Thursday, October 02, 2008

iPhone 2.1, Syphone. MobileSync Browser, SMS and sanity

Syphone stopped working correctly with the update to iPhone OS 2.1, no longer adding new messages to it's archive database. MobileSync Browser would still read new messages, but can't export unless you pay for ir (which I did), and doesn't have quite as robust an export format as Syphone (Although it does do several things Syphone doesn't, like also backing up Notes, and Contacts. The additional features make it worth paying for, and it's possible to massage it's export files with some judicious grep'ping to a format that can be imported into Syphone. More on that later maybe.)

Turns out, Syphone will start working again if you clear all it's preference files (~/Library/Application Support/Syphone/ and ~/Library/Preferences/com.micromat.Syphone.plist ) but pay attention that you lose your previously saved messages if you just delete these files. Instead, first export any conversations threads that you want to keep from Syphone, then moved the preferences files, restart Syphone (turning off the SMS daemon if you get the No iPhones found error) and load your new messages, then re-import your old messages to the new database.

I fully understand that Micromat is concentrating on TechTool Pro atm, and that Syphone is free, but their handling of this issue has practically guaranteed that they'll never be able to charge money for Syphone. It should have taken a trivial amount of time for a programmer conversant with the software to come up with the above procedure and post it to their message board. Instead, we got

 "There is nothing I can do to help with this problem. We expect development of Syphone to resume after the release of TechTool Pro 5."

and over the next several days the userbase thrashed out the above procedure. Micromat completely trashed all the goodwill they'd gained from having the best SMS archive app, and a free one at that.

For me, SMS is a toy, I just happen to like to save my convos. For some people, SMS is business, and that makes saving them Mission Critical.


MobileSync Browser: