How to Sync Your Google Calendar with your Iphone

Having recently taken the plunge, and the tax write-off, of a spanking new Iphone 3gs, I quickly set out to sync my office calendar with my Iphone. As mentioned in my earlier blog “Law Office Calendar Management on the Cheap!” I am a devout Mozilla Thunderbird/Lightning user. I’ll leave my reasons why for the other post, but suffice to say I’ve always loved having it sync with my windows mobile dinosaur via Google Calendar. So, upon purchasing my Iphone I assumed that all the hoopla I went through to make Google Calendar, Thunderbird/Lightning, and Windows Mobile play together would be forgone with the genius that is Apple. As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend!”
I quickly learned that while it can easily be done through my calendar settings on the Iphone the result was a little lackluster. Sure I could now update my calendar on my phone. And yeah it would sync flawlessly with Google, and thus my desktop calendar in Lightning, but how it was displayed left something to the imagination.
What happened was once my “Law Calendar” was created, my Iphone got its feelings hurt and would not let go of its pre-installed calendar as being the gumar instead of the wife. Like a jealous girlfriend it would list both calendars together, but with the headings “calendar on iphone” and “google calendar.” Well, not being a fan of the show Biglove, I struck out on a quest to set my catty Iphone straight.
My journey led me to NuevaSync. This little gem of programming genius lets you link your Google calendar to their exchange server (not to mention contacts for free, if your brave enough; and gmail for a fee). What’s the benefit you ask? Well, if you’ll notice in your Iphone settings that you have the option to set up a calendar via an exchange server, and once this is done your calendar is replaced with your exchange calendar. The benefit? One calendar for all your important dates instead of two divided, confusing, jealous calendars on your Iphone. For those of you who must manage more than one calendar, NuevaSync allows you up to 11 calendars in the free version!
To be clear, the technology of NuevaSync is quite sound and novel, but the guys behind the program never intended it to be so popular. As such the website is pretty generic looking – downright windows 3.1! But it does exactly what it says it will do, and for free I might add. Setup is a not hard, but reading the instructions is a must, and you have to do some Google calendar authorizations. Once completed the result is magical. Now when I click the calendar app on my Iphone I no longer have to choose which calendar to edit, or even which calendar is the “default” calendar. I’m simply taken straight to my law office calendar.
The other benefits of NeuvaSync? Well now that you’re using their exchange server to communicate with Google Canlendar you get the added benefit of Push syncing. Not to be condescending but for those of you who still don’t know, push technology automatically (read instantly) sends information to and from the exchange server, be it emails (which NuevaSync can do in the paid version), contacts, and calendar updates. This is greatly preferred by many over the “fetch” method your Iphone defaults to when you don’t have an exchange server set up. With fetch you have to wait as little (the quickest setting) as 15 minutes for that important piece of information to arrive on your phone.
And for the last NuevaSync trick: Those of you who, like me, scratched your head when you created a new calendar on your Iphone only to have it create false appointments for every day to eternity (those little dots denoting an appointment) – this is apparently a glitch Iphone commonly has when dealing with Google Calendar, and the very reason I set out looking for a better way. Once you use NuevaSync for your calendar needs only those days that truly have an appointment scheduled will show up as a dot in your calendar. No more frantic clicking trying to figure out what it is you have to do tomorrow that you forgot about!
I hope that this has given you another option to set up your Google calendar to work on your Iphone. While the NuevaSync site is not aesthetically pleasing, it does work flawlessly. And with push technology available from its exchange server I can add an appointment on my Iphone and it is synced to my Google Calendar and thus Thunderbird/Lightning calendar before I can open the program or log into Google. It’s that fast!
Hope this helps. Links are below.
Clark Stewart
The Soul Practitioner