The Usual Tech Ramblings

Google Sync, and Windows Mobile

I’ve been using BirdieSync to synchronize my Windows Mobile device with my Google accounts. It’s not a straight through process, in fact involves a couple of steps. First you need Thunderbird, then Sunbird/Lightning, and various plugins to sync to google1.

There is one set back with this approach. It requires you to use the computer to sync the bundle. Google has worked with Microsoft, and now has licensed Microsoft ActiveSync. This allows Google to introduce their beta service to sync with various platforms, as well as Windows Mobile. Instructions on how to configure your Windows Mobile device can be found here.

The instructions differ slightly on my device, I assume because it’s a newer ActiveSync. The difference is in the initial step, you have to uncheck the box that tells ActiveSync to guess the Microsoft Exchange configurations, then the rest of the instructions are the same. Once configured, off it runs.

The first sync took a bit of time, but I figured it probably would. It initially duplicated all my reoccurring entries. This isn’t too bad, as they were duplicated as reoccurring, and I only really have a few entries in my calendar, so cleaning up was a case of deleting one or two entries, the rest went with it.

Something to note is step 10 in the instructions. Google will not sync your mail, or tasks. I forgot to uncheck tasks, and it throws one of those oh so helpful Microsoft errors, some random hex code. This is a bit of a bummer, but nothing too bad. It’d be interesting to see if they can get the mail portion going too.

I’ve not yet tried syncing my contacts, as I’d rather not have them all vanish, and as Google admits this is still a beta product, my calendar is fine for now. The good thing is now updating the mobile device is almost instant to Google, and doesn’t require you to doc your device.

I know there are other software clients that will sync various portions of Google with your Windows Mobile device, but they’re often cumbersome, or buggy, as I’d found out previously with OggSync2.

Google just needs to add a task app to their collection, and enable syncing. Mail sync would be interesting as well, would remove the need for a separate application for that.

Now I’m off to backup all my contacts, and enable contact sync, and give that a go.

  1. I’ll write up a post one day on how to bundle it all together 

  2. Got really confused with timezones and reoccurrences