Calendaring with the iPhone

Tonight we picked up an iPod Touch from our local Save-On Foods with some reward points that we'd been accumulating. This is pretty cool for a variety of reasons, including the fact that now my kid will try and scoop Mommy's iPod Touch to play games, rather than my iPhone. J

In setting up the iPod Touch for Dee I ended up exploring the calendaring settings. Of the whole device, this was probably the most exciting part to her as she now has a device that she can take with her to check the family calendar. She was most impressed, and couldn't care less that it was only keeping a local copy of her calendar on the phone.

Having my iPhone linked to our Exchange server at work though, I know how calendaring is supposed to work. It's supposed to sync to the server so that it works with Outlook, ensuring another copy of the data exists too in case the device dies. So this got me thinking… we don't have an exchange server at home, and I don't really want to maintain one, but I wonder if there is a way to do this for the home user. A quick search (with Bing) turned up that you can integrate a Google calendar right into the iPhone or iPod Touch. And what's even better is that in version 4 you can have multiple calendars. Holy crap!

This is truly awesome, as it solves an issue that I've been wanting dealt with for a long time… synching the family calendar. I lamented this to my buddy Steve French a while back, and he pointed me towards a product called Cozy to do this. It's true that Cozy works, but I found it kind of cludgey, and it requires the Outlook is opened before it syncs. It also meant that Dee would have to put her entire calendar in Outlook, which she actually doesn't use… she uses paper.

With her getting her hands on the iPod Touch though, she now has an input device that is much more portable than her massive appointment book. And with Google calendar, this gets even better. I've now linked her device up to two Google Calendars… hers and mine (both set up for this purpose.) So now I can book personal appointments into my calendar and they'll show up on her phone under my name, and likewise the reverse is true too. VERY COOL!

The method is fairly simple. Set up a Google Calendar first. Then go to set up a new email account on the iPhone/iPod Touch, choose other, then add a CALDAV account. From there it's pretty much follow the steps with the server being www.google.com.

Nice stuff!

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About Ken Puls

I'm the blog owner... My main website is located at www.excelguru.ca, and is devoted to holding tips and tricks on excel development.

2 thoughts on “Calendaring with the iPhone

  1. Agree that having live two-way access to your calendar is extremely handy. One of the things that pushed me towards an Android handset was the fact that I was already using Google products for most things, including calendar, and this sort of integration is baked in to Android so no reliance on a third-party tool.

    Being able to calendar your next dentist appointment etc. when you are in their office and have it automatically update your main calendar will save me at least a few missed appointments per year!

  2. Interesting... I've been a gmail user for a lot of years, but I've really had no use for Google Calendar until recently. We've got an exchange server at work and exchange intergration is part of the iPhone setup. Actually, google calendar is pretty much too, although I supposed it is going through some kind of interface. Regardless, no app to download, it's just knowing how to set it up. 🙂

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