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?