How to sync your phone, iCal and Google Calendar together.
Posted on Jul 24, 2006
I use a lot of operating systems in my daily computing exercise, each one does its own thing. I use windows for development - which really means that i just use windows for putty and firefox. I use linux to host and write code. and i use OSX for personal information management. Today i am going to tell yall how i use the i-suite and Google Calendar to have my calendars accessible all the time.
First off, I need to exercise some disclosure. I am not a OSX user. I don’t know all the tricks and i totally don’t know how to use OSX to its best. However, i will totally own a system if i can figure out a reason to (i say own in the gamer sorta way..). The reason i got a OSX box is to sync with my symbian phone. I loved the ability to back up my addressbook at a moments notice and to transfer my contacts from one phone to another. It was awesome. and as a side effect - i had ical sync as well. So that is where this starts.
So we start with iCal. iCal is a sweet simple calendaring application. I have a couple calendars set up that i use. One is home, another is travel and the other is work. These three calendars i then publish to icalx.com. I use icax because it is the easiest and the because its free. I have ical automatically publish changes at all time. I do publicly share my calendars - i figure that i am practiceing the “security through obscurity” model with my calendars - hopefully nobody will look. I share my calendars so that i can import the shared icalx url for each calendar into Google Calendar and view all my events per individual calendar.
Google Calendar is an awesome. I really dig it. Being able to easily view my ical events in Google Calendar has made Google Calendar a nice client for my ical stuff - but i want it to go the otherway too. Luckily google has made it easy to do this with their private urls that are available per calendar. So i just import the calendar url into ical and boom - it shows up in my calendar. It is really that easy.
Right now we have Google Calendar events in ical and ical events in Google Calendar - however both pathways are read only. This is annoying and i can’t really figure out how to fix that. But i don’t think it really matters. Because i don’t use Google Calendar or ical as my only input or output - and i mostly use my phone. Which is where this entire system really shines.
Using isync - i can sync all of the events from Google Calendar and ical onto my phone. w00t. so if i enter an event into Google Calendar, i can see it on my phone after a sync. that rules. The only thing that is annoying is that if you attempt to edit an event on the phone that orginates from Google Calendar - you will get an error about modifying a read only event. that sucks. so their are some bugs. but.. it works really well for me. and with all the new symbian phones really trying hard to be PIMs it is quite awesome.