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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Missing Sync for Android on the EVO



    Introduction

    Iím a Mac user who is quite satisfied with the iCal and Address Book applications and has thousands of entries in both, but synching them to mobile devices is a major headache. I went from Palm Desktop to Missing Sync for Palm and now Iím an HTC EVO user. Sync options are dismal for Mac users on Android, as anyone who has tried to sync to Google calendar knowsÖ itís a question of which youíll lose first, your sanity or your calendar categories and entries. So I decided to try Missing Sync for Android although it was at best a marginal product on Palm Ė about the only good thing you could say about Missing Sync for Palm is that it was better than the alternatives.

    On the Android Missing Sync definitely a ďgood news, bad newsĒ situation. Hereís my experience, you decide if itís good news (PASS) or bad (FAIL) or if it works exceptionally well (ACE). I couldnít find one single review of Missing Sync for Android that discussed Calendar sync and only a few that mentioned its other features so I figured what the heck Iíll write a mini review of my own.

    Documentation

    There is none Ė no user guide, no online guide, nothing. Mark/Spaceís website is a desert of information. There is a tiny bit of online troubleshooting, but as usual they never address the problem you have. I canít imagine how someone new to Missing Sync would figure out what to do. I had no problems because the Mac user interface is virtually the same for Android as it was for Palm. FAIL.

    Also, unlike Missing Sync for Palm, there is no trial period. You buy it outright and take your chances. Again FAIL (although the cost was only $30 with my cross-grade discount, and I didnít need to buy Fliq Notes, see below.)

    Bluetooth and Wireless connections

    Worked perfectly, not a glitch in sight. Fast and effortless compared to Missing Sync for Palm with USB or Bluetooth connection which was always marginally stable for me. ACE.

    Calendar

    Only very recently has Missing Sync added synchronization for Events (from iCal). You donít sync with the built-in Android calendar, instead you install the (free) Fliq Calendar application and sync to that. Fliq is similar to the built-in Calendar application but Fliq does understand and retain categories (though no category can be specified for events created by Fliq, I donít know how MissingSync decides what category to assign to them in iCal. Another advantage of Fliq is that it auto-rotates whereas the built in calendar is always in portrait orientation. Of course, syncing with Fliq calendar means youíre not using the built-in calendar, and Iím sure there are applications which access information from the built-in calendar, so youíll lose that functionality. But, thatís not Mark/Spaceís fault. So the Fliq calendar application gets a PASS.

    The really bad news is that some items created on the Mac simply will not sync to the Android even though the same item will sync to the Mac if created on the Android. Repeating events created on the Mac and synced to Fliq often stop after the first event and sometimes donít sync at all. I tried all kinds of things to get the events to sync, with zero success. I could not find any common theme as to what events would sync and which wouldnít Ė different calendars, sync or ďdesktop over-writes handheld,Ē different dates, sync all events or just those in a certain time frame, nothing worked. Youíre left in a perpetual state of wonder Ė wondering whether all of your events are showing on your Android. The same thing happened on Missing Sync for Palm also, at times. Mark/Space just canít get some things right. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. Granted the iCal sync for Android is very, very new, maybe it will get better in the future.

    In the month view, only the month (not the year) shows, so youíre in a perpetual state of uncertainty as to where you are. FAIL (but easily fixed in an upgrade).

    Contacts

    Missing Sync does sync contacts (Address Book on the Mac) properly, but if you also sync with Google contacts youíll get duplicates of every contact. By deleting all contacts on the EVO, then syncing between the EVO and Missing Sync, the duplicates have disappeared. Groups sync fine too. PASS.

    Notes

    I had the Mark/Space Notebook companion application for Missing Sync for Palm, and my notes synced perfectly with the (free) Fliq notes on the Android. I didnít need to buy the Fliq notes for Mac, although it may have additional features that Mark/Space Notebook doesnít. ACE.

    Other items

    Missing Sync also synchronizes your call log, which works fine (if that matters to you). ACE. It also syncs music, photos, videos, documents, ringtones and a few other items. I havenít tested synching those yet, I just do a direct copy to the SD card. Perhaps someone else wants to post their experience synching those items.

    Backup

    Unlike Palm, a Missing Sync backup doesnít exist for Android. Itís hard to call this a FAIL though since as far as I know there is no other complete, one-touch backup akin to Palm Desktop, Missing Sync for Palm, or TimeMachine for Mac computers. I guess maybe MyBackup or Titanium Backup come close (only MyBackup gives you the option of backing up to an external server rather than just your microSD card, which would be the only useful type of backup if you lost your phone or it became completely inoperable.)

