Snow Leopard doesn't sync with Palm OS devices

Is Apple retaliating over iTunes flap?

Some users of Palm Inc. smartphones are upset that the new Snow Leopard operating system won't sync Apple Inc. computers with Palm OS devices, calling it Apple's payback for the Palm's sync of iTunes to the Palm Pre.

While the Palm OS is being retired by Palm, there are still many customers using the Palm Treo Pro, the Centro and older Palm devices, which run the Palm OS. Some have used earlier versions of the Apple OS X to synchronize their home computers with their smartphones for access to e-mail, contacts, calenders and other applications.

Officials at Apple and Palm could not be reached to comment, but that hasn't stopped Palm OS customers from blogging about the problem and pointing fingers at either company.

One post by Jeff O'Connor at called the move "retaliation [by Apple] for Palm enabling the Pre to sync natively with iTunes."

But Andrew Self shot back, asking why it is Apple's responsibility to maintain a synchronization for the Palm OS, which Palm isn't making any more. Palm has stated that its future will be on the WebOS, which runs the Palm Pre that was released in June. "Shouldn't the burden be on Palm to provide sync options, not Apple?" he asked.

Others questioned whether there really is retaliation by Apple over the iTunes debacle that has gone on for months.

The decision to leave out the sync in Snow Leopard would have had to be made months ago, "long before the whole dustup over the Pre and iTunes," said Alan h, also commenting at AppScout.

Meanwhile, a third-party developer, Mark/Space Inc., said it will fill the gap not being provided with Snow Leopard with software called The Missing Sync for Palm OS, starting at $40.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said that with so many Palm OS smartphones on the street, Palm should consider building a sync to Snow Leopard. "I don't know why Palm wouldn't come out with a sync" to Macs, he said.

Gold also said it is uncommon to build capabilities into a computer operating system that sync with a mobile device. That is usually done as a third-party add-on like Missing Sync.

There is some question about whether Apple has dropped support of a prior Palm HotSync for Mac tool with the Snow Leopard update, or if Palm has intentionally not stepped forward in this case to provide a sync or recommend a third party, several bloggers added.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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