Blog Post

PocketMac Syncs Blackberry With Mac

Living as a Mac island in a sea of Windows machines at the office can sometimes be a challenge. Though Apple has made advances through simply enabling Mac OS X clients to attach to Windows networks, and mount shared file servers, third party devices are often the part of the ecosystem that goes forgotten – as Windows-oriented developers will sometimes overlook the Macintosh, assuming Mac users make up too small a part of the population to demand dedicated effort.

For too long, I thought my Blackberry, which I depend on for mobile e-mail, calendar, basic Web surfing, and address book functionality, was one of those devices that would never fully support the Mac. Living in parallel worlds, I had contacts and calendar in Microsoft Outlook on the Dell laptop, and simultaneously, a separate list of contacts in my Macintosh Address Book, and appointments in iCal. Updates on the Blackberry wouldn’t affect the Mac, and vice versa.

pocketmac_sync

This all changed with Blackberry’s adoption and free release of PocketMac. Now that I’ve discovered PocketMac, my two worlds have been united – with the added bonus of synchronizing the data via .Mac to multiple Macs.

Like the Palm Desktop years before it, PocketMac offers the option to synchronize personal data between your Macintosh and the Blackberry, primarily focused on your address book and calendar appointments. But PocketMac is more flexible, offering to synchronize with a variety of desktop apps – including Apple’s Mail and Microsoft Entourage to iCal and the Now suite.

After installation, connect the Blackberry to the Mac via standard USB cable, charging the device, and you can configure it to your .Mac account by entering your user name and password, select which applications you want to synchronize, and simply hit sync. (As seen below)

pocketmac_sync_data

Subsequent synchronizations will note differences between your local data and that of the mobile device, giving you the option to accept or decline the changes. In the below example, the Mac noted that the Blackberry had deleted a completed meeting. I had the option to restore it to the Blackberry, or delete it from the Mac. Having already sat through the meeting, and not wishing to repeat it, the Mac soon also had the appointment erased. (See below)

pocketmac_sync_deletion

This brief interruption didn’t stop the synchronization, by any means. After I had made my selection, PocketMac kept humming along, until all tasks were complete – from e-mail to contacts.

pocketmac_sync_contacts

Now, instead of two separate address books and parallel calendars, I have one universal data set, shared between my Blackberry, my Mac at home, my Mac at work, and the Dell laptop. Best of all, if you already own a Blackberry, PocketMac is a free download.

132 Responses to “PocketMac Syncs Blackberry With Mac”

  1. I have a BB Pearl and Mac and all the sinchronization process through PM was just fine until the day my phone had a problem and the provider gave a new BB. Now i can not sinchronize anything. I guess that in some way the new BB has not been recognized by PM software. I have tried installing again the software but no happy results until now.

    Any ideas ?

  2. To some extent, we get what we pay for… My only issue is that Notes do not sync (MemoPad Stickies), as many entries’ headings disappear and content changes altogether. Any suggestions?

  3. Disappointing software. Keeps duplicating contact entries every time I sync. Tech support is non responsive. Glad I didn’t pay for the software. So I suppose you get what you paid for. I’d guess as soon as they get the sync to work properly they’ll start charging for it. We’re their beta group for sure.

  4. ERICK BRIAN

    Using it now.

    Sync’d the first time perfectly.
    Second time, crashed. Then again, and again, and again….

    I got it to finally sync. How? I only sync my iCal.
    How stupid is that? Maybe it’s something it’s sync’ng with …maybe the Stickies or someting. not sure.
    Still can’t get my MACPRO to bluetooth files to my BB Curve either. That sucks.

  5. I have been reading all these posts and just bought a BB 8300 (curve) and have an iMac and would like it to sync, and when I went to the page for downloading pocketmac, it asks me what version I want. I do not know and read through the book that came with the curve and cant figure out what version I need. Anyone know?
    Since there seems to be some problems as outlined above, I wonder if I should even try? This is my first blackberry, and I am kind of new to mac too…

  6. Yvonne

    I used the following procedure as suggested by antiphonist and it worked!!!

    1) Open PocketMac THEN
    2) Plug in the USB cable and THEN
    3) Press synch.

