Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sync your Google Calendars with iPhone or Win Mobile device using (free)

This information is of course in my Omnia i910 "how to" post.

Our family uses Google Calendars. It seems to be the simplest way for us to keep our lives known and available to each other. It works from any computer and across all platforms. It's simple and robust and it works for us.

Now that I have a new WinMobile device, the problem for me was finding a FREE way to keep my Omnia synced with Google Calendars. OggSync will let you sync with one calendar for free. To sync with multiple calendars, you have to pay $30 a year.

It seems odd that Google's only mobile solution is viewing a scaled down version of Google Calendars via your mobile browser. What kind of crap is that? That's not syncing... it's just a whole lot of work to see and add calendar entries (open your mobile browser, browse to, log in to your account, try and maneuver the clumsy interface from your phone's tiny browser... ugh!).

So I searched the web for a while, and finally stumbled upon You don't have to install any software on your phone, because it works with software already on your phone (iPhone via whatever dark arts it uses, or Win Mobile via ActiveSync). You can sync Mail, Contacts, Calendar and/or Tasks... and all over SSL. You simply set up a NuevaSync account, "allow" the partnership via an automatic link presented to you by Google, and you're good to go.

It took me about 5 minutes to set things up and start syncing my calendars. Changes I made online were visible on my phone, and changes I made on my phone were visible online. Perfect.

One caveat is that if you use the service, when you start using it it will erase any information (for the service you're syncing) already on your phone. So back up any calendar information that exists only on your phone. Luckily, I hadn't started creating events on my phone yet.

Also, I suppose there is some risk entering your Google log-in information into NuevaSync's online database. I don't really care if someone sees my calendar entries, but e-mail is another story. I do like that the sync connection is SSL though (if you tick the box during your setup).

I'm not a fan of Google's contact structure (no first and last, just "name," not enough "other" fields for multiple mobiles, home phones, etc...), so I'm not using NuevaSync for contacts (though I'm sure quite a few people will be excited about this feature). I'm already using Google's stellar IMAP set-up to push e-mail to my WinMo device, so I don't need to sync mail. I have no idea what "tasks" are yet, so obviously I'm not using that.

Thus I'm only using NeuvaSync to sync my Google Calendars with my Omnia, but so far, it's fantastic. And it's free!


[update: I am experiencing difficulties with repeating events like birthdays and anniversaries; if you use this service and are able to sync repeating events, please post in the comments and let me know. Thanks!]

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