great expectations

How many times am I going to get suckered by technological promises? I was so excited when I heard that iOS 5 was going to have wireless syncing for iTunes: finally, I won’t have to deal with plugging the iPhone in and letting the syncing process chug away interminably!

Well. For one thing, the wireless syncing only works (a) if you have your iPhone on and (b) have your Mac running and © have iTunes running and — here’s the big one — (d) have your iPhone plugged into an outlet. So it’s not wireless at all. Your choice is whether to plug your iPhone into your Mac and let the syncing happen via USB or plug it into the wall outlet and let your syncing happen wirelessly (and therefore in most cases more slowly).

Not really much of an improvement, is it?

Also, I have my iPhone plugged in and my laptop open and running iTunes … let’s see … that would be “never.” If I had a desktop machine I would be far more likely to leave it running when I’m not using it. But like most people with laptops, especially lightweight ones like the Air, when I’m not using it I close it and put it away. No syncing can happen while the machine’s asleep.

So yet another apparently welcome technological innovation that leaves me right where I was. Lots of cool things in iOs 5! — but the “wireless” syncing isn’t one of them.

UPDATE: I’m told that it’s possible to force a wi-fi sync even when the device is unplugged, but on my iPhone the “Sync Now” button in the Preferences stays grayed out until I plug the phone in.