Today, Google announced Google Sync availability for quite a few devices, including the iPhone. I used this application quite a bit on my BlackBerry, because it allowed me to keep my contacts and calendar in sync with Google Calendar (with Calendar being the big deal for me).
In recent months, I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a way to REALLY keep everything in sync between Google, the Mac and iCal, and my iPhone:
- Google opened up CalDAV access to their calendars, which allowed me to have near real time syncing between the app and the web, but would not let me write to these calendars from my iPhone
- Calgoo Connect – this app went free shortly after CalDAV was opened on Google, and allowed you to sync everything. The only bad part about this, is it required me to actually sync my computer with the phone to copy any changes across.
- NuevaSync – I actually never tried this, but was planning on it shortly. Basically, it would talk to your Google Calendar, and then use the MS ActiveSync protocol to sync with your phone.
But with today’s announcement, Google Sync does almost the same exact thing, but directly! And im sure in the not too distant future, Google will allow us to use ActiveSync to sync mail as well.
Google did a great job documenting the entire process. On the iPhone you dont install an app (like you had to on the BlackBerry). You just make sure you back up your address book and calendar, setup a new Exchange account on your iPhone, and away it goes!
One thing I did come across in their documentation is that you will no longer sync your contacts or calendar with iTunes anymore. Originally, I thought this would be the ‘kicker’ to the entire thing – I can’t use iCal on my Mac anymore (not that I do use it that much, I just like the look of it at times). But then I remembered, I can just set back up CalDAV between iCal and Google Calendar! Therefore if I make a change in iCal, its pushed to Google Calendar instantly, and then pushed down to my phone. I could now make a change in any of the 3 major locations, and keep it all in sync!
I’m assuming that Contacts will be the same. Address Book syncs with Google Calendar using the built in SyncServices, which would fire off new syncs when you synced your phone. This will follow the same path – that Address Book will sync with the ‘cloud’ and not the phone, and the phone will sync with the cloud as well, and not directly with Address Book. I haven’t had a chance to test this yet, but will try to post when I do. If not, i may need to write a script to fire off a manual sync nightly between Google and Address Book so things don’t get too out of sync.