I’m convinced that sync is a big thing. There are lots more players in this space, attempting to solve a simple problem: We use many devices.
My calendar has lived in Outlook/Exchange for many years, and our corporate IT policies has made it hard to re-use this data. Google and Apple, combined, made my day.
- Google Calendar Sync - sync between Google Calendar and Outlook
- iCal - subscribe to remote calendars
- iSync - sync my calendar to my phone and .Mac
The final result is that I can manage my calendar on my PC, and view it on the web, share it with others, see it on my various Apple computers and have it updated into my phone.
The astute reader will notice that I can’t update my Outlook calendar with this setup. And that’s the way I set it, so I don’t risk corruption of Outlook.
When multiple services are sync’d together, like my calendar example, you start to have sync messages flying all over the place. Add in some other common data points, like contacts, email, bookmarks, etc, and it starts to get messy.
At an enterprise level, this was “solved” using an ESB. The solution in consumer space is for one sync broker to be the master. And this has led to a race to be the master sync point. Google, Apple, and Plaxo are all contenders.
Sync gives you the best of both worlds, access to your information in the cloud, while keeping it up-to-date on your desktop and in your pocket.
Competition in this space is a win for all of us.