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syncing java to mobile phones

Related to my previous entry on a PIM for mobiles, Russ posted two comments packed with info that I reproduce here in full:

Don't worry about Java on the phones at all (j2me is low-powered and limited), just about SyncML and maybe Bluetooth. Check out this Sync4J homepage: could you incorporate something like that into your app?

If I understand the tech correctly, when you get Bluetooth installed, it just listens on a com port just like any other serial port connection. There's a Java API for Bluetooth already. Then your phone and your app talk via SyncML - just like the iApps do on the Mac.

The J2ME stuff is just for small Over The Air apps and aren't for daily app use (IMHO). The Symbian phones already have basic Email, To Do, Calendaring and Contacts as well as little extras like notes, photos and sound recordings. What I'm envisioning is that your app synch with these built-in features using the built-in SyncML support (which includes iCal and vCard among other specs).

OOh... You could have multiple devices, and each device could be contained in it's own Space. ooooh.

To this I say: Oh, yes. :-)

Then Russ added:

A little searching and I came up with this company who's doing something similar. They've even got a Java PIM client available via Web Start that syncs with their servers.

I signed up for the demo and synced with the servers via my phone and it worked perfectly. (And after I realized I had just given some random company all my personal contact info... doh!)

Anyways, they want a centralized model, but I was thinking of a localized one like the Palm Desktop. Heard of the "Missing Manuals" series of books? Spaces could be the "Missing PIM" for intelliphones. ;-)

I haven't heard of the Missing Manuals series, but Missing PIM sounds cool :-)). I did try out this Calmeno product... I have to say that I wasn't impressed. It took forever to load and to switch views. The interface is not nice at all, it looks as if it was written with AWT or with stone-age swing, and the Java-PIM functionality seems quite limited. The rest of the functionality is interesting, although with spaces you don't need their webaccess since you can run it yourself in your machine.

Thanks, Russ, for the information! All of this will be really useful. I'm planning to add sync support to spaces Real Soon Now.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on January 16 2003 at 2:03 PM

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