I upgraded to iOS 5 last night and found the upgrade less than useful with my contacts and calendars and how I use them. I use Google mail, contacts, documents, and calendars exclusively due to ease of use and sharing capablity in the Google cloud. iCloud is not much more than MobileMe and lacks the versatility of Google. I found it interesting that Google contacts are not configurable in iOS 5 yet Yahoo contacts are. What was Apple trying to accomplish. I like iCal and Mail but will not use them if they are not compatible with Gmail and Yahoo.
1. My email must be accessible from web, phone, iPad, and with email programs at home and at work. (Gmail). I choose the service, and I apply the applications to access it.
2. Calendar must be accessible from web, phone, at home and work and I must be able to share the calendar to othes as admins or just as subscribers. (Gmail) I choose the service, and I apply the applications to access it.
3. Tasks must be linked to Google Calendar so they are accessible from web, phone, iPad, home and work. (Gmail) I choose the service, and I apply the applications to access it.
So here is how I fixed this.
Make sure you have a full address book on Google (web). Your phone contacts will be lost. I save all my contacts via Google anyway, so this is not an issue.
In Mail, Contacts, and Calendars settings on iPhone and iPad...
1. Choose the iCloud settings and turn off Mail, Contacts, Calendars and any other item not compatible with global applications like Google. Save and go back to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. (yes to remove all phone contacts)
2. Add an account for Gmail. Type in your name, your Gmail address, and your password and hit next. Once activated, turn on Mail, Calendar, and Notes in the GMail setting. This will get your mail and calendar working properly on the iPad and iPhone and works with Mail and iCal on the Mac. Save and go back to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars.
3. Set up a MS Exchange account for Google Contacts. Type in your email, domain (m.google.com), username (gmail address) and password. Name the exchange account "Google Calendar". I have found the mail slow with this and the calendar non-functional on iPhone, iPad, and on my Mac, so turn on just the contacts and leave the others off. Save and return to Mai
4. Add Yahoo mail the same way. I only set mail on this one and choose not to use calendars or any other setting. Save and go back to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars.
5. Set your primary email preference to Gmail at the bottom of the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. Save and exit.
Now your email should have Gmail and any other email account. Your calendar will be the Google Calendar and all its shared wonderful-ness, and the contacts will be your Google Contacts.
Request of Apple: sync Google contacts and use it in iCloud.
I read and think I understand most of the issues you described, except for the following:
1. I don't have MS Exchange server in my network -- I work independently and not part of a big organization. Does the requirement to set up MS Exchange on the iPhone imply that I MUST have an actual Exchange server for my emails?
2. Perhaps you don't/didn't want the ability to add or change contacts and calendar entries from the iPhone, but I do. I want to modify, create, and delete things from either Google, my Mac desktop, my Windows PC, and my new iPhone ... and have those changes propagate to the Google cloud, and then to the other devices.
Can I do this with your method?