Personal Information Managers - Typical Features - Synchronization

Synchronization

Most PDAs can synchronize their data with applications on a user's computer. This allows the user to update contact, schedule, or other information on their computer, using software such as Microsoft Outlook or ACT!, and have that same data transferred to PDA—or transfer updated information from the PDA back to the computer. This eliminates the need for the user to update their data in two places.

Synchronization also prevents the loss of information stored on the device if it is lost, stolen, or destroyed. When the PDA is repaired or replaced, it can be "re-synced" with the computer, restoring the user's data.

Some users find that data input is quicker on their computer than on their PDA, since text input via a touchscreen or small-scale keyboard is slower than a full-size keyboard. Transferring data to a PDA via the computer is therefore a lot quicker than having to manually input all data on the handheld device.

Most PDAs come with the ability to synchronize to a computer. This is done through synchronization software provided with the handheld, or sometime with the computer's operating system. Examples of synchronization software include:

  • HotSync Manager, for Palm OS PDAs
  • Microsoft ActiveSync, used by Windows XP and older Windows operating systems to synchronize with Windows Mobile, Pocket PC, and Windows CE PDAs, as well as PDAs running iOS, Palm OS, and Symbian
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center for Windows Vista, which supports Microsoft Windows Mobile and Pocket PC devices.
  • Apple iTunes, used on Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows to sync iOS devices (such as the iPhone and iPod touch)
  • iSync, included with Mac OS X, can synchronize many SyncML-enabled PDAs
  • BlackBerry Desktop Software, used to sync BlackBerry devices

These programs allow the PDA to be synchronized with a personal information manager, which may be part of the computer's operating system, provided with the PDA, or sold separately by a third party. For example, the RIM BlackBerry comes with RIM's Desktop Manager program, which can synchronize to both Microsoft Outlook and ACT!.

Other PDAs come only with their own proprietary software. For example, some early Palm OS PDAs came only with Palm Desktop, while later Palm PDAs—such as the Treo 650—have the ability to sync to Palm Desktop or Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft's ActiveSync and Windows Mobile Device Center only synchronize with Microsoft Outlook or a Microsoft Exchange server.

Third-party synchronization software is also available for some PDAs from companies like CommonTime and CompanionLink. Third-party software can be used to synchronize PDAs to other personal information managers that are not supported by the PDA manufacturers (for example, GoldMine and IBM Lotus Notes).

Read more about this topic:  Personal Information Managers, Typical Features

Other articles related to "synchronization":

Synchronization - Uses
... Film synchronization of image and sound in sound film ... Synchronization is important in fields such as digital telephony, video and digital audio where streams of sampled data are manipulated ... In electric power systems, alternator synchronization is required when multiple generators are connected to an electrical grid ...
SERCOS III - General Architecture - Synchronization
... To achieve true hard real time characteristics, sercos III, like sercos I II, uses a form of synchronization that depends upon a synchronization “mark” issued by the Master control at exact equidistant time ...
Synchronization Of Chaos - Amplitude Envelope Synchronization
... This is a mild form of synchronization that may appear between two weakly coupled chaotic oscillators ... Often, amplitude envelope synchronization precedes phase synchronization in the sense that when the strength of the coupling between two amplitude envelope ... All these forms of synchronization share the property of asymptotic stability ...
Synchronization Of Chaos
... Synchronization of chaos is a phenomenon that may occur when two, or more, dissipative chaotic systems are coupled ... However, synchronization of coupled or driven chaotic oscillators is a phenomenon well established experimentally and reasonably well understood theoretically ... Synchronization of chaos is a rich phenomenon and a multi-disciplinary discipline with broad range applications ...
Spider Oak - See Also
... an alternative backup service, with similar free/personal and commercial offerings File synchronization Dropbox (service) – a file synchronization tool not, strictly speaking, for ...