Google gets that sync'ing feeling

Google's flurry of synchronization announcements continues this week with the debut of a beta version of Google Sync for iPhone, Windows Mobile and SyncML devices. The new software lets those device users put their Gmail Contacts and Google Calendar events on their phone, easing what is usually a tedious, time-intensive process.

According to the Google Mobile blog, Google Sync automatically synchronizes the address book and calendar in the background, and uses push technology so that any changes made online appear on the phone "in minutes." And unlike last week's offline Calendar announcement, synchronization is two-way, so changes made to the phone are also updated to the Web in near real-time.

The new feature is useful, especially for new iPhone users wishing to update their contacts and calendar quickly and efficiently (a version of Google Sync for Blackberry has been available for a while). Plus, it acts as sort of a data backup plan. As Google says:

Your calendar and contacts are always up-to-date, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Also, since your data is automatically backed up to your Google Account, it's securely stored even if you lose your phone.

A big caution, however, is that this version of Google Sync is still in beta and might not be completely trustworthy:

Please keep in mind that Google Sync may remove all existing contacts and calendar events from your phone, so make sure to back up any important data before you set it up.

To try it out, visit m.google.com/sync

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