12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2009 12:30 PM by Nick@GC
shredder007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
How in the world can an iphone user see or accept an outlook calendar invite? Everytime anyone from my windows office sends me a Microsoft Office Outlook calendar invite it shows up as a "mime-attachment.ics"... All I can do from my iphone i see the file but I'm unable to open it or even have the option of accepting or declining the Outlook invite...!
I've really tried to look within the support nd forums but only eem to find scant info. on the subject. Not even AT&T nor Apple phone support can help.They just keep repeating the same thing... if the file is not in the apple acceptable format, the iphone can't see it nor open it nor deal with it.

So is it true? If I get an outlook email calendar invite then I'm screwed!?

HP, Windows Vista, outlook calendar
  • Randy Fast Level 4 Level 4 (1,415 points)
    Can you not accept the invite on your computer?
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Yes, as you put it, you're screwed. Unless you accept the invite on your computer and sync the event to the iPhone, you can't do anything with a .ics attachment to an email. Note that if you're using an MS Exchange/ActiveSync account on the iPhone, Outlook invites sent to that account can be accepted and will end up in the Calendar on the iPhone. But, that only works with calendar invitations to MS Exchange or MobileMe accounts, not with .ics attachments to emails.
  • Craig Baron Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)
    You are correct, you can't do anything with that windows format "stuff" on the phone. On the mac, iCal will open the attachment and accept/decline the invite. MobileMe will then sync it back to the phone calendar. I assume you can do something similar on a windows box.
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Craig Baron wrote:
    ...you can't do anything with that windows format "stuff" on the phone. On the mac, iCal will open the attachment and accept/decline the invite.


    Well...the .ics file format is a standard calendar file format used by iCal (and MS Outlook, and other calendar apps as well). Point is, you can't really blame this on Windows - if you export an event or a whole calendar from iCal on your Mac, you get a .ics file.
  • Craig Baron Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)
    Good point, the iphone cannot read .ics attachments regardless of the source. Some windows network users have a habit of e-mailing .ics invitations without an explanation in the mail text, which is certainly not an effective way of getting me to attend a meeting.
  • shredder007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thx. this is the best response so far.
    But then here's the flip side of this question. Ok, so the iphone cannot handle MS Outlook Calendar invites, period. What can the windows user do, modify or changeinsdie their invite in order for a known apple iphone user to view, or accept/decline?

    Sure, I get the invite into my PC and I can view/mod it, that's not the issue here.
  • Craig Baron Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)
    Honestly, I don't know the best answer for a corporate environment (maybe that's why I'm self employed). Maybe they could make sure the details of the meeting are in the text of the message so everyone who isn't sitting at their primary computer can decide if the need to respond immediately or if it wait until they get back to their computer. Personally, I'm more likely to show up at a meeting if someone calls me directly and asks if/when I will be available. IMHO, these "tools" are fine until they become more trouble than they are worth.
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Basically nothing. They could put the meeting details in text form in the email, and you could enter the event manually into your calendar on the iPhone. But, you couldn't accept/decline the invite, per se. You could reply to the email and say you'll be there (but it wouldn't show up as an acceptance in the MS Outlook attendance tracking tab). Only real way around this would be for you to be using an MS Exchange account.
  • shredder007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Unfortunately, our office is not a MS Exchange environment. We're strictly google for business mail.

    One item did come up that I found... Outlook does allow for the outlook calendar invite to be forwarded as an iCalendar. Yet when it is sent it is still sent as a '.ICS' attachment.
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Outlook does allow for the outlook calendar invite to be forwarded as an iCalendar. Yet when it is sent it is still sent as a '.ICS' attachment.


    That's because .ics, .ical, .icalendar are all the same:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICalendar

    About all you can do is hope Apple implements support for handoff of .ics attachments from Mail to Calendar on the iPhone. You can certainly express your desire for that:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html
  • Leadmine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am using an ipod touch (which i love) and am thinking of upgrading from my blackberry to an iphone. Does anyone know if Apple is working on a fix for the mime-attachment.ics acceptance. As a photojournalist my assignment are sent to me this way and I can not read them on my ipod touch only my blackberry. This seems like a real short coming for the iphone.

    Message was edited by: Leadmine
  • Nick@GC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi
    Has there been any progress on this? My experiences are pretty much the same as the earlier posts.

    My employer promotes Blackberry's and meetings are always called through meeting invitations (ie an ics file). So my not conforming with my iPhone puts me at a great disadvantage.

    I have already provided feedback to Apple on this.

    Cheers

    Nick