Google Calendar Announces iCal Support

Google has dropped the iCal bomb. That's right. Buh-bye third party intermediaries, hello built-in Google Calendar support for Apple's open source CalDAV standard:

The Google Calendar team is proud to announce the public release of our support for the CalDAV protocol. You can now use Apple iCal with your Google Calendar, so you can work even when you're offline, sync almost instantly, respond to invitations from others and see the free/busy data of your friends and coworkers.

You can get both the setup program and the download from Google code source. (Now if we could only get some similar Google love for CardDAV as part of a Google Contacts revamp...)

If anyone has a chance to try it out, let us know how it works for getting your gCal into MobileMe or onto your iPhone (I'm -- right now very sadly -- transitioning to the HTC FUZE for the Round Robin, so let me live vicariously through you!)

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Google Calendar Announces iCal Support

25 Comments

I've been trying this for a while and its working well for me. There are some minor bugs but nothing you can't work around. For example, it won't let me cut and paste an event onto the Google Calendar if it has a "location" field filled in. Also, sometimes when I click on a calendar invitation in Mail, the Google calendars are grayed out and I can only put the new event on a local iCal calendar. I also had some trouble adding multiple Google Calendars to iCal at once.
That said, I've been using it for a few months now and it works enough that I keep using it!

I tried this yesterday and it worked. Frankly, it is not that big of a deal because Google supplied instructions for you to manually set this up. It is nice to have the tool though, kudos to Google.

I set it up and was unable to get any of the Google Calendars to sync via MobileMe. I haven't used it a whole lot yet, but I plan on continuing to figure out how to get iCal, gCal, and my iPhone to all sync the same calendars.

Is this update going to help a Windows user be able to sync Google Calendar to the iPhone Calendar application?

does this allow to sync your google calendar with the iphone calendar at all? Im on windows and dont have ical.

@Steve
I flirted with the idea of titling this "Why Dec. 1st is July 17 all over again!" but better angles won that one :)

Actually, this doesn't directly help you sync with iPhone... but then the article said iCal, not iPhone. ;) What I do to sync to my iPhone, using Gcal, is to jailbreak it and install NemusSync. Works great! Wish Apple got it's own apps to work properly with CalDAV so well on the iPhone. head shake

I'm not familiar with Google Calendar... if Macs use iCal and MobileMe, while PCs use Outlook and Exchange.... what is the benefit of Google Calendars? I always thought it was just there and never used by anyone.
@Rene: Looking out the window this morning (in Michigan), I wish it was July 17th all over again. :-(

I installed the app a few days ago and for your personal calendars, it works great. If you have access to shared calendars though, it won't let you add those. The iCal server in OSX Server will let you. I hope they add this feature, it would be fantastic for small businesses moving to Google Apps for all their web services.

I successfully sync my MobileMe/iPhone/iCal calendar with my Google calendars using a program called BusySync (on the Mac). It works perfectly! My wife has a BlackBerry running Google Sync. When she adds something to the calendar on her phone, it makes it's way to my iPhone automagically! It works the other way too! The only drawback is that my MacBook has to be online in order to handle all the syncing - which isn't too big of a deal.

I use nuevasync to sync my iphone and google calendars, but I'd much rather have an "official" way to do this. It doesn't make sense to me that this doesn't exist.

this is better... now i can change ical and google will sync, previously you could only "subscribe" to your google calendar but the only place you could make syncing changes would be online on google, not much help when you're offline or in ical...
problem is... so i far i have not found a way to have mobileme (iphone!) recognize the google calendar in ical... it only shows the "calendars" in the top menu on ical... the "google calendar" drop down menu in ical doesnt' show up in the osx mobile my sync window...
very annoying!

I've been really happy with BusySync. I sync with google every 5 minutes and then with mobileme automatically. It's scary how well it works. Practically like having push google cal to my iPhone.

@Bill: Thanks for the heads up on NemusSync--another reason everyday why I'm glad I devirginized my iPhone

One bug found so far--in the Calendar app on your iPhone, you create an event in one of your google calendars, but then you save it and it has been created in the default calendar. I even deleted all the calendars from iCal on the Mac except for the google calendars I am syncing with--then re-sync the iPhone with iTunes, and only the google calendars show up in Calendar. Then create an event, and sure enough, it ends up in a new calendar called "Calendar." So you can't yet create events in the Calendar app on the iPhone and have them sync through to google calendar with this. I assume Google will fix this bug...

I can create and delete events in Google Calendar and iCal in mac and they sync fine with each other and iPhone. But as EW said, you can't create an event from iPhone iCal and sync it with Google Cal, instead it will create a new Calendar for iCal in mac and put the iPhone entered event there. Bottom line, you can add, edit, delete events in google and mac and they sync fine with iPhone but won't work the other way around.

Progress, definitely. You can avoid retyping by using iCal to manually drag an event from the generic Calendar and move it into your Google calendar account. It then syncs properly.
But you should just be able to add an event to the Google-synched calendar automatically on the iPhone.

Been using this for a few days now, its syncing great between iCal and Google Cal but I cannot get it to sync to my iphone through mobile me. Prior to CalDav i was using spanning sync and it was working really well but I dove for the google tool when it came out. As far as people saying it wont sync with subscribed calenders, it will only sync to them if you have read & write access to the calendar you are trying to sync to. If you only have read (or view) then it wont sync. Kinda a bummer, but at least if you know the person/group, you can just ask them to add you to write access if they dont mind, otherwise you are SOL for now.

Yahoo! calendar also supports this as well.
I exported my local iCal calendars to ics files, set up corresponding calendars on Y! calendar, shared them on Yahoo!, set them up in iCal, and deleted the local copies! Works like a champ.

BusySync has been a big fat disappointment for my wife and me. We tried repeatedly to get it to sync our iCal and Google Cals withot success.

Gary, can you explain more how you made the iphone sync with yahoo calendar. I am desperate!