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It’s hard to beat the utility of Google Calendar. The app allows you to share and collaborate your calendar with others, makes it possible to view colleagues’ schedules and availability, and generally keeps your hectic life in order.
Google Calendar would be even more useful if you could have mobile access to it. For BlackBerry users, there’s Google Sync, a tool that will seamlessly sync the BlackBerry calendar with Google Calendar. However for Nokia/Symbian phones, useful options are a little more difficult to find. But they do exist; below are three:
Gcalsync is a freeware java program that will sync multiple Google Calendars with your Symbian calendar. Unfortunately, this open-source project lacks an intuitive user interface. Downloading and installing is straightforward, but operation of the application is clunky at best. Each time the application is launched, you must grant it permission to your Symbian calendar, which takes a considerable amount of time and multiple keystrokes. The application does, however, allow for two-way sync, meaning an event you create on your smartphone will be uploaded to your Google Calendar and vice versa. But if an appointment is changed on your phone and the changed parameters are pushed to your Google Calendar, they won’t be reflected there. Also, time zones appear to be problem for GCalSync, with events getting slotted hours later or earlier than intended.
GCalSync shows some promise, but at this point it’s not ready for prime time. Om first wrote about this product back in October 2006; it doesn’t appear to have matured much since then.
A new entrant into the Symbian software market, CalSync60, is winning fans in the Nokia blog community. This S60 native application runs quickly and is dead simple to use. Download and install the application from their web site, enter in your Google credentials, and the sync process will begin. CalSync60 also supports two-way syncing and the application will set calendar item alerts as they are configured in your Google Calendar.
Keep in mind that CalSync60 is still in a beta testing period. However, the feedback regarding stability and performance has been positive thus far. CalSync60 recommends you back up your Google Calendar before attempting a sync with their application.
GooSync is a commercial web service that comes in two flavors — free and premium. With the free service, you can sync only one Google Calendar and can only sync events 30 days out. The premium service, which is £19.95 ($40) a year, will allow you to sync contacts, set categories for calendar items and contacts, sync up to 365 days out, allow you to sync multiple calendars, and execute autosync.
To set up the service, go to GooSync and create an account. Through the sign-up process you grant GooSync access to your Google Calendar. You are then given access to the GooSync installer file for your Nokia phone. After installation and set-up, GooSync is an option in your Tools->Sync menu, making syncing quick and painless.
GooSync is by far the most seamless service. I have been using the free version and have found that it meets my needs. The most provocative premium service, in my opinion, is the ability to autosync. Having to manually initiate a sync is too time-consuming.
Even though there are options for syncing your Google Calendar with your Symbian handset, the process is still a bit convoluted. GooSync is the closest option Symbian users have to a seamless solution, if you’re willing to pay to use it. My hope is that with advancements in the API, more software developers will develop business-ready solutions for the Google Calendar syncing issue.