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iPad Quick Tip: Enabling Multiple Google Calendars

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I recently set out to enable Google Calendar (s goog) syncing with the iPad Calendar (s aapl) and found some of the online documentation on this subject to be a bit out of date. After digging around, I found that you can set up and sync multiple Google Calendars from within the native Calendar App on the iPad without ever needing to use your computer.

Quite different from iOS 4, iOS 3.2 does not yet support calendars with your Gmail account. Instead, you need to set up a CalDAV account.

To do this on the iPad, open Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and tap on Add Account…, then select Other and choose Add CalDAV Account from the list of choices under the Calendars list.

Next, enter www.google.com as the Server, and use your Google Account Information for the User Name and Password fields. At this point if you exit Settings and open the Calendar, you will find that only one calendar is accessible: your default Google Calendar.

If you have multiple Calendars set up in Google Calendars, there is one last step you need to perform. All the how-to’s I found indicated that you need to use your desktop browser in “developer mode” to act as an iPhone Safari Browser by changing the user-agent setting as well as disabling JavaScript. I found that this course of action no longer works. Something must have changed on Google’s side. Instead, I simply navigate to www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect from the Safari Browser on my iPad. From here I can see all of my Google Calendars and I can select which ones to sync with my iPad.

Now, when I open the native Calendar App on iPad, I can see all of my Google Calendars. I’ve added entries, and they’ve all synced nicely. In our household, we have a master Family Calendar on the iPad that everyone can update from a central place. We then subscribe to each published calendar from our personal devices. For family occasions, school events and other shared activities, this is a convenient way to share information with the whole family and still have one central point of control that all can access and update.

Related GigaOM Pro Research: The Case For Removable Media on the iPad

22 Responses to “iPad Quick Tip: Enabling Multiple Google Calendars”

  1. Thank you Geoffery! This worked perfectly! My wife and I use the following for our devices/equipment:
    1) iMac for main computer
    2) Blackberry phones (sorry….would love an iPhone but my company doesn’t support/allow it)
    3) iPad’s for both of us.
    4) Gmail for everything, including multiple synced calendars for our family.

    Unlike most threads I have read, I do not coordinate or sync with Outlook or Microsoft Exchange. I tries other options as suggested in other threads including the option of using my Mac to act as a workaround in developer mode. I tried your method and it worked perfectly!

    Thanks again for posting!

  2. Thank you for the updated info it was really helpful, the only problem that I have is my gmail account has an @business name instead of @gmail.com so I am unable to log in through the link that you posted… is there a way around that?

    Thanks!

  3. farfa11e

    Thanks! This was exactly what I was looking for. I have my work Exchange account set up on my iPad, so I couldn’t GoogleSync with Exchange. I already see my work calendar on iCal on the iPad. Now with CalDAV, I can see my and my family’s Google calendars too. Perfect! Very easy to use and helpful guide.