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  • pammylu Level 1 (5 points)

    I will preface this with a statement:  I am not an expert, so I could be wrong, but I am trying to learn how to use iCloud for the best functionality.  Here is how I have come to understand the difference in these calendars.


    Generally speaking, I think of a subscribed calendar as a static calendar created for downloading by the public-at-large, for example, US Holidays, Jewish Holidays, Seasons/Equinox, Lunar Phases, High Tides, etc.  These calendars don't change or add appts or events, they simply are a reference to dates that occur at a given continuum of dates. 


    The opposite is a shared calendar, which is usually created by an individual or organization who chooses to share dynamic information with 1 or more people via invitation to URL, for example, South School PTSA, Ashville Ham Radio Club, Suzie's Craft Classes, City Orchestra Concerts.  Usually, these calendars are used for events, meetings, appts, that are often added/deleted/changed by the creator for the audience to keep current. Further, they can also choose to share them with an open public audience, but the difference between this sharing and a subscribed calendar is that a shared calendar is managed dynamically by someone to keep events/appts current as they may change.


    The frustration that people have been experiencing is getting the subscribed calendars that they find in the public domain to download into iCloud.


    This might also help a little bit, too...

  • viking bear Level 1 (120 points)

    I am not an expert, far from! But I try to get the most out of my Apple products. And I find discussions like in these forums very interesting. I am very fond of everyone who join the discussions and share their thoughts and experiences. Thanks to all of you!


    Here is what I have learned about iCal and iCloud and sharing of calendars. It might very well not be correct. And if someone with more knowledge would confirm or correct this, I would be very happy.


    Pammylu: Sorry, I do not see the difference between what you call a shared and a subscribed calendar. Apart from the frequency with which they are changed or updated of course. In any other way they are the same. Such a calendar will NOT appear in the calendar section of whatever you do. If this is what you are looking for, you will have to come up with som kind of workaround. Julian Wright has described one such workaround in detail, and this will do the trick.


    If you subscribe to a public calendar, you can have it on all of your devices by either subscribing to it on each individual device, or subscribe to the calendar on iCal on the Mac, and put it in the iCloud section.


    If you want push functionality, you should share the calendar with other iCloud users as a private calendar.


    The problem is when you want to share a frequently updated calendar with a group of people where not everyone is an iCloud user. You can not share it as a private calendar. And the push functionality of a public shared calendar is not to be trusted.


    As I described above I have one such calendar where changes were updated immidiatly on my friends iMac, but only after two days on his iPhone. My wife subscribe to the same calendar, and here the changes did not show up on her iPhone at all, only on her iMac

  • pammylu Level 1 (5 points)

    OK, you could be right because I have no experience with using a shared calendar from a person or organization.


    But having said that and having read your interpretation, I do still see a difference in the way you get these two types of calendars into your iCal.  In the shared case, you are given a URL from a person or an org, and it will grow/change as time goes by; but for a subscribed calendar, you simply search Google for these static-type calendars among offerings on public websites and subscribe to them and forget them, because they are the same calendar every year following.  Just seems that the method of acquiring them and how they work is different.


    At least, I got the info from Julian to get my subcribed calendar (US Holidays) into my iCloud cal, and it is now syncing with my iOS devices.  Thx all!

  • ithos Level 1 (20 points)

    viking bear wrote:


    New information: I have a calendar that is shared as a public calendar with my friend. My friend subscribe to that calendar on his iMac, and has saved it "on iCloud". I made som changes to that calendar this tuesday. The changes showed up on my firends iMac instantly, but was not pushed to his iPhone until thursday


    With iCal on Lion, you can force a refresh of all calendars (cmd-shift-R), including subscriptions. On an iOS device, however, the refresh appears to occur as frequently as you defined when you subscribed. You can check this in iCal by clicking on the "Calendars" button (in the upper left of the window) then right click on the subscription and choose "Get Info". Then check what the "Auto-refresh" setting is.


