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Review: T-Mobile MDA

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Replying to:  Just so you know..the backlight IS adjustable by a99tandem   May 3, 2006, 12:33 PM

Re: Just so you know..the backlight IS adjustable

by WinHack    May 3, 2006, 8:30 PM

As far as moving to another platform goes, you really have to ask yourself one question: how important is correct synchronization and data translation to you?

If you're a power user of Outlook and have all your contacts categorized and are using some of the extra fields (beyond just name, address, home and cell number, in other words), and have appointments that have integrated contact data in them, and stuff like that, you'll be very disappointed in what the Sony/Ericsson and Nokia synchronization packages do to your data (unless either of them have made good on their threats to start using Microsoft's ActiveSync).

If you're only using the Contacts and Calendar functions in their basic forms and aren't really using all the cool things Outlook can do, then you won't notice the difference and any platform should work fine.

That right there is one of the main reasons I stick with Microsoft's OS on my mobile devices, warts and all. I can trust that at the end of the day, ALL of my fields in ALL of my contacts and appointments will be maintained at all times. The same cannot be said for Palm/HotSync, Nokia's PC Sync software, and Sony/Ericsson's sync software (at least for the 900 series; don't know if 910's software is any smarter).

What happens is that Nokia, Motorola, and S/E take the attitude of "We don't have those fields in our devices, so we don't need to sync them." The problem becomes if/when you make a change on the device (as opposed to the computer), you can easily lose/overwrite some of the extended field data (that the devices don't have in the first place) when the sync writes data from device -> PC. Maybe they've gotten smarter about that lately, maybe not. I've got WAY too many contacts to even risk it (I have over 700 right now).

Palm's HotSync has a different issue. It maps some of the extended fields to their "User Defined 1, User Defined 2" fields, but sometimes that data gets lost in translation. That and they support a fixed number of categories (basically, only the ones that are the "system defaults" in Outlook). If you have defined a number of your own categories, however, you may find that on the return sync trip, a number of your contacts have mysteriously been converted to the "(none)" category in Outlook. Again, not something I want to even argue with due to the amount of data I have.

When I weigh the small bugs and annoyances against having some of my contact and calendar data altered and/or dropped, I'll take the bugs and annoyances any day. Again I will make it clear that most normal/casual users of Outlook would never notice these issues and to them it would seem just fine.

On top of that, there is Mobile Excel and Mobile Word, and there are converters/viewers/3rd-party mobile-based editors. Do I trust that they know all there is to know about the Excel and Word formats to make sure they don't gimp my docs on the return trip back to the PC? No kinda way. Again, for most normal/casual people they're probably just fine. I realize that I am different in the sense that I really push the envelope on how I use my apps, and I've learned (the hard way) what it means to run my data through questionable converters/synchronizers.

Food for thought before just jumping off. Again, it's one of those things you need to consider before selecting/moving to ANY platform. Hope that gives you something good to consider. Smile

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