6 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2009 3:25 PM by dembow
dembow Level 1 (90 points)
My MobileMe account expires soon. I want to start using Google Calendar to sync events between my Macs and an iPhone. I visited Google's page for instructions how to set up my iPhone for Google Calendar. But how do I sync all my current events in iCal to Google Calendar? If I add an event on my iPhone, will it sync to Google Calendar and all my Macs? Is it even possible without all those expensive software like Spanning Sync?

15" PowerBook G4, 1.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM / 24" iMac, 3.06 GHz, 4 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.6), iPhone 8 GB
  • Hal MacLean Level 6 (14,790 points)
    Yes, it's possible... but Spanning Sync isn't exactly expensive!

    Here's how you do it.

    First off, export your iCal calendars from iCal as a .ics file. Later on you will delete your local copies of the calendars these come from, so keep them safe until you are sure you have got it all running.

    Now, go to your google calendar account, sign in, create a new calendar for each of your .ics files and go to the settings. Choose the calendar and import the correct .ics file for each. You may find one or two attempts are needed, but persevere, they do go in there eventually. Once done, you will have a copy of every calendar online in google, and all your original iCal calendars sitting nicely in iCal. The two are not yet linked together.

    Next, download 'Calaboration' from here: http://code.google.com/p/calaboration/

    This small app will log you in to your google account and look for valid calendars to sync with your iCal. Quit iCal first, then run Calaboration. You will then need to re-start iCal.

    When you start up, you'll see all of your online calendars appear one by one in their own groups... one calendar per group, unfortunately. You cannot change this, it is how it needs to be. If you are hoping to keep your nice neat calendar groups, think again!

    You now have all of your ical calendars online in google, and syncing wiht ical too. Make an entry online and it will appear in ical. Make an entry in ical and it will appear online.

    Now, to get it working with your iPhone, you have to download the google mobile apps from here http://www.google.com/mobile/apple/.

    Log in from the apps and you'll be able to read and edit your calendars from your phone too. Sadly, it doesn't use the nice iCal app in your iPhone, and does rely on an internet connection, but it is a pretty good system as it stands.

    I can't wait for better calendar grouping, and the ability to read calendars offline on my phone using iCal app... but that appears to be a way off.
  • dembow Level 1 (90 points)
    Hal MacLean wrote:
    it doesn't use the nice iCal app in your iPhone, and does rely on an internet connection

    That was kind of the point. In this case it's sort of like using Gmail through Safari instead of nifty Mail app on the iPhone. I was hoping for a sophisticated solution like MobileMe. All Google products seem to be in Beta so I hope it will be more easier and simpler once it's finished.

    I appreciate your help.
  • FilMac Level 1 (20 points)
    I was looking for a similar solution i.e. Syncing iCal on my Lap Top to iCal on my iTouch wirelessly (without having to start up iTunes) I tried the Google iTouch app and didn't like it. Today I found a way to sync ICal apps

    You still need a Google cal account which is not so bad as it means that if you forget your MacBook or iPod then at least you can still get at your appointments!

    OK I am not going to try and take credit for any of this so instead I will give you the link to the site.


    Works a dream, but if you want to keep your Contacts and not sync them to Google then make sure you switch of 'sync contacts to google'
  • Brandon H. Level 1 (20 points)
    Hi dembow,

    Spanning Sync is a third-party app that runs in the background on your Mac. Once the iPhone syncs with your desktop Spanning Sync will sync with Google Calendar.

    I would suggest reading their FAQ for detailed comparison of Google CalDAV and Spanning Sync.

    This whole process also works with MobileMe, if you are a member.

    Enjoy your evening,
    Brandon H.
  • Hal MacLean Level 6 (14,790 points)
    The google link is a good one, but you only get your default calendar syncing... this is OK if you always put everything into one calendar, but I use about 8 different ones for the various work projects I am involved with.

    Currently, Google doesn't allow you to set up 'sub calendars' or work with calendar groups from iCal - this would be a massive step forwards if implemented. Instead we are stuck with using individual calendars and the exchange route only gives you the first one.

    Unless I overlooked some setting along the way which will let me get all calendars into iCal app on my iPhone?
  • dembow Level 1 (90 points)

    Your first post helped. I'm syncing my calendars with no problem (both iMac & iPhone). Since Google Sync is still in Beta, there are limitations. You can only sync 5 calendars. Otherwise all your calendars will have the same color so it will be hard to use the app and distinguish various calendars. At least that's what Google says.

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