While I like many aspects of the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5, or Mango, software, one key issue I have is lack of support for showing multiple calendars from a single Gmail account. As it stands now, my HTC HD7 phone is running WP 7.5 with two Gmail accounts: one for personal use and one for work. So I do get the main calendars for each of those accounts on my Microsoft-powered smartphone. But there’s a problem: I don’t have access to all of the shared Gmail calendars that my wife and kids use.
It’s actually not too difficult of a workaround to get multiple Gmail calendars on a Windows Phone device, and the solution is nearly identical to the one I found when the first Apple iPad was launched. Back then, I had to do a similar little trick. Normally, you can configure Google Sync, a service that sends mail, calendar and contact information to non-Google devices, right on your handset. In the case of a Microsoft Windows Phone device, that standard method doesn’t work. Here’s the step-by-step process to get multiple Gmail calendars on a Windows Phone by using Safari on the desktop.
1. Open Safari, then view its Preferences pane. In Preferences, go to the Advanced tab and check “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” If you already have this checked, you can skip this step. Close the Preferences.
2. In the Safari menu bar, you should now see a Develop menu option. Select it, choose the User Agent option and pick “Mobile Safari 4.3.3 — iPhone”. This tells web sites that you’re using the iPhone’s browser. You need to do this to open up the mobile site for the Google Sync service.
In Safari, browse to http://m.google.com/sync, and sign in if needed.
4. Still in Safari, choose to manage your Windows Phone.
5. In the next window, you’ll see that Google says you can sync up to one calendar to your device. Ignore that message because the workaround allows multiple calendar selections. For instance, I chose the calendars for my wife and children.
Here’s a before and after look on my own phone: All the shared Gmail calendars I need are on my Windows Phone.