Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Mobility, organised OR: How I got my Motorola V360 to sync with my Google Calendar

Idly browsing through the technical specifications for my Motorola V360, I saw that it supported Synchronization Markup language (SyncML), aka Open Mobile Alliance Data Synchronization and Device Management.

What all that means is that my phone supports an open standard for synchronising information between all sorts of networked mobile devices, and servers on the Internet. A general rule of thumb is this: Once an open standard exists (and, of course, does something useful), someone will do something cool with it.

So it was in this case.

While Google Calendar itself doesn't speak SyncML, I did find a free service called GooSync that sits between your phone and Google Calendar and synchronises the two. The free GooSync account includes the synchronisation of one (1) calendar only, and only synchronises 30 days in advance. The 20-Pound-Sterling-per-year subscription service includes features such as multiple calendar support, and synchronising up to 365 days in advance.

I obviously signed up for the free option.

Your first step is to authorise GooSync to access your Google Calendar. This was a two-click process: One click on the GooSync page to open Google's authorisation page, and one click on Google's authorisation page. It didn't ask for my Google password, either.

The phone configuration instructions were painless: I chose my phone from a list of models and got the instructions. There was a bit of confusion on the instructions page about what exactly the Sync menu option is called. I knew from before that this phone had some major differences in the firmware between different country-localised models, though, so it's not GooSync's fault.

After defining a new "Sync partner" (as my phone calls it) with the details provided by GooSync, I could synchronise immediately.

All in all a pleasant experience; everything worked out of the box and as advertised.

Blogged with Flock

Monday, 12 November 2007

Flocking to social browsing

Today marks five days since I discovered Flock browser. It also marks the first blogposts made with Flock's built-in blog editor.

Flock is a social networking-oriented browser. It integrates browser functions with such diverse social networking sites as Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, Flickr, del.icio.us, Photobucket, and many more that I haven't ever used before (like Piczo).

For the photosharing sites, you have a photo uploader that you can do basic cropping and editing with.

As I publish this post and my latest poem, I also found that Flock's blog editor seamlessly supports multiple blogs in the same Blogger account. It can also save a draft to the specific blog of your choice, and will even open drafts previously edited and saved using Blogger's web editor.

I will post more about Flock after playing with it a bit more... suffice it to say, for now, that there have been only a few software packages that have transformed my experience of the internet in such a big way in such a short time.

Blogged with Flock