Imagine my surprise last weekend when I was at Staples (of all places) and came across a Bluetooth-enabled phone for the home from Olympia/Wave Industries (the CDP-24206). The first thing that came to mind was, “Olympia — the company that formerly made typewriters — makes phones?”. And the second thing that came to mind was, “Cool! a Bluetooth phone for the home office; now I don’t have to punch in phone numbers again.”
So, after a little debate, I finally purchased the phone ($199 at Staples, list online is $249), and brought it home to set up. I was able to get the phone and its base station to pair with my PowerBook, but that’s about where the magic stopped. When I launched iSync and tried to add the device so I could sync my Address Book information over, the phone wouldn’t show up, even though it was still discoverable.
Then I went to Apple’s site and looked at their list of supported devices for iSync, and sure enough, my Olympia CDP-24206 wasn’t on that list. As a matter of fact, the list looks like iSync only supports most major cell phones, iPods, and an array of PDAs. But what about Bluetooth devices for the home? None appear to be on the list.
This is very unfortunate, because I don’t want to have to key in phone numbers; I want to sync my Address Book data to this Bluetooth phone and use it. But alas, I cannot, and because of this, I get to make another trek back to Staples to return this phone because Apple’s iSync does not support it.
So who loses here? Olympia, Staples, and me, the customer. Oh, and Apple loses a bit too. iSync has been boasted as the conduit of conduits for sharing information between your Mac and other devices. Pair and play is the way it should be. But instead I have to wait and see if this little Bluetooth phone gets supported the next time iSync revs? Lord knows when that will be, or if the phone will be supported, so it’s back to Staples I go with this phone in one hand and my receipt in the other.
Note: I did submit feedback to Apple from iSync, asking that they add support for this and other Bluetooth-enabled phones for the home, but that goes into a hole from which a reply is unheard of.