Preview: Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, beta due October 24

Microsoft is set to release a beta version of Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac on October 24.

The connector will allow Mac users to sync their Windows Phone 7 devices with iTunes and iPhoto. Neowin has been able to take an early look at the beta software and can confirm the beta is very stable and functions well. Windows Phone 7 Mac users will be able to sync Music, Videos and Photos to their phones.

The Windows Phone Connector sits on top of Apple's iTunes/iPhoto for Mac and interacts with both software programs using public APIs. Microsoft says it has not had to work with Apple in order to implement the connector. The install package is extremely lightweight at only 1.5MB. The application will also receive regular updates in the future. It's not designed to replace the Zune experience from the PC and we hope that Microsoft considers writing a full Zune application for Mac in the future.

At a Windows Phone 7 reviewers workshop, held last week in London, Microsoft's Head of UK Consumer Windows Phone Marketing, Oded Ran, confirmed a public beta will be released on October 24 and a full release will be available "later this year".

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Frylock86 said,
Looks snappy. At least Microsoft can code software to look native to the OS, unlike Apple.

IE: The abomination that is iTunes.


Completely agree, good job here Microsoft!

Frylock86 said,
IE: The abomination that is iTunes.

Oh geeze, here we go again. Well, for starters Zune doesn't look anything like any other windows applications. IE8 (and 9), WMP, Office 2003/2007/2010, Zune all have their own look and feel in Microsoft's home turf OS.

iTunes is light years ahead of the **** poor WMV and WMA support MS has provided for Mac OS X.

So...yeah...5...6...7...8 who do we REALLY hate!?!?! As all these discussion threads turn into the equivalent of a high school football rivalry. Blah.

Frylock86 said,
Looks snappy. At least Microsoft can code software to look native to the OS, unlike Apple.

At least iTunes is fully feature complete. We can't say the same of Microsoft Office, Windows Media (3rd party plugin) and Messenger 8... Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac is a perfect example once again: it only syncs media, but not Mail, Notes, Address Book contacts and iCal appointments which is arguably much more important.

So tell me, how far does this pretty Aqua interface Microsoft whipped up get Mac users? Let me answer that for you: Not very far.

.Neo said,

At least iTunes is fully feature complete. We can't say the same of Microsoft Office, Windows Media (3rd party plugin) and Messenger 8... Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac is a perfect example once again: it only syncs media, but not Mail, Notes, Address Book contacts and iCal appointments which is arguably much more important.

So tell me, how far does this pretty Aqua interface Microsoft whipped up get Mac users? Let me answer that for you: Not very far.

I would beg to differ. I don't understand how you can call software "feature complete". Nothing is ever feature complete.

Frylock86 said,

I would beg to differ. I don't understand how you can call software "feature complete". Nothing is ever feature complete.


Let me elaborate: iTunes on Windows features pretty much exact the same as iTunes on Mac OS X. We can't say the same of Windows Live Messenger vs Messenger for Mac and Microsoft Office for Windows vs Microsoft Office for Mac.

.Neo said,

Let me elaborate: iTunes on Windows features pretty much exact the same as iTunes on Mac OS X. We can't say the same of Windows Live Messenger vs Messenger for Mac and Microsoft Office for Windows vs Microsoft Office for Mac.

iTunes on Windows also installs 8 other garbage programs and services that serve no purpose in playing music.

(How is MS Office not complete???)

Nightwind Hawk said,

iTunes on Windows also installs 8 other garbage programs and services that serve no purpose in playing music.

(How is MS Office not complete???)

Here are just a couple of missing Office features on the Mac version: embeddable fonts and themes, excel pivot charts, video editing in powerpoint, can't redirect/resend emails in outlook.

Shadrack said,

Oh geeze, here we go again. Well, for starters Zune doesn't look anything like any other windows applications. IE8 (and 9), WMP, Office 2003/2007/2010, Zune all have their own look and feel in Microsoft's home turf OS.

iTunes is light years ahead of the **** poor WMV and WMA support MS has provided for Mac OS X.


True Zune doesn't look like a native Windows programm - it instead follows the Phone's/Zune's design paradigm. IE, WMP use the standard Windows UI - as does Office, although it uses it's own Widget kit...
To compare the Windows-iTunes expierence, imagine a programm that follows the Aero-design rules under Mac OS X, that means: different button order, no global menu - it's instead in the application -, different rendering of fonts, different tone how to talk to the user, glassy window...

Frylock86 said,
At least Microsoft can code software to look native to the OS, unlike Apple.

Haha! What a stupid thing to say! You see that big bar at the bottom showing what's using the phone's storage? Yeah, that's a non-standard piece of UI, copied straight from iTunes. Sigh.

Nightwind Hawk said,

iTunes on Windows also installs 8 other garbage programs and services that serve no purpose in playing music.

QuickTime is needed. Safari, Software Update etc. are optional as far as I know.

.Neo said,
Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac is a perfect example once again: it only syncs media, but not Mail, Notes, Address Book contacts and iCal appointments which is arguably much more important.

