Using Google Calendar instead of iCloud

Using Google Calendar instead of iCloud

iCloud is still very much in beta, experiencing the loss of several useful features from MobileMe when making the transition to the new platform. A huge shortcoming of Apple’s calendar functionality is that if the person you want to share a calendar with doesn’t have iCloud, you can only share it read only.

The fxguide/fxphd crew is OSX-centric, but sharing outside the company becomes problematic. So I’ve shifted the hub of my “calendaring” to Google Calendar. This does involve a bit more setup than the pure Apple one, but the extra hassle is worth it…once you find the real instructions on how to make it work

In order to get started, you need to add your Google account to your iPhone or iPad. Instructions here:

iPhone/iPad settings page

As the second step, you’re supposed to follow the ” Using Google Sync with iOS Calendar” link. If you do these steps, you’d think you could see the calendars on your iPhone. But no dice — you only see your default calendar. It took me about an hour to figure out this key missing piece. The fact is — there is yet another page you have to visit in order to select which calendars you want to have appear on your iPhone or iPad:

This page allows you to pick which calendars are visible via your iOS device. This can be a pain, since whenever you add a new calendar, you have to visit this page in order to have it be visible on your phone. It’s not obvious why they do this….but they do.

After you do this, you should be good to go on your iPhone/iPad.

One quick note. If someone gives you an ical: or caldav: link allowing you to subscribe to a calendar, I suggest adding that calendar to Google instead of iCal. This is so that you can see all your calendars at Google — again, I’m using it as my hub. In order to do this, click the triangle to the right of the “Other Calendars” text and choose “Add by URL”.  Then make sure you add it to the visible calendars using the iphoneselect page.


One Response to “Using Google Calendar instead of iCloud”

  1. Deb

    This post was very helpful. Use Google to ‘run my world’ and plan to stick with it.
    Your post helped me to confirm my decision…no iCloud for me (can’t fully use it anyway, since I don’t have the latest and greatest apple OS on my ‘old’ MacBook).


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