Hosted Exchange keeps my MacBook and WM Smartphone synced

I have been trying to get the alpha version of The Missing Sync to work with my MacBook Pro and i-mate SP5m and things actually looked promising once when the sync started up before hanging and requiring a forced quit. The Missing Sync and PocketMac are still under development for the Intel-based Macs and Windows Mobile 5.0 so there is no working sync solution for users like me… or so I thought.

Jason Dunn has been a big supporter of 4Smartphone.net and their hosted Exchange solution. I didn’t really feel I needed this type of service for another $3 to $7 per month and it just went in one ear and out the other. After a recent discussion though I found out that I could add my MacBook with Entourage to the mix and get lots of things synced to one central server. A couple days ago I began my trial of 4Smartphone’s Pro account and have to say that I will definitely be paying for my subscription before the trial expires.

Setting things up was quick and easy and I now have my i-mate SP5m, Treo 650, desktop PC, and MacBook all synced together via this hosted Exchange server. I plan to add the Nokia N90 and N70 soon too. Another very cool feature of this for Windows Mobile 5.0 owners with certain devices is that we get real PUSH email functionality. I actually turned my settings down to 30 minutes to help conserve battery life, but it was very cool running it at real time for a day too.

So I now can sync my Calendar, Contacts, and Email between my devices and my Mac. Tasks are also synced to the server, but it doesn’t appear that this piece works in Entourage. I’ll do some hunting online to see if there is some utility that can add this functionality, though. While this is a cleaner and more efficient way, not to mention now backed up better than what I did, to sync my PIM data I still cannot sync files I have stored on my devices and I cannot install using .exe files from my Mac to the SP5m. There are generally .cab files available for applications so you can install by placing the .cab on a storage card. I also will backup my files and folders to external storage cards to keep my data safe.

I’ll still try the other Mac/Windows Mobile syncing solutions when they finish development, but I am very pleased with the hosted Exchange solution and recommend you give it a try yourself.

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