I’m a long-time iPhone user and new Mac switcher, but since I use the phone for business (read Exchange) email, contacts, and calendars, I was stuck syncing it to the (work) PC instead of the (home) Mac. This really wasn’t optimal, as it meant I needed to load all of my songs and movies on the work machine, which is a serious no-no for my “keep ’em separated” computing preferences. But the iPhone has to be synced to a single machine, and since I needed to be able to keep my contacts and calendars up to date, I was stuck.
All this changed with 2.0’s over-the-air sync ability, though. Once you enable Exchange ActiveSync (or MobileMe, for that matter), you no longer have to tie the iPhone to Outlook. So now I am able to sync my work contacts, email, and calendar to Exchange and my songs, ringtones, apps, and movies to my Mac! Joy!
I first noticed this shortly after my 2.0 upgrade and ActiveSync activation. I docked the iPhone to the Mac to download some photos with iPhoto, and I noticed that iTunes would let me “sync” it there, even though it was “paired” to the PC. Although I had selected “manually manage music”, I couldn’t drag and drop songs or videos, but I noticed that the calendar, contacts, and mail sync settings were now grayed out. This got me thinking, so I decided to take the plunge and blow away all of my content in order to really sync the phone to the Mac. Sure enough, my mail, contacts, and calendars remain connected to Exchange, but everything else now lives on the Mac.
I wonder if Apple considered this implication when they released Exchange ActiveSync. After all, it would seem to tie the phone more strongly to Microsoft but actually has the exact opposite effect. I don’t need a Windows PC at all anymore!