    I have been trying to sort this problem out for three days, installing, re-installing with no luck and finally the above has worked!!!

    I use a G4 Powerbook and Blackberry Pearl.

    Thanks for the help!!

  7. Michael

    Well, the PocketMac worked on my computer and BlackBerry fine for what it does but it does not sync music and/or photos. So I tried the Mark/Space Missing Sync — what a disaster. I never could figure out how to make it sync — they do not have voice tech support. They have FAQ’s on their web site, but the FAQ’s did not answer the questions regarding the issues that I have. Voice tech support is not available unless you are willing to pay $59.99 per incident — so you pay $49.99 to download the Missing Sync software and if you have a situation like me where you cannot configure it to work, you are required to pay additional $59.99 for tech support. I do not think that it is worth it …. I am sure that someone will offer a sync program for photos and pictures fir the BlackBerry and Apple soon.

  8. iCal sync hangs.

    The first sync from my mac mini to my BB 8700 the progress bar stalled halfway and the message said Syncing Caldendar. After about 20 minutes I cancelled it. A few calendar items were on the BB, so something sync’d, but most did not. The logs said 2233 items sync’d but goodness knows what those are.

    Btw, I never got the warning message on the mac asking me to ALLOW anything.

    Meanwhile, Address book sync’d fine. The sync log said 825 items sync’d and the mac has 825 Address Book items. Success there.

  9. Haley

    New to Apple and trying to make Mr. Blackberry and Mrs. Mac get along. Downloaded PocketMac and after plugging in blackberry pearl and tried to sync, received this message “[09:51:21.888] Unable to connect to BlackBerry (error 1); skipping.” Checked US B connection and tried alternate USB port. ANY IDEAS??

  10. Hi
    Can anyone discuss methods to get Palm data to Blackberry. Do I need to go through the Apple Address book (never used it) and then to the Blackberry? Not wanting to use Microsoft for anything right now . . .

  11. tom p

    8300 x4 and pocketmac 4.0.2; entourage latest rev; all G4 laptops just pre mactel
    pocketmac is so completely unpredictable – sometimes it works… sometimes it doesnt – really really rubbish
    was hoping the ‘sequence’ advice of launch app FIRST then connect 8300 THEn sync would be the magic answer but no! im sitting watch it spin… 30 mins later… is there an 8300 problem…?

  12. I have a Blackberry 8300…verything sycs fine except for the tasks – which sometimes it does none, a handful, or duplicate a whole batch. I’ve searched all day in the forums – any advice?

  13. Megallerina

    I am having the same problem as several others here, but don’t see any solutions listed. Has anyone figured out how to deal with this:

    [05:44:38.387] Could not lcoate the Microsoft Entourage Office Synchronization Tool.

    WTF? (They couldn’t even spell “locate” correctly. Now there’s attention to detail for you…) I am running OSX 10.4.9 on a brand new machine, and also have a brand new blackberry 8703e, which I got based on preliminary googling and assurance from Verizon that PocketMac would allow me to sync everything easily. I emailed PocketMac but haven’t heard back yet. Please help! I want iPhone now!!!!

  14. Steakumrl

    Well through all of the advice and some part own my own, I got my BB Pearl to sync with my Powerbook G4 using PM. I was able to sync all of my Now Contacts (over 2900 records)

    I uninstalled PM. After that I went into the Library/Preferences and deleted both the com.plist for pocketmac and nowcontact.

    Then I deleted the version of I had previously donwloaded of PM 4. (It was the same version I downloaded just after I deleted it, but trying to get a fresh start).

    Even though I am trying to sync Now Contacts (Up to date had previously synced successfully), I decided to go ahead load the ability to sync Lotus.

    After everything was installed, I restarted the G4 making sure the BB Pearl was not plugged in.

    Upon restart, I opened PM (still without the BB hooked up to the G4). Once I opened PM, I went to the area in PM and clicked on Contacts and made sure I was properly set up to sync only contacts.

    After that, I clicked on the green sync button and low and behold the son of a gun actually worked.

    I have not tried any subsequent syncs, but at least I got all of my contacts in the Pearl for now.

    Good luck everyone……. this sure is a pain

  15. Steakumrl

    I am using a Powebook G4 Mac OS version 10.4.9, Now version 5.3.1, and the Blackberry Pearl.

