Review: – mobile sync

zyb started off as a internet sync provider that allows you to sync your contacts and calendar. It also provides a SMS backup service. All these for free.

There are quite a few Online Sync Providers that have more features than zyb. There are also commercial paid services for online sync as well. However I find zyb to have the most potential and as the name suggests, very web 2.0ish. The new refreshed zyb integrates with other social networks like facebook and twitter. zyb itself also incorporated some basic social features like status updates.

zyb uses a platform independent synchronisation standard called SyncML (Synchronisation Markup Language). What makes this great is that it is widely accepted as an open standard and is currently implemented in phones that dates as far back as 2004 in my own experience. Which means, it does not matter what phone you use, you can always sync between them. It makes switching phones and keeping devices in-sync pretty much easier. For a list of phones that supports SyncML click here or go to It also shows you the phones that are supported by zyb.

I have been using zyb as my events/calendar and contacts synchronization platform for over 5 years now and in that 5 years, i have used 5 mobile phones, 2 of my phones had water damage and my latest phone is the Apple iPhone 3G. I moved from a Nokia to a Motorolla Razr, to a Sony Ericsson w880 to a Sony Ericsson w890 and currently using the Apple iPhone 3G. I used zyb to retrieve the contacts on the internet when my phone had water damage. When I got a new phone, after configuring 3G services and the Sync settings, i was able to sync my contacts and calendars over the air. It saved me a lot of trouble of waiting to get back from the mobile phone retail shop to my pc, export my contacts (if I am using a different brand of phone), re-import them, sync with my phone and check for duplicates and other mis-matched information. Using zyb, I could easily get my new phone fully operational in 10 minutes. You can imagine the possibilities.

The web interface is quite easy to use and it has all the essential contact management features. You can edit multiple contacts and merge them. While merging, you can choose which information to retain and which to discard. It has quite a granular control on the information within the contact. This helps when you switch phones and the way they retain information is different. One of the feature which i use quite often is the “Merge Duplicates” feature. It finds related contacts for you through zyb’s algorithms. It is quite smart as it not only find matching contact information but also some fuzzy logic to determine if one contact can be related to another because of similar sounding names. This became even more useful when you import contacts from Facebook, Gmail, mySpace and a host of other social networks.

The social network import feature is unique, new and exciting. zyb figured out a way to merge your social network with your phone contacts. That is why I said this has the best potential to be the single source of contact management for any device. I am sure there are equally number of reasons why you don’t want to do thatย  (like what if your facebook has 4000 people – A little more indepth post on that later – zyb does not sync all the information) but for me, zyb makes the connection for me, from the name to the contact information, emails and etc. At least i can now fully utilize all the fields in the contact page of my phone :). With the facebook integration, it even imports the profile pictures, unfortunately it does not sync to my iPhone 3G yet, i hope it will someday. I have not tested if the pictures get sync’ed on the other phones. If you care to donate your phones, I will try ๐Ÿ™‚

I started this post a day earlier but needed to refresh the features in zyb, I ended up importing facebook and gmail contacts, merging them and then cleaning them up the whole night. Also found out that a new iPhone app was released for zyb. So ended up refreshing contact information on my iPhone 3G.

So by now I can hear you guys and gals screaming “What about security/privacy/etc?. zyb promises not to use your contact or sell them without your knowledge, consent or permission yadda yadda yadda. So does Google. So far I have not had an incident with zyb but there is no gurantee. Even secure pentagon laptops can be hacked into and so can Google. So if you are really paranoid, quick surf away. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is a run down of the features and why I like it:

  1. Over the Air Sync – You need to have WiFi, EDGE, GPRS or 3G services to do that.
  2. Open Synchronisation standard – Which means it support most phones today
  3. Imports Contacts including facebook, GMail, mySpace and a host of other social networks
  4. Imports Calendars including Google Calendar, Outlook and Apple iCal (using Google Calendar/Outlook/iCal sync app – yeah its a workaround but it works)
  5. Contact Management – Granular editing features
  6. Contact Merging – Finds duplicates and lets you edit them before merging
  7. Contact Groups
  8. SMS backup – Just send important SMSes to a phone number provided. It’s intelligent enough to know its from you and store it for you and from the SMS was from whom. It can match the senders information from your contacts
  9. MMS Backup? or Picture Upload? I am not sure but you can send an MMS to zyb and it can store only the picture or the entire MMS. Sorry iPhone 3G don’t have MMS yet. Again if you would like to donate your phone… ๐Ÿ™‚
  10. Multiple Calendar Support – Usually your phone only supports one.
  11. For non-iPhone users, they have a zyb phonebook app. Looks quite social with maps, status updates and contact updates. Supports Nokia and Sony Ericsson and probably more. Anyone can borrow me a phone?
  12. Twitter integration ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is what I think they can improve on and my personal wish list:

  1. Sync and not import from Social Networks – From time to time you have to log on to zyb web to import your new contacts. It does not provide a sync feature. Maybe that is how they keep you coming back to the web.
  2. Sync and not import from Calendars. Same rant in point 1
  3. MMS backup
  4. Support for multiple mobiles. This was a feature before where if you own more than 1 mobile service or different lines, you could list it in zyb, its now a single phone number only
  5. Does not yet support Apple iPhone Calendar. This is more Apple, it is because they have not open up to the idea yet. But I do wish I can directly sync it instead of doing a workaround
  6. Expand on the list of contact that can be imported or synchronised

Overall, this is a great web service to have on your cloud computing belt.ย  I would reccommend it to anyone who would want to keep their contacts in sync, who changes their contacts often and have tons of social networks to keep in sync (for now Facebook, GMail and mySpace – Ok GMail is mail contacts)

zyb iPhone zyb iPhone2


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  1. […] Review: – mobile sync […]

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