As far as I know those can be synced only with the cloud (Exchange, Windows Live, Google, etc.) on WP7

Shea J said,
why do we need software to sync music and other files? its called drag and drop

MS dont go the apple route please

Well, this is arguably designed to make that easier for the consumer... I think this is certainly a good thing here...

.Neo said,
It doesn't sync Mail, Notes, Address Book contacts and iCal appointments? How incredibly useful...

I was actually considering Windows 7 Phone for my next phone, but if I can't sync the above information I won't. Hopefully it will be added later on (being a beta and all).

Why would it? I don't plug my Droid into the computer to sync my e-mail either... this is and should be all done in real time wirelessly.

.Neo said,
It doesn't sync Mail, Notes, Address Book contacts and iCal appointments? How incredibly useful...

I was actually considering Windows 7 Phone for my next phone, but if I can't sync the above information I won't. Hopefully it will be added later on (being a beta and all).

Umm when do you ever sync Email, Contacts, Notes, and Calendars with your computer through USB???

Even the Zune software on the PC doesn't sync that stuff. It's all through the Web. Windows Live syncs your contacts, calendar, email, and OneNote syncs with SkyDrive.

You don't plug in a smartphone to sync that stuff anymore... only music and photos.

Nightwind Hawk said,

Why would it? I don't plug my Droid into the computer to sync my e-mail either... this is and should be all done in real time wirelessly.


Are there services in place to sync between iCal, Address Book and Safari bookmarks? Does Windows Phone 7 support that? Also, I don't like all that personal info being stored in the cloud. In that aspect I prefer how iOS handles things.

.Neo said,

Are there services in place to sync between iCal, Address Book and Safari bookmarks? Does Windows Phone 7 support that? Also, I don't like all that personal info being stored in the cloud. In that aspect I prefer how iOS handles things.

Everything is in the cloud nowadays. There's no reason to plug in your phone to sync calendar and contacts! Windows Mobile did it like that, but Windows Mobile was created like 10 years ago when the cloud was just developing.

It doesn't matter if you're on a Windows PC or a Mac, you won't be able to directly sync those contacts and calendar events. You are one of the few that doesn't like keeping everything wireless. Windows Phone 7 is MAJORLY based on the cloud, so it's not for you.

andrewbares said,
It doesn't matter if you're on a Windows PC or a Mac, you won't be able to directly sync those contacts and calendar events. You are one of the few that doesn't like keeping everything wireless. Windows Phone 7 is MAJORLY based on the cloud, so it's not for you.

I have to plug in my Windows 7 Phone regardless to charge and sync my media so why no immediately sync my contacts and appointments? Seems to me me as more actions considering I have to plug it into to sync media AND sync everything over the cloud, using yet another account somewhere.

Or does Windows Phone 7 charge over the cloud as well?

.Neo said,

I have to plug in my Windows 7 Phone regardless to charge and sync my media so why no immediately sync my contacts and appointments? Seems to me me as more actions considering I have to plug it into to sync media AND sync everything over the cloud, using yet another account somewhere.

Or does Windows Phone 7 charge over the cloud as well?

Yeah what a major pain it is to add your - gmail/exchange/hotmail/yahoo/etc. account - once when you get the phone and leave it to constantly sync email/calendar/contacts on the go - what a big grind doing that actually is, they've dropped the ball - they should have ignored the cloud and gone straight for USB syncing with desktop mail apps, that's what people want!!

Why would I want the simplicity of cloud syncing, to be able to access that info from any browser, on any computer, if I get a new phone (damaged, broken, totally new phone (android etc)) why would I want to simply add account details and watch all my contacts and mail and calendar populate itself, that sounds pointless to me.....

/S

The iPhone and iPod touch sync everything just fine over USB in one go. Everything mail, bookmarks, notes, to-dos, calendars, music, photos, videos, contacts etc. while charging your phone. No need to setup yet another online account somewhere, in fact there's no need to set anything up at all. It doesn't get more simpler than that.

Also, how big are the chances my phone AND iMac at home get stolen at the exact same time? My guess not so big...

Also, nowhere did I say Microsoft dropped the ball on anything and it having the cloud as an option is definitely a good idea. However, it would have been nice if the above application also synced everything over from Address Book and iCal. You sure have a flair for the dramatic.

Quikboy said,
Anyone else using IE9 and have trouble viewing full pics in both IE9 and compatiblity mode?

Doesn't work properly in Safari 5 either.

Quikboy said,
Anyone else using IE9 and have trouble viewing full pics in both IE9 and compatiblity mode?

Not working in Firefox, either.

Scratch that. It works now. Earlier the page would just dim and nothing would display.

xiphi said,

Not working in Firefox, either.

Scratch that. It works now. Earlier the page would just dim and nothing would display.

Yeah, I noticed that earlier as well. Now it seems to be redirecting to the image url only. So I guess that's an interim fix.

This is good to see, as I think it's important for users of other OS's to be able to connect their phones to their computers and sync files and pictures. I am a little surprised though that they were able to build this on top of iTunes, as I thought Apple would frown upon anything like that... I wonder if that will become a problem in the future...

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