1. Syncing Apple iCal with Google Calendar

    Posted January 4, 2011 in software  |  1 Comment so far

    While Outlook on Windows has the ability to publish a calendar to the web, this feature isn’t present in Apple’s iCal application. This means that two-way synchronisation between Google Calendar and Apple iCal is more or less impossible. Yes, you can subscribe to your Google Calendar and see its events in iCal, but you can’t have iCal events moved to Google Calendar automatically. This means that you can’t get, for example, event notifications on your mobile device unless you manually copy events over.

    Apple probably don’t mind this state of affairs because they’d like you to pay for MobileMe to access this sort of syncing functionality. But you might have lots of reasons for wanting to continue using your Google Calendar. If so, your only option might be Spanning Sync.

    The bad news is that Spanning Sync is also a paid-for tool. It costs US $65 for a one-off license, or $25 for a one-year subscription. This is cheaper than MobileMe, which is $99. But the main benefit of Spanning Sync is that it works well and keeps your Mac interoperable.

    Once you’ve installed it the process is extremely straightforward. It asks for your Google login details then finds iCal calendars on your Mac. Once you’ve paired up local and remote calendars, the software runs the first Sync and then sits in the menu bar quietly syncing away.

    It works well enough, but it’s annoying that third party digital software products are needed to achieve this – let alone software that you have to pay for. So if you know of a better way to sync Apple iCal with Google Calendar, I’m really keen to hear about it!