    For those debating the distinction between a "public" calendar and a "subscribed" calendar (or whatever other term you want to use) it all comes down to how often you want it updated. For a holiday calendar with rarely changing events, once a week is probably more than sufficient. For calendars you share with friends and that could change often, you want a shorter auto-refresh.


    Why does this matter? Think network traffic and battery life.

  • viking bear Level 1 (120 points)

    The topic of this thread was "can you push subscribed calendars to iCloud". The answer is yes, but there must be a bug in here somewhere.


    If you share a calendar from as a "private" calendar, the people you share it with have to accept the invitation inside their iCloud account. The calendar will be a part of their iCloud universe, the calendar appears on and push functionality is an option. If you choose push functionality, changes to the calendar appear on all devices of all participants immidiatly. You don´t have to do anything - it "just works". Great!!


    If you share a calendar from as a "public" calendar, the people you share it with have to subscribe to the calendar with som kind of CalDav client (ie. iCal on an iMac, Calendar on an iOS device etc.). The calendar will be updated with the frequency you have chosen. If you subscribe to the calendar on an iMac, and put the calendar in the "iCloud-section" of iCal, it will be pushed to your iCloud account. It will not show up in the calendar section of (if you want it to, you must make a workaround as described in a posting above), but it will be pushed to iOS devices connected to the iCloud account.


    The bug has to do with the updating of such a calendar. In my experience, changes to the subsribed calendar appear on the iMac as soon as the iMac check for an update. But from here things are more difficult. Sometimes such changes are pushed to iOS devices immidiatly, somtimes they are pushed to an iOS device after one or two days and sometimes they are not pushed to the iOS device at all. The changes are however pushed to iCloud (though the calendar is not visible in If you turn calendar syncing OFF/ON on the iOS device, the calendar comes up with the new changes in place.


    I think that for subscribed calendars, the best thing is to subscribe to them individually on each device, and put an interval as to how often the device will check for updates.

  • pammylu Level 1 (5 points)

    Good explanation, Viking Bear.  To my way of thinking, however, it seems that Apple has unleashed iCloud upon us with two things that are very "dysfunctional":


    1) Clearly, the syncing, pushing, updating, etc (all part of their synchronization schema) does seem to have a bug because none of it is CONSISTANT enough to be DEPENDABLE (trusted.)


    2) Does it make any sense at all from a design viewpoint (in which Apple has historically excelled) that the "master" record of your calendars "in the sky" (that is, your iCloud calendar) would intend to synchronize THOSE subscribed iCloud calendars out to iCal on your iOS devices, your iMacs and MBPs) in an "invisible" fashion?  I mean why would anyone propose to sync the iCloud subscribed calendars that you cannot see (by design??) to your other calendars?


    It just seems that Apple should better perceive what they have poorly designed and forced on us.  **sigh**

  • ithos Level 1 (20 points)

    Your iCloud (a.k.a does not sync subscribed calendar events, but rather, it synchronizes information about your subscribed calendars (kind of like bookmarks) to all your various devices (iOS and Mac OS).


    In the same way, iCloud synchronizes bookmarks... not web pages. It is up to the individual devices to refresh and pull subscribed calendar data from the hosting server. Your iOS devices do this on the frequency you defined when you subscribed to the calendar in iCal. If that frequency is set to "never", then yes, your iOS device will never look for changes.


    You asked "why would anyone propose to sync the iCloud subscribed calendars that you cannot see (by design??) to your other calendars?"


    Answer: Many people subscribe to many calendars. Everytime they get a new device (MacBook, iPhone, etc.) they would have to manually resubscribe to every one of them. By syncing those subscriptions via iClould, it all happens automatically. Remember, it's the subscriptions that are being synced, not the events themselves. It is up to each device to use that subscription information to pull down any updates from the hosting server at periodic intervals.

  • ithos Level 1 (20 points)

    viking bear wrote:


    The topic of this thread was "can you push subscribed calendars to iCloud". The answer is yes, but there must be a bug in here somewhere.


