Hi all, Larry here. It's hard to believe, but here at Spanning Sync we've been working on sync software for nearly three years! During that time, we've learned some lessons about the nature of the data that our customers sync like contacts and calendar events, and the problems that they sometimes run into.
First, most people just aren't very good at keeping their contacts and calendars organized. Open up your Address Book, or perhaps that of a friend or family member, and you're very likely to find duplicated entries, contacts with names in the wrong fields, mislabeled contacts…the list goes on. And who can blame us? Our lives are busy and complicated.
Second, sync software is generally not very good at dealing with bad data. We're proud to say that Spanning Sync is currently (as far as we know) the only sync product on the market with active duplicate prevention on both ends. If you find a duplicated calendar event or contact on your Mac or on Google, chances are slim that Spanning Sync put it there (barring Google Calendar time zone bugs; sorry New Zealand!). That said, once duplicates find their way into your calendars and contacts, all sync software has the potential to act like a virus and propagate these inconsistencies to every device and app that you sync with.
Clearly, these two facts can lead to a "perfect storm" of sync destruction which we sometimes find when helping our customers resolve various issues. When we find such issues, we refer our customers to useful utilities such as iCal Dupe Deleter and/or recommend a data cleanup that entails hours of tedious preening inside iCal and Address Book.
That is, until now. Today we're announcing Spanning Tools for Mac, a suite of utilities that analyzes, reports, and fixes dozens of problems with iCal, Address Book, and Apple Sync Services — problems ranging from the obvious, such as duplicated calendar events, to the subtle, such as invalid calendar dates and poorly formatted contact names.
We're going to kick things off with a public beta, which you can download right now from this download link. We'd appreciate hearing about any problems you run into or any enhancements you'd like to see. Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.