I spent some time today fiddling with Bluetooth and my Sony K700i to get it synch'd with my laptop, Palm Pilot and my internal Sun web based calendar. I thought this would be a simple task, given the length of time Bluetooth, Windows and Sony have been around, but this didn't prove to be the case. Eventually everything suddenly worked, for no apparent reason - let's hope it keeps doing so.
During my experiments I came across an excellent open source phone management tool called FMA
, which proved to be pretty handy. Never again will I need to wonder what the temperature of my phone is. A quick link to FMA over Bluetooth and my laptop and all the phone related info I never thought I'd need is there for me. I have to wonder why it takes a group of volunteers to create such a cool application when phone vendors themselves could improve their offering by writing something themselves.
One tool that really seems to be missing is the ability to back up all the personalised data on a phone. Aaron's
lent me his old K750i, which is a nice upgrade from my current phone. Whilst I know I can copy all my contacts across without any issues, it doesn't look like I'll be able to copy across something equally important to me - all the words I've entered into the phone's dictionary.
I send a lot of text messages, something the phone's predictive text makes very easy. Predictive text is excellent, but for obvious reasons it doesn't contain words like 'Solaris', 'Al Bustan', 'SGD' and suchlike. After 6 months the dictionary's filled up with lots of my custom entries and I really don't fancy having to re-enter them into every new phone I acquire over the years to come.
It seems to me that mobile phone makers could do a bit more to endear their particular brand to business users. Creating a loyal following by making the interface cuter and by including a free darts game is one thing. I think using standard cabling, providing synch tools that work without fiddling and making it easy to back up all the features on a phone would probably be far more effective. IT managers looking to standardise on one vendor (or solitary desktop sales managers in Dubai thinking of ditching Sony for Nokia) are far more likely to stick to the brand they're already using if the upgrade process is made as painless as possible.