How to Wirelessly Sync Google Calendar to your iPhone

Recently I set out to find a more robust way of synchronizing my Google Calendars to my iPhone, thankfully I found one.

To date I have been using the Google Calendar to iCal sync tool “Calaboration“. In terms of functionality it’s great. My Google Calendars sync seamlessly with my local iCal program and once I plug in my iPhone in the calendars update. Perfect – right?

Notice: iPhone development will be one of the many topics covered at The Future of Web Apps London 1-2 October 2009.

The main problem is that I rarely plug my phone in to my Mac Book and as a consequence have a very out of date iPhone calendar. I also use the iPhone to set reminders, without sync’ing these back to iCal they never make it back to Google Calendar – all in all an unsatisfactory solution.

What’s the Ideal?

In a perfect world I would be able to enter a new event on my iPhone and have it appear relatively instantly in Google Calendar (or vise versa), no plugging in and over the air.

The Solution: NuevaSync

nuevasync

After a quick search I came across NeuvaSync. It’s an online service which allows you to:

Sync your calendar, contacts and e-mail over-the-air to your smart phone. NuevaSync works with Google Calendar, Contacts and GMail. Use the iPhone, Windows Mobile and other smart phones. It needs no app. Your phone’s built-in sync client and inbox is used. Just configure and sync. NuevaSync Web Site

Simple Setup

The basic service is free and setting up an account is straightforward. Once you have registered it allows you to login to Google and select the account(s) you would like to synchronize . Next the simple admin interface asks you to choose which services you would like to sync i.e. calendar, e-mail or contacts (or a combination of the three). Be careful here as on first use all data will be erased (more info on why that happens on the NeuvaSync Wiki).

Next it’s just a case of setting up a new mail account on your iPhone. This is as simple as creating a new Exchnage account in your iPhone’s Mail settings. A detailed seven step graphical how to is available on the wiki.

In Practice

I have been using the service for a few days now and I am impressed. Adding and deleting events in either Google Calendar or on the iPhone are replicated quickly and it means that I no longer have to plug in my iPhone to keep up to date. NuevaSync also offer a premium service for $25 a year which includes “Push” e-mail.

There are other solutions out there, if you have experience of alternatives that have worked for you please put a link in the comments.

Treehouse

Our mission is to bring affordable Technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world.

Comments

0 comments on “How to Wirelessly Sync Google Calendar to your iPhone

    • Plenty is wrong with Google Sync. NuevaSync will sync your email nearly instantly — that’s a pretty darn big difference. Other limitations of Google Sync:

      “The iPhone can synchronize up to 3 email address. Phone number synchronization is limited to 2 Home numbers, 1 Home Fax, 1 Mobile, 1 Pager, 3 Work (one will be labeled ‘Company Main’) and one Work Fax number. ”

      AND

      “The iPhone doesn’t reflect the attendee status (Yes/No/Maybe) of guests in the user interface of the Calendar application. Google Sync provides a hint in the form of a checkmark in front of a guest’s first name.”

      2 big limitations (among some others) if you ask me.

      I’ve been using NuevaSync to sync my calendar and contacts for neat 1.5 years now, but I recently subscribed to their premium service for push email and couldn’t be more pleased. They have great tech support if any issues come up as well (literally I tend to get an email reply within 1 hour).

  1. Google Sync works great. If you don’t want to use Google Sync, because you want to use work exchange account on your iPhone. Use CalDAV, and you have the best of both worlds and… Each calendar has its own color, and sync over the air instantly.

  2. Surely if you’re using Google services (mail/calendar/contacts/etc.), it makes more sense to buy an Android-based phone rather than an iPhone?

  3. Keir,
    I had been having the same problem, and being a person that rarely syncs to my MBP, it was becoming a bit of a pain.
    The release of iPhone OS3.0 with CalDAV support changed this – Sync (note: sync not push) over the air with no middle-ware client.
    Email is still on Gmail IMAP (set to check manually) and contacts sync whenever I do plug in, as they change the least.

    Gmail CalDAV and iPhone work really well together, even over slow GPRS networks – and you can sign up you iCal with CalDAV too so everything is in Sync.

    Dan

    • Hey Dan (and others),

      Thanks for the heads up about Google Sync. I tried this a while ago and didn’t have much success (I recall it deleted everything – most likely a lack of RTFM’ing on my part). I’ll definitely have a look into it again though as I obviously missed the 3.0 improvements.

      That said I am quite happy with my current solution. Good to have alternatives of course.

      • Keit,
        Google Sync should take over (and probably delete everything) but using straight CalDAV and IMAP makes a great sync, all over the air, and works well.

        Dan

  4. A little bit of research and you would have know that Calaboration does NOT sync Google Calendar to iCal. It is a tool that make it easier to setup up iCal to sync to Google Calendar. You can setup Google Calendar to sync with iCal using the instructions on Google’s site.

    http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99358#ical

    To set up CalDAV support for Google Calendar in Apple’s iCal, follow these steps:

    Open Apple iCal, go to Preferences and then the Accounts tab.
    Click on the + button to add an account.
    Under Account Information, enter your Google Account username and password.
    Under Server Options, add the following URL:
    https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/YOUREMAIL@DOMAIN.COM/user

    Replace ‘youremail@domain.com’ with your Google Account username.
    Click Add.
    Under the Delegation tab, select the calendars you’d like to add to iCal by checking the boxes next to them. You may need to hit refresh to get the latest list of calendars.
    Add your email address to your Address Book card by selecting Add Email. You’ll be prompted to add your email address only if your address is not already in your Address Book.

    Google Calendar also allows iPhone syncing using Active Sync. http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139202

  5. I’m using google sync as well and it does the trick very nicely.

    In order to sync contacts from my old sony ericsson, gmail contacts and outlook i used : http://www.soocial.com/. They offer a really nice free solution for syncing up your contacts when you start off moving all of these to ical/iphone. Uploading the contacts from your old phone is very easy, you fill out their server details and your login and you can upload them straight away. Once you’ve added contacts from your different devices and applications you can use a webinterface to remove duplicates and clean up your list.

    Then sync them back to your google contacts and let google sync pick it up from there..

    Sweet!

  6. I synced my New iPhone 3GS with all my Google contacts, mail and calendars in no time with the Microsoft Exchange protocol. Working just fine. Life’s easier now :-)

  7. I sync Google Calendar using the exchange protocol that both the iPhone and Google Calendar support. An event added on my iPhone shows up in Google Calendar nearly instantaneously and vice versa. No software to install.

  8. thanks for post of course. but i’m using now mobileme service from apple, and now it becomes free, so ;)