The iPhone is indeed a wonderful little device and, for some of us, a game-changer in terms of managing our digital lives from the palm of our hands. There are, however, some essential features that Apple neglected to implement. Regular GMail and Google Calendar users will […]

The iPhone is indeed a wonderful little device and, for some of us, a game-changer in terms of managing our digital lives from the palm of our hands. There are, however, some essential features that Apple neglected to implement.

Regular GMail and Google Calendar users will have noticed the glaring lack of a Calendar synchronization option, making the native iPhone calendar app somewhat less useful.

All is not lost though! Enter NuevaSync, a web-service that enables two-way synchronization between your Google Calendar and the iPhone Calendar app. NuevaSync is secure, easy to use and painless to set-up…and most notably, it’s totally free.

So, it’s time to grab your gear and follow this ten minute guide to setting up NuevaSync. You’ll need your computer, a Google Account and your iPhone, with the latest firmware update. And by the way, iPod touch users can also get in on the syncing fun.

TAB Disclaimer: Before we begin, it’s worth noting that NuevaSync is still in beta, so if it all goes a little Steve-Jobs-circa-1985 (i.e. everything goes wrong and stops working), it’s not our fault. Nevertheless, the service has worked smoothly for us since sign-up and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

  1. To start, you’ll need to create a fresh account on NuevaSync. Before you make the account, plug your touch or iPhone in, boot up iTunes and run a quick sync to make sure you’re all backed up (it’s good practice and will make you feel all warm inside). While the device is backing up, go create your NuevaSync account on this page.
  2. Now that you’ve got a new account, visit the configuration page. You’ll notice that there are four options on this page — Calendar, Contacts, E-mail, Tasks. We’re just syncing our Google Calendar today, so ignore the others. It’s also worth noting that the clever folks at NuevaSync still haven’t implemented Mail sync for the iPhone/touch, this feature is in development though.
  3. Click change to the right of Calendar and, on the resulting page, click the Google button then click the Change button. By doing this, we’re basically telling NuevaSync that we’d like to sync our Google Calendar with their service. NuevaSync will tell you that your changes have been saved. Clicking through to the next page will take you through the service setup options. When prompted for your Google Account ID, enter your GMail address and then click Request Account Access. If you’re not logged in to your Google Account, you’ll be sent to the standard Google log-in screen before continuing.
  4. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be presented with the standard Google Access Request page. If you’re super-security conscious, read the blurb, once you’re all done, click Grant Access. This tells Google that you’re happy for them to send your Calendar info to NuevaSync (and vice-versa). Back on the Status and Setup page, you’ll see that there’s a big red light next to Calendar — this is a good thing, you’re halfway home and it’s time to grab your iPhone.
  5. We’re now going to add NuevaSync as an account on your iPhone. NuevaSync works using the Exchange options on your iPhone. Open up Settings on your iPhone, then go through to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars page. Select Add Account and then tap Microsoft Exchange.
  6. For your e-mail address, enter the same one you used for your NuevaSync registration. NuevaSync has mentioned that your device might warn about a certificate being invalid. This isn’t NuevaSync’s certificate, so it’s no reason to be concerned. It’s actually Apple’s auto-config feature trying to guess the appropriate server name based on your info. For your Username and Password, enter your NuevaSync account details. Finally, enter a Description. For instance I use, “Olly’s Calendar”. Now tap Next.
  7. You should see a quick message stating Verifying Exchange account information. Incidentally, we got an error message doing this the first time and the service still worked. If that happens and it all goes a little pear-shaped, don’t worry, there are some trouble-shooting tips at the end of this guide.
  8. When the Exchange account verification process has finished, a new field will pop-up called Server. Enter http://www.nuevasync.com and then tap Next. On the resulting page, turn off Mail and Contacts — we only want to sync the calendar today. Then just tap Save and we’re almost done.
  9. The final step is to turn off Time Zone Support. So back on the Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings page, scroll to the bottom and then tap Time Zone Support. Then switch Time Zone Support to Off and exit.
  10. We’re all done! You’ll want to test and make sure that everything works — make sure your WiFi or 3G connection is enabled and then open the Calendar App on your iPhone or touch. It should auto-update and, if you’ve got stuff in your Google Calendar, you should see it here.  Try adding something to your Calendar and then go check if it appears on your computer’s Google Calendar (and vice-versa too, so add something to your Google Calendar and then go open the Calendar app to see if it appears there).