    The answer is "no" or "yes," depending on what you mean.


    No: Subscribed calendar events are not pushed to iCloud.


    Yes: Subscribed calendar settings are pushed to iCloud, and synced with all your other devices. It is then up to each of your devices to use those settings to contact the hosting calendar server and download the latest event updates at periodic intervals.

  • viking bear Level 1 (120 points)

    Interesting. I suppose you have tested this, and I am glad this works for you. In my experience this is not always the case. Your explanation is very logical, and it might be how Apple intended it to be. But it does not work (at least not all the time or for all of us).


    1. As I described above, my friend subscribed to a public calendar on his iMac, set the updating frequency to every 5 min and put it on the iCloud section of iCal. According to your explanation the iMac should check for updates every 5 min, and so should the iPad and iPhone as well. New events showed up immidiatly on the iMac, but the changes did not show up on his iPad until two days later. The changes did not appear at all on his iPhone.


    2. My wife subscribe to the same calendar on her iMac, same settings (check every hour, put it on the icloud section etc). The calendar appear on her iMac at once, but no new events appear on her iPhone at all.


    3. I have just tested this once more now. I shared a calendar from my wifes iCloud account, subscribed on my iMac (update frequency every 5 min, icloud section). The calendar appear immidiatly on my iPhone and iPad. When I add a new event on my wifes iCloud calendar, it updates on my iMac next time the iMac check for updates (5 min). But the new event does not show up on my iPhone or iPad.


    Sorry, this does not work according to your explanation

  • ithos Level 1 (20 points)

    Thanks for the additional details. Do you see any differences if the shared calendar is hosted by Google vs. iCloud? Based on your comments, I will certainly have to do more experimenting myself.

  • viking bear Level 1 (120 points)

    Sorry, I have noe experiences with Google calendars

  • Baron D Level 1 (0 points)

    Viking Bear:


    I believe you've hit the nail on the head as far as the problem.


    1.  You can subscribe to a calendar and make it part of the cloud;

    2.   It won't appear on ICloud, but it will sync

    3.  The calendar will appear and sync properly on computers running Lion and ICloud

    4.  The calendar will appear BUT NOT sync properly on Ios devices.


    What is maddening is that the calendar will both appear AND SOMETIMES SYNC on IOS devices.  When it decides to sync and why seems beyond any control that I can determine.


    SO . . . if anyone understands how, when and why subscribed calendars do or do not sync to IOS devices, clue me in. 


    This was a great discussion and thanks for letting me come to the party late.

  • rockiesfansam Level 1 (0 points)

    You can sync your subscribed calenders to iCloud.  Highlight the subscribed calendar and right click.  Go to 'Get Info'.  In the Location drop down select iCloud instead of On My Mac.  This will send the subscribed calendar to your iCloud.   I was having the same issue and tried this.  My subscribed calendar is now on my iPhone.   You can not do this with birthdates as there is no location option.

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,880 points)

    chrisdouglas wrote:


    I am subscribed to the birthdays and us holidays can I push that to iCloud?

    Yes, but not with iCal, BusyCal will do it but is not free.

  • jandcfox Level 1 (0 points)

    This is as simple as I can make it.

    My huband's work schedule is on a "subscribed" calendar.  It shows up on my imac.  I cannot get it to sync up to the cloud or on my iphone or ipad.  Here is a quote from a recent post:  


    "You can sync your subscribed calenders to iCloud.  Highlight the subscribed calendar and right click.  Go to 'Get Info'.  In the Location drop down select iCloud instead of On My Mac.  This will send the subscribed calendar to your iCloud."


    My settings are set as described.  However, this work calendar will only show up on my iMac.  From the other posts, I think I understand that these "subscribed" calendars are not working with iCloud.  Am I reading all of these correctly? 

    Or is there a way to get this calendar to the cloud?

    Thank you.