    Summary

    Because of MissingSyncís failure to sync events reliably, itís hard to recommend it for serious business use. One can only hope sync it will improve in the future, but based on MarkSpaceís track record that seems doubtful.
    Last edited by bobodobo; 06-09-2010 at 01:18 AM.
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  2. #2  
    rick_t's Avatar

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    Default More on the Missing Sync for Android

    Thank you for taking the time to put together your thoughts on The Missing Sync for Android (Evo). I'd like to share a few things that might assist others, as well:

    Users should remember that the documentation and setup assistance is available from within the application, itself. Simply pull down the HELP menu to locate the material. There is a detailed user guide (online), as well as a step-by-step setup assistant function, allowing users to get configured quickly and easily.

    With regard to the Calendar issues that you've described:
    We'd like to learn more about the specifics of this case (where calendar events are simply not syncing). For that, we'd encourage you to create a "ticket" with the Mark/Space support team.

    There _are_ some known limitations, in the context of calendar syncing functions related to the Android OS, and Mark/Space is working to provide solutions that are practical and easy to use. We recently released version 1.4 of The Missing Sync for Android, which obviously contains the Calendar syncing component: A dedicated Android Calendar app.

    Again, our hope is that you are able to resolve the calendar issues that you've described (by ).

    Again, thanks for the thoughtful review and insight.

    Mark/Space
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default

    Thanks for your quick response to my review, I'm sure many users (including me) appreciate a developer who pays attention to its users.

    Regarding your points:

    1. Thanks for pointing out the means for accessing the manual, that was my oversight. While it's not my place to tell a developer how to run his/her business, I would suggest making that link public, or create a pdf version of the manual. (I checked, there are no pages that link to the guide, so I won't post the URL here.) Before I buy almost anything significant, I skim through the user guide to see if (1) the documentation is adequate and (2) if the product has the features I desire.
    2. I did send in a support ticket on June 8 at about 10 am regarding the calendar sync issue, I haven't gotten a response yet (understandably, it's only been a day).
    3. The use of a separate calendar program has its pros and cons, as far as a stand-alone app I like Fliq better than the built-in calendar (but please add the year to the month calendar view!) My only concern is whether apps that access Android calendar events will be able to access Fliq events. I suspect not, but as I said in the review that's not MarkSpace's fault. It might not be much of a problem, so far no app that I've used accesses calendar events. And as I said, trying to sync iCal with Google Calendar has been a nightmare.


    Thanks again for your input.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

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    Hah! I decided to give iCal some "tough love."

    I knew from past experience with Missing Sync for Palm that sometimes you need to do a "Reset Sync History" to get things to sync... there are several ways to do this, see for example That helped the problem with missing iCal items somewhat, but not completely. And when I reset sync history, I'd get old deleted calendars re-appearing!

    So I suspected that these "ghost calendars" might be a problem, I did a little searching and found about how to remove "ghost calendars" permanently. So I followed the instructions in the last post in that archived thread and voila, Sync looks good now! Even repeating events are working!

    So that doesn't explain why some innocent-looking events refused to sync between iCal <-> Missing Sync <-> Fliq, but for the moment my Sync issues are resolved and I can now recommend Missing Sync with the caveat that you might need to do some cleanup of your iCal files first. Perhaps the Missing Sync documentation for Android should mention at least the part about the Reset Sync History, the only reason I knew about it was because of my experiences syncing with Palm.

    EDIT: well repeated events work BETTER now but still not perfectly... if you do a "Desktop overwrites Device" sync you get all the repeating events, but if you do a two-way sync after that you lose some events. I'll refrain from additional reports about this until I've had a chance to try more conditions.
    Last edited by bobodobo; 06-09-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Additional information
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default

    Ok I've had some time to try a few more things... it seems like syncing repeated events fails after 6 or 7 events when the events span more than 1 month. If all events occur within a month, there doesn't seem to be any problem. (By the way there is a known issue mentioned on the Mark/Space website with repeating events having exceptions, but this issue occurs even when there are no exceptions.)

    Also I did check fine iTunes, iPhoto and videos sync and they work well. It's nice to be able to put all of the music and/or photos on your desktop computer that you want to transfer to the EVO into one iTunes playlist or iPhoto album and have them appear on the EVO where you expect them to be. Sure you can do a copy/paste or drag operation, but this is more convenient, you can add/change the lists any time and do one transfer when you're done. There are other programs that do this also (and some are free) so one probably wouldn't buy Missing Sync just for these features, but it's convenient to have one sync program for everything.

    So if Mark/Space can solve the issues with syncing of repeating events (e.g. a meeting that occurs every week for 3 months) I would recommend without hesitation Missing Sync to Mac users wishing to sync to an EVO.
  6. #6  
    Tobii1's Avatar
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    I'm gald its workin for u bobo, i hv much prblms using m/s, its not reliable and at these conditions, i dun think it worths forty bucks...

    see there forums and decde for urself.


    c their rating and com'nts on da market, so-so...

