iPad Quick Tip: Enabling Multiple Google Calendars

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(s goog) syncing with the iPad Calendar (s aapl) and found some of the online documentation on this subject to be a bit out of date.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