    I have read every item listed on the blog, but have not seen this issue brought up.

    I was able to sync my Now calender by only syncing it (as someone mentioned synicing only one file at a time).

    My issue has been with trying to sync Now Contacts. I followed antiphonists advise and received the same result I always receive.

    The Pearl is recognized by PM. The only file I am trying to sync is Contacts. The sync begins. Pearl show that is connected to desktop. PM show is is syncing data, then synicing contacts. Contacts even opens up briefly, giving me false hope.

    At the end of the sync, just when I think this might be my lucky day, I get the following error message:

    An unexpected error has occurred: DesktopData::findMapUsing: no result found!

    Has anyone encountered this one, and if so were you able to find a work aroud?

  16. I was having huge problems synching my Pearl 8100 until I followed Antiphonist’s recomendation:

    Do everything in this order;

    1) Open PocketMac 4.0
    2) Plug in Pearl
    3) Synch

    If you need to resynch, then quit, unplug and do it all over again. Works everytime now.

    Thanks Antiphonist!!!

  17. Jerry Lawler

    I can confirm that this does not work correctly with NOW calendars. Period. I am now literall on my eleventh tech support person at Blackberry tech support (pocketmac.net stopped answering my e-mails a week ago with no explanation) and now even Blackberry support has stopped communicating with me. I’ve never “told them off” or anything of the support, just patiently asked for support and immediately supplied them with logs, descriptions of what is happening, etc. literally dozens of times. They have “passed the buck” with me to the point where my case was “escalated” by a supervisor with explicit promises of dedicated support from one person until my case was resolved. After 2 or three suggestions from “escalated” tech support which were no different than the previous non-working remedies, all tech support from Blackberry support has stopped, the other end is silent.

    If you use Now calendars, do not expect to ever sync them with a Blackberry, ever. It is simply impossible. I defy anyone to show me otherwise.

  18. Elyse Chance

    MacBook Pro running OSX 10.4.8, just got a Pearl. Was able to sync calendar (it appears to have worked okay) but not Address Book — get error message “An unexpected error has occurred: Bad default category length.” I have tried several times, but get the same message every time. Can somebody help? Thanks.

  19. Removing the .plist files and plugging in Pearl after opening Pocketmac is allowing iCal and Mac Address book to sync final after a few…no…several…no a ton of testing. No luck with the Contact sync from Now and Up to Date though. Gives me a little hope. Very little that is.

  20. This product is appalling!

    Trying to get PocketMac working with a BlackBerry Pearl is comical.

    PocketMac should be ashamed that they can release this product while making statements like, and I quote from their website: “This software has been written, tested, re-written, re-tested and then tested again for 14 solid months to make sure your data is being routed perfectly! And now it’s ready to run on your Mac!”

    This is just living in denial. I have NOT found one forum that has not overwhelmingly had negative things to say about this product.

    Both RIM and the PocketMac Team should be ashamed to put their name to this vapourware!

    Just a hint guys, when you’re looking for your next new job, I wouldn’t write anything in your CV that suggests you worked on this product, you just never know who has been punished by your PocketMac handiwork!

  21. FIXED: Had the same problem as the very first comment on this article… ical stopped syncing with the Pearl from Pocketmac…

    However, if you go to your finder, search for “.plist” and scroll down to the “Pocketmac” .plist files… drag them onto your desktop and out of the folder they were in, then restart pocketmac – (and reset your settings) – it should be good to go. The first time I tried to resync it didn’t quite make it through, but now every time is a charm again.

    The problem for me first occured when I put a new “calendar” in ical that was automatically generated from my new version of Quickbooks (2007) for a deposit reminder. I imediately deleted that calendar from ical as well when I deleted the .plist files from that folder. I don’t need a reminder that bad… i need my Pearl syncing!!!

    Good luck to those with issues…

    Anyone know how to fix a Brother MFC-5440CN printer that is now printing “mirrored” ever since my MacBook upgraded to 10.4.8? It still prints fine on my ibook that is running 10.3. It has all the “correct new” drivers installed supposidly for 10.4.8. I have no options in print set-up what-so-ever. Frustrating!!!!