    .
    Last edited by yessir; 07-05-2010 at 07:20 PM.
  7. #7  
    Cory Streater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yessir View Post
    I'm gald its workin for u bobo, i hv much prblms using m/s, its not reliable and at these conditions, i dun think it worths forty bucks...

    see there forums and decde for urself.


    c their rating and com'nts on da market, so-so...

    .
    Per the forum rules:

    Please use proper grammer and spelling. Tiping lyk thz iz n0t kewl.
    Thanks,

    Cory
  8. #8  

    Default

    [QUOTE=bobodobo;155985]Thanks for your quick response to my review, I'm sure many users (including me) appreciate a developer who pays attention to its users.]

    I bought a EVO 4G to replace my iphone, I use a Mac so transferring data is a big problem as you describe.
    I read with much interest your review. and thank you bobodobo, for taking the time to do so.

    There is now a free trial version of Mark/Space for Android.
    which I downloaded the mac version, to the Mac.
    However:
    1. the downloads are in apk format, which my Mac fails to recognize, so I can't open them to try them out.

    2. I sent in a ticket to Mark/Space 2 days ago, but have not yet received a response.

    3. My past experience with Mark/Space led me to the conclusion that M/S produces mediocre products, at $30 to $40 each, which is a bit high priced.

    4. and that they provide little directions on how to install them.

    5. and that they must get most of their money from tech support, which they shift you into by providing such terrible response to any questions or problems you almost always have. Email tech support is what you get for free. meaning you might get a response within 3 days, asking a question, offering no solution, taking another 3 days to respond with another question, and so on.

    6. then they offer, for $69.95, an advanced tech support service that might include chat based tech support, or phone support, or not.

    7. I've had such terrible experience with the problems with their products and incompetence of their tech support in the past that I'm reluctant to pay the $30 for the software in the hope that the paid version will open on my Mac, and will also, as they profess: provide the ability to sync ical to the EVO 4G. (without needing to pay for tech support.)

    8. I have found no way, so far to open the ms.apk, fc.apk files.
    any idea how? They are supposed to open and install the programs, aren't they?

    thanks.
  9. #9  

    Default

    Billtech, apk is the android specific installer. I don't use a mac so don't know if the file is zipped or in an executable format but the one you have is the android installer.
  10. #10  
    Tobii1's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=billtech;208015]
    Quote Originally Posted by bobodobo View Post
    3. My past experience with Mark/Space led me to the conclusion that M/S produces mediocre products, at $30 to $40 each, which is a bit high priced.
    i agree.

    btw, it seems markspace puts a no robot notice (ie no search engine) on her support forums, so if you google for missing sync android, you wont see the numerous problems reported there.

    also, see my post above, their apps get a pretty low rating on the market, which doesnt boast confidence at all.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

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    There is an update for the Fliq calendar which adds the year (e.g., July 2010) to the month view (which used to show only the month without the year, e.g July.) Unfortunately, the problems with syncing repeating events created on the Mac with iCal remain. Well to be specific, what I find is that a once a week event syncs properly, but a Tuesday and Thursday event only syncs for the first 2 weeks. And even a "Desktop overwrites device" sync doesn't make it sync properly. I would think with a little detective work one could figure out exactly what can/can't sync, but that's something the developer should do since it doesn't help the user much to know that - the user just wants everything to sync.

    Also I realized that for repeating events created on the Android with Fliq - there is no way to add an end date. In other words, a once a week repeating event will show from now until Kingdom Come and you can't change that. This is the same as the stock Android calendar but still WOW. Why can't we have the same functionality as Palm Pilot calendars did 10 years ago?

    And yes billtech, the .apk files need to be installed on the Android, not the Mac. I presume you're referring to the free Fliq applications (Calendar and Notes). Both are decent Android apps, but the main reason for having them is to sync with your Mac using the paid Missing Sync app.
    Last edited by bobodobo; 07-14-2010 at 08:22 PM.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

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    Just today, there's a new version of the Fliq apps and Missing Sync (which you install on your Android) and the Mac desktop Missing Sync for Android app. Be sure to update everything.

    SUCCESS!!! FINALLY repeating events sync properly.... almost. What I found is that to get the last event to sync, I had to choose (on iCal, on the Mac) an end date shortly AFTER the last event. For example, for a repeating Tuesday and Thursday event, I had to choose the Friday after the last event in order to get the last Thursday events to sync.

    HOWEVER... existing or past events still do not sync properly; I had to delete and recreate them to get them to sync properly. But, at least from now on things SHOULD work properly.

    There is still no way with the Fliq Calendar app on the Android side to create a repeating event with an end date. But at least now you can create the event in iCal and it will sync properly to the Android.

