Review: The Missing Sync 5 for Palm OS - Macenstein

Review: The Missing Sync 5 for Palm OS

Posted by Brain-in-a-Jar

If you’re like me, and you own a Sony Clie handheld and a Mac, you’ve almost certainly become familiar with Mark/Space Software’s The Missing Sync over the years. Unlike Palm, Sony never bothered to include a Mac version of its connectivity software with its PDAs. Missing Sync was literally a “must have� if you were using your Clie as anything more than a glorified notepad. Later, Mark/Space introduced a version extending Mac integration for Palm branded handhelds, and in light of the looming end of the Clie product line, eventually merged the two products into Missing Sync for Palm OS.

Old Features

Everything that made Missing Sync great in the past is still there. Installation of applications is made easy by the installation tab which allows users to drag-and-drop files onto either the internal storage or the expansion card storage available on most devices. For Sony Clie devices, The Missing Sync supports Sony’s MSImport application, which allows the Mac to mount the device’s memory stick as a drive on the desktop. Setting preferences for the various conduits that provide syncing services is as easy as going to the Conduits tab, where all related options are now grouped.

New Features

Version 5 brings even more great features to the venerable application. It also completes The Missing Sync’s transition from reliance on other software. In previous versions, Missing Sync required owners to install a standard copy of Palm Desktop as well as Apple’s iSync conduit. This was less than ideal given some of the problems Palm Desktop had in its past Mac versions. I for one like my installations to be as streamlined as possible, and this roundabout solution was a bit frustrating. Later versions were able to bypass Palm Desktop altogether and use iSync directly. In version 5, Missing Sync finally allows Palm users to sync directly with Address Book and iCal. This new workflow allows Missing Sync to bypass the dreaded “one addressâ€? limitation of iSync, which allowed, you guessed it, only one address from Address Book to be synced with a Palm (and it was always relabeled “workâ€?). The Missing Sync 5 now makes sharing multiple addresses, birthdays, IM fields and contact photos with newer Palms a snap. This functionality doesn’t even really exist on a PC (Unfortunately, this functionality is not supported by Sony Clie devices; despite the fact that these devices supported contact pictures and additional fields long before the Palm units, they did it with customized work-around software that is not supported by The Missing Sync).

Installing Palm software is made even easier than before thanks to the integrated “Shop� function in Missing Sync 5. Applications can be purchased, downloaded and installed in one simple step.

(Above: The Missing Sync 5’s “Shop” function)


The Missing Sync has long been a necessity for Sony Clie users, and a welcome alternative to Palm Desktop for Mac Palm users. Version 5 continues to provide all the advantages of its predecessors, with a new, cleaner installation and new functionality for Mac users with newer Palm devices. While owners of older Clie devices won’t find the added integration they might have hoped for, owners of Palm’s Tungsten, Zire, LifeDrive, T | X and Z22 handhelds will definitely want to pick up the upgrade to make the most out of their hardware.

The Missing Sync for Palm OS Version 5

Price: $39.95

• Simple, Clean Installation
• Greatly Expanded Integration for New Devices

• Does Not Provide Full Integration for Older Sony Clie Handhelds

Rating: 9 of 10 Stars

One Response to “Review: The Missing Sync 5 for Palm OS”
  1. kim says:

    i have a macbook 2008, and cannot upload or sync my palm z22 to the laptop. i tried using the CD to install the software, but it won’t work (the CD doesn’t even come up on my desktop). is there no way to back up my palm onto my laptop?!

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