After a week of mucking about, I seem to have finally found a semi-friendly way to synchronize my Google Calendar with my Dopod 810 Windows Mobile 6 device.
First – the background.
As regular readers will know, I have been trying to transfer my “productivity” applications (which seem to take up more time fixing stuff than actually making me more productive, but that’s another story) from a Microsoft-desktop-hellishly-expensive-hard-to-backup-full-of-bugs world to a Google-stored-in-the-cloud-nothing-to-install-free-and-open world.
And it ain’t easy. But it can be done. Almost.
On the desktop, I’m currently running a Windows Vista PC with Office 2007.
My phone is a Dopod 810 running Windows Mobile 6.
My preferred email service is Gmail and my preferred Calendar is Google Calendar for the reasons hinted at above: you don’t need to install anything (except a browser), and they are backed up in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about losing important data when your hard drive crashes. Oh and did I mention they are free?
Now – email is pretty easy. On the desktop I’m running Gmail through the Thunderbird client for reasons explained here.
The bigger challenge is the calendar. When Google came out with Google Calendar I was very excited and wanted to use it straight away. The big challenge is how I access it on my mobile device. I live in my PDA and want to always have my appointments ready to access while I’m out. I also want to be able to schedule meetings straight into the device. When Google came out with the mobile version of GCal, I switched my appointments over from my previous system which involved synchronizing Microsoft Outlook on the desktop with Pocket Outlook on the PDA.
The only problem, however, with the mobile version of GCal is that…. it sucks. When you open it up in the browser on your PDA, you can see today’s appointments and it’s even easy to tab to tomorrow’s appointments. But you can’t move stuff around. You can’t see what you are doing a week from now without tabbing through a bunch of screens. It’s VERY limited.
The other major problem I have with Gcal is that when I set up my calendar I imported a bunch of recurring appointments from Outlook. When they import into Gcal they are no longer linked as recurring appointments but instead show up as individual daily appointments. If you want to delete them, you have to delete them individually…. and when they appear every day for a YEAR, that’s a pain in the ass.
So recently I decided that I needed to synch Pocket Outlook with Gcal, allowing me to take advantage of Pocket Outlook’s superior client-side functionality until Gcal improves (which I’m sure will happen).
I’ve spent the last couple of days testing apps which are supposed to synch your mobile device with Gcal:
Unfortunately, despite several hours of playing around with each app, I couldn’t get either of them to work as advertised. After I sent an error message to the SyncMyCal people, they informed me that the mobile version of their app doesn’t currently work on Windows Mobile 6 (my bad – I obviously didn’t read the fine print).
The OggSync app just looks like it’s working… but doesn’t seem to pull anything down from Gcal to my device.
So what I’ve gone with, which seems to work but unfortunately adds a nasty step, is to use the SyncMyCal Desktop version to synch Gcal with Microsoft Outlook on the desktop and then using Windows Mobile Device Center to synch Outlook on the desktop with Pocket Outlook on the PDA.
SyncMyCal is available as a free trial which will only synchronize 3 days of future appointments. The full version costs US$25.00.
When the SyncMyCal mobile version is ready for WM6, they say they will let me know and I”ll pass the news along folks.
<img src="http://www.addthis.com/images/button2-bm.png" alt="AddThis Social Bookmark Button" border="0"