    Other than that, I think all of the original issues I had with Missing Sync for Android are now resolved.
  13. #13  

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    I'm looking for a Task sync solution. What is your experience with the Missing sync Task syncing?
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

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    I don't use Tasks myself. lists Task sync as a future feature.
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    I am confused - why aren't you syncing iCal and Address Book via your google account? They will then be in sync with your Evo. Is it because your Mac is on an Exchange server?

    FWIW, I use Missing Sync for Android also, but only to sync music. Contacts and calendars are synced via Google. I started using it with my Blackberry and found it very useful, but with my Droid it has been of limited utility due to Google sync.
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcg878 View Post
    I am confused - why aren't you syncing iCal and Address Book via your google account?
    I tried many, many times to get that to work. It was a complete disaster. Very frustrating. As I said in the original post: "... as anyone who has tried to sync to Google calendar knows… it’s a question of which you’ll lose first, your sanity or your calendar categories and entries."
  17. #17  
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    I used the instructions here and had no problems syncing Google Cal and ical:
    Toy Phone -> BB Pearl -> Palm Pre -> Htc EVO -> White Epic Touch!
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

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    Quote Originally Posted by srfcrzy View Post
    I used the instructions here and had no problems syncing Google Cal and ical:
    I tried those instructions 100 times without success.
  19. #19  
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    coming from treo/palm os, android's pim apps (calendar, contacts, tasks...) are overwhelmingly disappointing.

    it's like operating a navy with battleships when the others have gone supercarriers.

    my main grips of m/s for android is the inconsistent interface design for the windows version, the unreliability (again, maybe windows only).

    mark/space is known for developing for mac and it shows in its products that its windows development team is rather lacking. cant tell why you need uac elevation prompt when the sync manager starts.

    and it doesnt seem to configure the built-in firewall properly.

    sometimes when a sync failed, the program will lock the outlook database as well.

    and sync fails all too often. not to mention that it's slow. (i use wifi sync mainly and is only an 11g network)

    repeating events sync have become more reliable with the latest version but still not as good as my good old palm.

    on the pim apps, fliq notes is okay but fliq calendar, since it's based on google's aosp version, is utterly unusable for serious users. i don't understand why you need so many clicks to create a new event. not to mention that the default date/time picker is just... horrendous...

    i miss datebk soooooooooooo much...





    hopefully gingerbird will bring a scene change.

    p.s. remember to check for an idea before opening your wallet...



    Last edited by yessir; 03-22-2011 at 09:40 AM.
  20. #20  

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    i am coming from markspace missing sync for palm for mac.
    now since two days a samsung galaxy with missing sync for android.
    same problem with the repeat - events.
    found this:
    yearly repeats (birthdays and other important shtuff) does not sync. period.
    weekly repeats do, but stop before the end date set in palm / ical.
    if last shown week-repeat is clicked on phone, then set from "custom repeat" to "weekly", then back again to custom, then "save", the event miraculously shows on the phone all the way to the end date after a few seconds.
    weird, yes. not a workaround, yes.
    but hopefully mark/space read with us...

    oh, and we NEED tasks within the fliq cal, yes!
    and we need a search function for contacts for ALL FIELDS, like phone numbers, too....
    and why are the new systems all fast and appealing to the eye, but can hardly touch a five year old palm os? anyone?
    or am i just so used to it?

    ez,
    b
  21. #21  
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    Android's Calendar app is tragically inferior when compared to Datebk6, period.

    The lack of local sync with Outlook is another issue. Well everybody is moving to the cloud now.

    Compounded by the problems with Missing Sync, it makes scheduling on Android a catastrophically horrible experience.
  22. #22  

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    I submitted a ticket have not heard from them. I have Windows 7, and HTC Incredible. It says Desktop Not Found. Would love it if someone on the forums here could help me. All I want to do is sync my pics from phone to my computer over Wifi.

    Thanks, Tiffany
  23. #23  
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    Checked this out...?



    Why Mark/Space put robots.txt on its support site to stop the search engine crawling its sites...?


    Code:
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /
  24. Thread Author  Thread Author    #24  

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    New update just out.... Missing Sync STILL does not sync repeating events properly; they sync out a for few weeks, then nothing beyond that. Well, if you delete the repeating event, add it again as a new set of events and re-sync it works properly, but geeeez.....
  25. #25  
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    Default Repeating Events:

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodobo View Post
    New update just out.... Missing Sync STILL does not sync repeating events properly; they sync out a for few weeks, then nothing beyond that. Well, if you delete the repeating event, add it again as a new set of events and re-sync it works properly, but geeeez.....
    bobo,

    With regard to repeating events: you might try doing an overwrite, where you set the desktop to overwrite the data on the device. Doing this will update your repeating events, simply by getting them back on the device (again), which should resolve the issue you've mentioned.
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