As part of switching employer, I had to turn in my old phone and get a new one from the new job. It turned out to be a Sony Ericsson P1i which so far seems pretty decent. On my former job, we use an Exchange infrastructure which meant using Outlook. On the new job, we don’t, which means using GMail and GCal. By the way, its been wonderful. Only, there is the issue of syncing the calendar and contacts to the phone (I don’t care for syncing email or tasks). Calendar sync was quickly in place with Goosync, an excellent service that I’ve used previously.
Contacts on the other hand was a completely different story. I have previously used Plaxo, which seems like the major player in this area before. However, they stubbornly refuse to support SyncML, the protocol used by Sony Ericsson and instead focuses on syncing with Outlook and then pointing to the mobile manufacturers support for getting contacts from Outlook to the phone. No good. Besides, I really don’t like the new Plaxo beta, trying to be a address book, GCal, Twitter and Facebook at the same time. Do one thing, and do it good.
A bunch of other ways was tried, including Scheduleworld and a Funambol plugin for Thunderbird. None turned out to be anywhere near satisfactory, or even working. Then I out of the blue remembered Mårten twittering on zyb, a site in beta which claims to do phone syncs. After creating an account and setting up SyncML on the phones, it took less than 5 minutes for me to transfer all contacts between the phones. A few minutes I had cleaned out some old contacts I no longer need and resynced. Perfect.
Now, two weeks later I keep adding contacts in both locations (the zyb site and my phone) and occasionally sync to keep them both updated. So far works flawlessly.
Update: Chris comments that GooSync as adding contact sync. Hopefully they will get it right and could then be a one-stop solution for my needs. I’ll post an update here.