Tag Archives: sync

Having a huge tech fail day

My day started last night actually after midnight as the Nexus 5 (active only for a few hours) decided to freak out. I was suddenly unable to login to Google+ or Hangouts. Google sync started to freak as well with inconsistent sync to Calendar and a bunch of other things.

This morning I fought the phone a bit before finally conceding to a full hard reset at lunch wiping the phone for a fresh start. Sadly as soon as it started back up hangouts prompted with its error and G+ continued to block me. Sigh. No resolution. I spent a bit actually speaking to Google tech support (yes, it exists!) But they were fully stumped as well. I’ll have to wait 24-48 hours apparently for a response and a potentially new device.

Thinking about other options to try and triage the problem I decided to change my account password which sent Chrome on my Mac, Google Glass (more to come) and my other devices into a tizzy. Glass only sorta connected back to my phone, required a reset as well (my guess) and then my other phone (N4) and tablet (N7) got all outta whack due to the account change. Now none want to connect appropriately and I seem to have lost app-based access to hangouts and Google+ on everything. Before I left work for the week the web worked and I’ll try again at home but on the train each device has seemingly lost it’s desire to stay connected. Oh and Google Now seems dead on the Nexus 5.

I’m at a loss. I thought this was some sort of device issue bit now it’s propagated across a few others making me think my Google account has partially corrupted. WTF.

Help …

Google Sync For iPhone

I guess I knew about this, but had yet to consider why I’d want to switch my Gmail config over to Google Sync.  5 minutes later I can assure you that it’s the right move.

Thanks to Business Insider’s quick guide, you can setup sync for Mail, Calendar and Contacts which has immediately reconciled my years of .Mac BS sync conflicts and duplications in contacts and added a multi-calendar view as well.  Mail remains the same …

With the addition of Google+, I’m  deep in Google services and this just keeps it all nicely together. And no I don’t have any invites at the moment unfortunately …

 

 

 

itunes home sharing – auto sync?

 

It’s honestly been a while since I’ve actively explored iTunes or tried to solve syncing media in the house so this feature may have existed for a bit.  Tonight however, I was setting up a new machine and activated home sharing and then clicked into the settings (bottom right in iTunes from within home sharing).

 

As you can see there’s a handy option to automatically transfer new purchases between machines … While I wouldn’t want to have my full collection floating around on multiple devices based on the size, it is nice to have the option to capture the updates.  I just purchased the new Alexander album on my main machine and I can see each track is syncing over as the initial download completes.  Very cool.

Content Shifting

I’ve had this post from Fred Wilson bookmarked since this morning and I’m finally getting back around to formalizing a few thoughts.  First the notion of content shifting is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  As someone who works on multiple devices (sometimes concurrently) keeping things (and myself actually) in sync is not so simple.  Beyond just the basics, the actual content consuption bits from my digital adventures are really the parts I’m interested in connecting as I move between locations and contexts.

While I don’t have everything sorted just yet, one thing I’ve been really keen on lately is Pinboard.  I discovered Pinboard during the del.icio.us is closing chaos and am really pleased I did because it is an incredibly powerful, yet also very simple tool.  It’s not perfect in replacing delicious sharing for me, but it’s making up for things with some new features considerably.  The best thing Pinboard does is capture all my shared links from Twitter, Google Reader, and Instapaper in addition to backing up my delicious bookmarks and of course saving any new ones.  This auto-collection process makes it dead simple for me to manage my reading and really has been awesome for making sure I know where all my links have gone.  I can call stuff up or save more from within Chrome via extension, on iPhone with Delibar or bookmarklet and on Android with PinDroid.  This is far more around my collection rather than consumption of content, though one additional feature Pindroid and instapaper manage is what’s been read vs unread.  I can’t say I use that much as I’m just happy to have a simple point of capture, but it’s worth noting …

On the media consumption side of things, Netflix is really the only service I’ve seen that enables stopping and resuming between devices on your account and this has been great for my family and our small army of iDevices.

I’ve yet to find a good music solution for resume … Rdio comes close with the browser player, but as best as I can tell, you can’t pick an album or playlist up where you left it.  Pandora definitely doesn’t work that way at all …

Kindle is pretty bulletproof for books and something I love, but there’s still a lot of room to improve across other content types.

When are iTunes and the iPhone going to grow up?

I believe Palm and Windows Mobile devices have had the ability to install applications over bluetooth for at least 10 years, probably longer. My history with S60 is shorter, but there has never been a time when I was unable to install something over basic bluetooth or USB. Apple has severly limited (as in removed) this functionality and as anyone who’s used the iPhone can attest, you can’t use bluetooth access to send and receive files or any data for that matter. Rememeber beaming? Palm invented (in 1992 I believe) that nice feature to make it simple to send your business card to another user … As an interesting footnote in gadget history, the Palm also cost $299 when it was released.

iTunes has a lot going for it. It’s the dominant media management software thanks to the market dominance of the ipod. With the iPhone Apple delivered what is probably the strongest sync solution of any mobile phone. Other’s have similar desktop solutions, but the simplicity with which iTunes is able to handle all your data is stellar.

So what could possibly be changed?

The strength of iTunes desktop sync is actually its biggest weakness. While you can have up to 5 computers authorized to play your media content from the iTunes store, you can only sync your device with a single machine. What’s the point of this silly limit. It’s hardly difficult to move files around via the broader internet if you like and maintaining basic playcounts and similarities within a library are not that hard. Though with iTunes you essentially have to hack the system in order to even manually copy files to a mobile device – forget sync. Media is an easy target as that effects more people and the limit is probably driven out of a paranoid legal department wanting to appease the ignorant MPAA and RIAA.

What I don’t understand though is why other parts of the iTunes sync system are simply blocked because your iPhone is already associated with another computer. I have 5 systems in my iTunes world. There are actually more if you count the additional OS installs I’ve done on the netbook, but regardless I have 5 computers authorized to play content. I’d actually like to sync some data on 3 of the 5 and this is impossible if you play by the rules.

With the current restriction, I am unable to install or backup anything outside of my main desktop, period. In my considerable experience with other mobile platforms (years of Palm and S60 devices) this rule has never applied. Going back to my early palm days I used to use the device as the actual conduit between machines to maintain the same data in multiple (work and personal) systems. With S60 my plan evolved a bit thanks to the evolution of server sync. Today the bulk of my PIM data comes through exchange but with the iPhone I am also syncing personal data through my home config which includes multiple iCal calendars.

You get the point, there’s a mix … There is however no mix of where my device data can reside. Apple has decided that for me based on where I first did my sync. I purchased the iPhone 3G S on my way to work last week and because I wanted to have some media on it for the commute home, I did a sync (and backup) with my work pc. When I later connected the iPhone to my home computer, I received the following warning:

itunes bs

As you can see, you will actually LOSE the data that’s on your device in exchange for the right to sync with another one of YOUR authorized systems. WTF? It’s my data yet I have no control over how I use it? Right … I’m currently beta testing Pocket Universe (as noted in my previous post). The only way to install a beta app is via iTunes … and as you can probably guess at this point ONLY the main iTunes. If you want to install from a different machine, iTunes will actuall ERASE the apps you have on your device in exchange for what’s on the desktop. Um, NO! How about this … since iTunes is the sole conduit for applications do a damn backup and since you know there won’t be any surprises with where things have come from – applications and downloads are even all connected to your apple ID which of course drives the iTunes ecosystem.

I’m used to being in control of my data – how I access it, where I back it up and when and where I want to change it. When is Steve going to allow the iProduct to actually be myProduct?