If everything is working, it’s time to celebrate. Organise a party to celebrate how wonderful NuevaSync is, add said party to your Google Calendar schedule and then watch it magically synchronise with your iPhone.

Troubleshooting Tips

Maybe there was a problem in the setup process or maybe everything ran smoothly but it’s just not working. Whatever the issue, here are a few tips to ensure you get yourself synchronised:

  1. Make sure you’re only syncing Calendar. Remember that Mail doesn’t work. You can try Contacts, but we haven’t given that a go yet (and this guide only covers Google Calendar synchronization).
  2. NuevaSync have a well-written Troubleshooting page. Visit it here and see if that solves your problem.
  3. If all else fails, drop NuevaSync an e-mail. They’re a helpful bunch, very friendly and surprisingly prompt: support@nuevasync.com

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Ones only allowed one exchange account, and if that happens to be already in use?

  2. I have a corporate exchange server syncing to my iPhone, so unfortunately this option doesn’t work because the iPhone only supports one exchange account. Instead, I just subscribe to my Google Calendars in iCalendar and check them off to sync in iTunes.

    There are two downsides:
    –The Google Calendars are read only sadly (though there is some not-free mac software that lets you use Google with read/write privelages in iCalendar).
    –Syncing is only though iTunes and not over the air. My personal calendar doesn’t change often though, so it’s not a big deal to update it nightly when I sync with my Mac.

    I look forward to Apple adding support on the iPhone for CalDAV calendar servers (which Google Calendar supports) and for updating subscription calendars right on the phone. These seem like no-brainers since they are supported in iCalendar.

  3. I have been using Nuevasync for a few months now and it is fantastic. Google Calendars now support two-way sync with iCal so you can enter an event on your iPhone, iCal, or Google Calendar and it will show up on the others almost instantly. The sync is not as good with contacts (contacts sync between the iphone and iCal, but not back to Address Book, even with Google Sync turned on in the options menu) but hopefully that will improve in the future.

  4. Sorry, meant to say Google Calendar, not iCal in that last sentence.

  5. I’ve been trying to set this up with my Google Apps email account for a while now, but can’t seem to get past the “authorize your google account” process… it doesn’t accept my password for my google apps account. Any suggestions?

  6. Jailbroken phones can also grab NemusSync from Cydia. It works pretty well, too, and it doesn’t require you to create an account with anyone.


  7. Christopher Scott Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    I have been using BusySync for about eight months now and it is absolutely fantastic for keeping all my Google Calendars (including shared ones) and iCal in sync. I never get errors. It works so reliably that I never check to make sure it’s still working correctly. It just does it’s thing in the background seamlessly. If you haven’t tried it, you really should check it out, one of the best shareware purchases I made this year

  8. iPod Touch 2G top free apps, tips and hints « the sensiway weblog Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    [...] easy and straight forward. however, setting up the calendar to sync with my Google CalendarS i used this (nuevasync!) and it works PERFECTLY. i can add and delete events from the iPod and it will appear [...]

  9. I’ve just tried this, and it all seems to work pretty well. One quibble though, is that it seems to merge my multiple Google Calendars into a single calendar on the ipod touch. Plus, it’s in blue, and as minor as this sounds, my personal calendar is always green! I’ve gotten hard-wired into seeing green as me.

  10. I just got NuevaSync to work. I am thrilled! I can now access my calendar quickly even when there is only an Edge connection available. Love it!

Comments have been disabled for this post