Mark/Space is one of those fascinating little niche software companies that show up all over the Mac landscape. Mark/Space’s niche is PDA sync software–they sell products for syncing with various Palms, PocketPCs, and have Danger Sidekick software perpetually under development, waiting for Danger to finish the last bit of work (I suspect that my ex-sidekick-using co-workers will tell them not to hold their breath on that one).
When I first bought my current palm, and ancient Sony Clie T615C, I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t completely supported by Palm Desktop on the Mac. Sony doesn’t want anything to do with Macs, and Palm didn’t want to bother helping Sony, so Mac users were left in the lurch. Fortunately, Mark/Space stepped in and offered their Missing Sync for Sony Clie which unobtrusively closed the gap between Palm’s software and Sony’s hardware.
Early this year, when PalmSource announced that they weren’t going to support syncing Macs and PalmOS “Cobalt” handhelds, Mark/Space stepped into the gap again, pre-announcing a new version of their software that would make the new (so new, they still aren’t out 7 months later) Palms work with OS X.
Well, the handhelds may not be out yet, but the sync software arrived late last week. The Missing Sync for Palm OS 4.0 is available now. It’s a huge change from their previous products–before, they sold 3 or 4 different PalmOS sync products, one for each major brand of handheld, and they really only bridged the gap between Palm Desktop’s Hotsync Manager and the hardware itself. Now, all of the PalmOS handhelds running PalmOS 4 and up have been rolled up into a single product.
The bigger change is that the new Missing Sync completely replaces the Palm Desktop Hotsync Manager, while still maintaining support for all of the old Palm conduits on the market. So iSync, Life Balance, and Documents to Go still sync correctly, but the really irritating bugs and shortcomings in the old Hotsync Manager are gone. Most specifically, the bug that required the hotsync window to have the keyboard focus before Life Balance could sync is now completely gone. It also supports bluetooth and TCP/IP syncing, which were never in the Mac version of Palm Desktop.
Installing The Missing Sync was painless–just run the installer and then reboot, and it worked perfectly out of the box. It looks like a perfect drop-in replacement for the old sync manager.
At this point I’m all set, waiting for someone to come along and make a Palm that I actually want to buy. PalmOne? Tapwave? Sony? Anybody?