.

Moving calendar and other data between devices is increasingly important given the number of heterogeneous devices around, but the biggest feature, for me, is the mounted storage option. I am not sure I would use it by itself as a target for syncing, but used as a backup target in conjunction with a sync between my Mac and iPhone, this is a great idea.

SyncMate still comes in two flavors, Free and Expert, and the Free edition supports the following sync options:

  • iCal – Outlook 2011, and Entourage are supported
  • Contacts – Entourage 2008, Outlook 2011, and Address book are supported
  • SMS Reader Plugin – will pull your text messages to your Mac when your phone is connected

Expert supports the free options as well as:

  • iTunes photo data
  • iTunes video data
  • Folder Synchronization – sync your documents or project folders to other destinations, including those like Dropbox or a removable hard drive.
  • SMS Manager Plugin – this plugin allows viewing SMS messages, but also sending and deleting messages right from your Mac.
  • Device mounting as a disk – sync to a removable hard disk
  • Auto sync – syncing on a schedule.
  • Safari and Firefox bookmarks – keep your bookmarks across devices/computers.

Note: The additional list of plugins is available here, and varies by device. Other than the devices mentioned above, see the SyncMate website for a full list of supported devices.

Both versions of SyncMate include optional online backup. The free edition includes 50MB and Expert includes 200MB.

The expert edition of SyncMate retails for 39.95USD.

Sync depends on the amount of data you are transferring between devices, but the performance was noticeable. I didn’t experience lag with the sync at all. I am sure that as I obtain more devices (or data to send between them) more of the features offered by SyncMate will fall into regular use. The idea that I can connect to all of my supported devices from one application is very attractive and adheres to the Apple philosophy of the computer being the hub for all the devices you might use to access your data.