PDAsync

pdasync-thumb.gif
  • Editors' rating
    7.0 Very good

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of handheld devices and PIM/contact management software.

Cons

  • Doesn't currently support AvantGo
  • relatively expensive.

LapLink's PDAsync software synchronises a wide range of handheld devices and mobile phones with PC-based PIM (Personal Information Manager) and contact management software, providing a much more flexible solution than is usually bundled with your handheld or your phone. However, it's debatable whether PDAsync's current functionality justifies its price (£42.51 ex. VAT, £49.95 inc. VAT).

PDAsync supports Windows CE, Pocket PC, Palm OS and Casio Pocket Viewer operating systems, as well as Ericsson R300, R520, T39 and T60 mobile phones. It synchronises these devices with a wide range of PIMs and contact managers, including Outlook, Lotus Notes, Lotus Organizer, ACT! and Goldmine.

We installed the PDAsync under Windows XP Professional, which took just five minutes with no pain involved. Getting it to recognise a Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC device was not so easy, however.

A call to LapLink's technical support established that PDAsync requires Microsoft's ActiveSync to be running if it's to synchronise with a PocketPC device. If you already have ActiveSync installed, make sure you upgrade to version 3.5, which is more stable than 3.1.

Several reinstallations of both ActiveSync and PDAsync were required before the device was recognised and the chosen fields were synchronised. Access to Outlook after the synchronisation required yet another reboot.

Once you have successfully got your handheld device recognised by PDAsync, several menu options allow you to select what to synchronise. With Selective Synchronisation, email can be synced based on date or file size, or you can sync your calendar for a specific time period such as the next two weeks.

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If data conflicts arise during synchronisation, Intelligent Conflict Resolution prompts you to choose a course of action rather than automatically creating duplicates or deleting records.

Unfortunately, PDAsync does not currently support AvantGo, so you'll need to use your existing synchronisation software to access the ever-increasing array of Web-clipped news and entertainment channels. AvantGo support is planned for the next version of PDAsync, according to LapLink.

On the plus side, PDAsync is compatible with a wide range of handheld devices and certain mobile phones, and provides good control over what is synchronised. Another benefit for corporate users is the ability to synchronise multiple mobile devices to a single PC, or to sync a single mobile device to multiple computers.

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