iSync possible in Mavericks?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by macstatic, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Is there a way to install and use iSync (from OSX 10.6 etc.) in Mavericks? From what I've heard Lion/Mountain Lion had the underlying support still built in, so apparently it was just a matter of copying over the app from OSX 10.6, but I can't find any such info on Mavericks.
    I'd like to sync an old phone (bought an iSync plugin for it) with Address book and Calendar.

    A quote I read somewhere comes to mind: "Apple is famous for removing things that work".
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here

    when I try to launch iSync in Mavericks, it crashes.

    Crashed Thread: 0

    Exception Type: EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP)
    Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000002, 0x0000000000000000

    Application Specific Information:
    dyld: launch, loading dependent libraries

    Dyld Error Message:
    Symbol not found: _kCSAOSResourcesUpdatedNotification
    Referenced from: /Applications/
    Expected in: /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/CoreServices
    in /Applications/
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    That's what I was fearing :(
    Did you just copy the app itself over from OSX 10.6 or all the library components as well?

    I assume that would mean I'd have to install OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard on another partition, another drive or as a virtual machine in order to sync the phone, but how would I make the older version of Address book and iCal (in OSX 10.6, which iSync will sync to) transfer the newer data (Address book and iCal in Mavericks) to the phone?

    Anyone have an idea why Apple decided to remove iSync in the first place?
  4. NoBoMac, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014

    NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2014
    The underlying framework still exists in 10.9.3 or greater (.0-.2 did not have), so, maybe see if your phone manufacturer has their version of iSync replacement (eg. Nokia came up with an iSync-like solution for their devices once Apple dropped iSync).

    Also various 3rd party solutions out there that do iCloud-like syncing to old phones via SyncServices. And some old phones will also do v-card import over Bluetooth.

    That said, iSync was killed off three years ago, and it's just now an issue? As for why Apple dumped it, why should they stay in the business of supporting everybody else's phones for all eternity? Especially if even the phone's manufacturer doesn't provide support/updates to their old devices. They have their own phone to hawk. And just from a support standpoint, even if just a fraction of a FTE, you have to dedicate person(s) to fixing bugs, adding new old devices, have a slew of working old devices to make sure the bug fix/enhancement works, etc. Better use of the FTE(s) on other, current things.

    Remember, this is the first company to drop floppies, optical media drives. If it's obsolete to the bulk of the world, it's a goner. Or even more significant: Apple doesn't support their OWN hardware after about 5 years for OS X, ~4 yrs for mobile. No surprises here.
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    So for Mavericks 10.9.4. Apple "silently" brought it back and all I have to do is copy over the actual iSync app from 10.6.x to get it working?

    There was never an iSync replacement for my phone (Sony Ericsson) but a plugin to be used with iSync itself. This would recognize my phone and allow me to sync it via Bluetooth even though Apple didn't have any support for it. Works great!
    Actually I just looked it up and it's still available, and I also found some interesting info about using it with OSX Lion and Mountain Lion where it says that it's not compatible with Mavericks:

    Perhaps this was written prior to the 10.9.3 update. Where did you get information about Apple bringing it back in from 10.9.3 onwards?
  6. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2014
    See Bruno09 post. The iSync binary binds to a library that no longer has a specific function, so, won't run.

    Have to find a third party app/interface.
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I don't understand. Was the framework for iSync removed in OSX 10.9.0, the put back in 10.9.3 and 10.9.4, but without actually working with iSync?
  8. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    That is exactly correct. Apple decided that they will re-implement SyncServices so that any other phone besides the iPhone can work with their operating system, however the phone manufacturer must provide their own application front end for SyncServices.

    It makes sense, really. Why should Apple do all the work?
  9. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Yes, of course Apple can't support every phone in the world. This is why I purchased a separate plugin to make my phone work with iSync in the first place.
    Now, in OSX 10.6.8. I've found a folder which I suspect is the iSync framework:


    As for the plugin for my specific phone which I purchased separately, this is found in:


    Is this what you mean by phone manufacturers having to provide application front ends for their own phones? In other words, would iSync work in OSX 10.9.4. if I

    a) copy the "iSync" app (from 10.6.8) over to the /Applications/ folder in OSX 10.9.4.


    b) copy the /Library/PhonePlugins/ folder (with its contents) from 10.6.8. over to the same location in 10.9.4
  10. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    What you seem to be misunderstanding is that iSync was a universal application intended for syncing non-Apple branded phones with Apple operating systems. Since Apple is no longer supporting a front-end for SyncServices, iSync has been discontinued. The phone manufacturer MUST provide such an application. Your phone manufacturer (Sony) has apparently deemed your phone not worthy of continuing support.

    You can certainly try placing the related iSync data in the proper place in 10.9.3+, but I doubt you'll ever get iSync to work with 10.9.3+. I suppose you could theoretically recreate iSync with a newer xCode version, but it would take a lot of work. If you resolve to try placing the related data in the respective places in 10.9.3+, please backup before you try.

    I understand that you purchased a plugin for iSync, and I'm sorry that you did. But after looking up that plugin, I'm seeing that it was last updated in 2010. That tells me that Sony has abandoned this device. Also, Apple has abandoned a front-end for SyncServices.

    At this point, your only option is a second partition with a version of OS X that has iSync, or run such a version of OS X in a virtual machine.
  11. macstatic, Sep 6, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    OK, thanks for clearing that up.
    I did come across an app called SyncMate. Haven't tried it on my OSX 10.9.4 Mac yet, but it might be just what I need. Any other suggestions?

    Alternatively, if I get OSX 10.6.8. working in a VM, would there be a way to link the data from OSX 10.9.4's iCal/Address book so that data would be transferred via iSync or is the structure totally different?
  12. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    I have never tried SyncMate, so I cannot give an opinion on that. Also, I have an Android phone, and AFT works great with it. So I don't have any other suggestions.

    If you are going to run 10.6 in a virtual machine, you have to purchase 10.6 server to run it in a VM. Normal 10.6 won't run in a VM. Its $29 I think on the Apple website.

    Alternatively, you could run 10.7 in a vm just fine.

    I would fire up the VM, sync iCal/Address Book with iSync, then export the iCal events/Address Book to a savable file and then move it over to Mavericks and import them with iCal/Address Book in Mavericks.
  13. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Don't worry about the iSync plugin that I bought. I got it many years ago and it's served me well :)
    Your iCal/Address book export suggestion sounds good for doing it once, but not as a regular syncing event. Better look into some 3rd party apps as you initially suggested.

    As for running 10.6 in a VM: I've heard that you don't need the server version to do that, but because many people think it's a violation of Apple's terms if you don't (even if it's on Mac hardware) it's become an urban myth or whatever that you need the server version. Then again, I have the regular 10.6 installation retail DVD but I never got it to run in VirtualBox not Parallels (the former gives me error messages and the latter refuses, telling me it only accepts the server version), so what do I know.
    In any case I'm out of luck trying to buy OSX 10.6 server. All I find at Apple's website is the option to buy the retail version of 10.6 (which I already have). Have you actually seen it for sale recently?
  14. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    It appears you can only order Snow Leopard Server by calling Apple and ordering a copy.

    Here is a macrumors thread detailing how to install retail Snow Leopard in Parallels 7/8:

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