Blog Post

Calaboration Syncs Google Calendars With iCal

Syncing Google Calendar with iCal just got a whole lot easier thanks to a new setup tool released by Google called Calaboration. Calaboration is a Google Code project that allows you to add calendars to iCal with a simple point and click interface, a process that used to take quite a bit more digging.

Before this tool was released, adding a calendar involved copying and pasting the private xml address from your primary calendar to iCal. Adding more than one calendar required you to modify a long URL, adding your email address at the right spot, a step most users were probably not likely to do.

In my tests, new calendar entries from iCal to Google appeared online almost instantly, with iCal syncing the changes as soon as they were made. Updates made from Google were synced down to iCal on the next refresh. The default refresh rate for the calendars is every five minutes, customizable in the iCal preferences under “Accounts.”

One annoyance that I’ve found with the setup is that when clicking on the calendar to create a new event, you must have the calendar that you want the event to be a part of highlighted in the left column. Normally, I’d expect to be able to customize the calendar using the drop down menu in the event creation dialog. A small annoyance, and one that I expect will be fixed in future updates.

Google shows again that they are serious about their Mac development, and make it that much easier to switch to their services. Now… where’s that Chrome for Mac?

7 Responses to “Calaboration Syncs Google Calendars With iCal”

  1. Does it sync alarms? That has been the biggest stumbling block for me. I could subscribe to Google Calendars and they would show up in iCal, but their alarms didn’t. I ended up writing a convoluted set of scripts to copy the events over and assign alarms. It would be great if this includes alarms!

  2. Jeffery Parks

    If you’re business customer who sends calendar invitations to its customers, don’t waste your time. Google Apps (even the so-called enterprise solution) forces iCal calendar invitations to use Google branding — which can appear very tacky when you have a reputation to maintain for your clientele.

  3. Craig Bradley

    This is the missing piece for me.
    I have an exchange calendar at work that is flawless with my iphone, right down to accepting invitations.

    I have been using the Google Outlook tool to keep that sync-ed to google calendar and then just subscribing in iCal on the Mac. All prior Mac sync tools I’ve tried have ended up sending duplicate events to my iPhone as somehow the iCal/MobileMe wasn’t recognizing this calendar as the same as the Exchange one already on my iphone.

    Now, using only Google’s free sync tools, I’m able to add and edit events from all three locations (work PC, home Mac, and iPhone) and even enjoy all the Exchange benefits (e.g. meeting invitation acceptance). Brilliant.