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Google intros free push calendaring, contacts for iPhone

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
While Apple's MobileMe has so far been one of the only ways to get push data to the iPhone outside of the workplace, Google has launched a new mobile sync service that promises to do much of the same for free.

The beta release this week of Google Sync for iPhone relies on a newly-acquired license for Microsoft Exchange to both instantly push Google Calendar and Gmail contacts to the iPhone and iPod touch as well as to send those changes back out to Google's usual web services.

The feature extends to multiple calendars and includes all the features that come with using an Exchange account from the office on one of Apple's devices, including alarms, multiple calendars and multiple phone numbers for each person in the contact list. As a consequence, users don't have to worry about losing all their information if data on the phone or computer is lost, the search giant boasts.

Google characterizes the setup as slightly more complex but also free of any extra software: while a simple iTunes sync has been available for months by checking a box, the full two-way feature requires the brief setup of an Exchange account on the iPhone as though it were a standard office setup.

Also available for Windows Mobile, the new Google Sync still has significant drawbacks that include an inability to handle more than five calendars and a set amount of e-mail addresses and numbers per person. Google is also adamant in warning existing iPhone users that using the Exchange-based solution will wipe out any calendars and contacts stored on the iPhone itself -- a function of the iPhone's behavior towards different account formats.



Crucially, the Sync service omits Gmail messages and thus prevents email from arriving or leaving as quickly as other changes made to a Google account. Company engineer Bryan Mawhinney admits to the rough state but notes that many improvements are likely to come in the future.

"[We're] following the Google credo to launch early and iterate," he says, albeit without setting expectations for updates.

Still, the investment into Google Sync parallels a continually deepening relationship between Google's services and the iPhone, and exists as one of the first major alternatives to Apple's $99 yearly MobileMe service for those who don't depend on immediate email.
post #2 of 30
I have had my Yahoo address since the early 90's, but I must admit that free push support is really tempting, I don't need the calendars etc that often but find that my email frequently comes in batches on my iPhone from Yahoo.
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post #3 of 30
I'm really hoping this type of competition pushes Apple to make MobileMe stronger and more feature-rich.

MobileMe still beats this service, but does it beat it by the $99 fee? Perhaps not.

Apple need to scratch their heads and work out what they want MobileMe to be, and then strengthen that with far more competitive features like remote wipe, and exchange-level calerdaring and invitation support.

Exchange needs those functions, but they are also helpful out of the enterprise for personal device and life management.

Let's hope this competition is just what Apple needs.
post #4 of 30
MobileMe is $70 on amazon.com or $96 for the family pack, which are good for renewals too.

I'll wager Google will not be syncing keychains anytime soon.
post #5 of 30
to share my personal data (my calendar entries, which disclose quite reliably my location each moment in time, for instance) even with people maintaining google's data storage

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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I have had my Yahoo address since the early 90's, but I must admit that free push support is really tempting, I don't need the calendars etc that often but find that my email frequently comes in batches on my iPhone from Yahoo.

Are you using a paid Yahoo account ($20/yr)? Free Yahoo accounts don't support push.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

I'm really hoping this type of competition pushes Apple to make MobileMe stronger and more feature-rich.

MobileMe still beats this service, but does it beat it by the $99 fee? Perhaps not.

Apple need to scratch their heads and work out what they want MobileMe to be, and then strengthen that with far more competitive features like remote wipe, and exchange-level calerdaring and invitation support.

Exchange needs those functions, but they are also helpful out of the enterprise for personal device and life management.

Let's hope this competition is just what Apple needs.

I think MS' entry into the cloud environment will push Apple faster and harder than Google's inclusion of Exchange Push.

As for the value of MM, it does offer a lot more than Push email, and bookmarks and contact syncing. I don't even use MM email except for forwarding my Gmail to it so I can get Push email on my iPhone. Perhaps a bit ironicly, the more complex setup of Gmail's new Exchange setup will keep me using MM mail on my iPhone forwarded from Gmail. This has worked out quite well, save for the first four days.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Are you using a paid Yahoo account ($20/yr)? Free Yahoo accounts don't support push.

No, my account is old enough that I still get free pop access, I haven't jumped to push email yet as I don't want to pay the fees, so this google offering seems perfect for people like me.
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post #9 of 30
I'd have to say both Google and Microsoft are each pushing equally and in different ways.

Google, unlike microsoft is pushing Apple by being direct competition. Microsoft's cloud service isn't available on iPhone. Google Sync however is.

Microsoft are attacking MobileMe in association with the iPhone. You buy an iPhone, you'll get MobileMe. Buy windows mobile, get their my phone service. It's competition via device but iPhone has far more going for it than just MobileMe. In that sense the competition isn't really direct.

On the other hand, between google sync, the competition is purely feature and simplicity based. Can apple afford to lose the millions of dollars from switchers to google sync? Something tells me the hurt at the end in dollars will be more than lost sales on iPhone. There's just too many other features people get iPhones for, not MobileMe.

Two types of competition, maybe just what apple need?
post #10 of 30
If the iPhone allowed for multiple accounts using ActiveSync (not sure if that's a problem caused by Apple or Microsoft), and Gmail supported push, this would be a compelling offering. But since neither of those things are true, I'll stick with MobileMe.
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27" 3.06 GHz iMac

16 GB iPhone 4
80 GB iPod Classic
1 GB 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle

Apple TV (2nd gen)
Apple TV (1st gen 40 GB)
AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n)
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post #11 of 30
Do you still get adverts in attached to your google mail just like hotmail? If so I would never ever switch to google.
post #12 of 30
I had troubles getting Google Sync working with my Google Apps for your Domain. Here is a blog post about getting it going... not too bad, there was just some missing information from Google Help.

http://www.ninthdivision.com/blog/go...ync-on-iphone/

-Andy
post #13 of 30
I must be stupid...I just want my google calendar to sync with the calendar on my iphone and back...does this do that? I don't understand the exchange tie-in.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Do you still get adverts in attached to your google mail just like hotmail? If so I would never ever switch to google.

There have never been ads in Gmail when accessed by POP or IMAP.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

I must be stupid...I just want my google calendar to sync with the calendar on my iphone and back...does this do that? I don't understand the exchange tie-in.

It does. But it does it using Microsoft's ActiveSync technology -- the same thing that lets me check my corporate Exchange account on my iPhone. Google just licensed it for their own purposes.
27" 3.06 GHz iMac

16 GB iPhone 4
80 GB iPod Classic
1 GB 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle

Apple TV (2nd gen)
Apple TV (1st gen 40 GB)
AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n)
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27" 3.06 GHz iMac

16 GB iPhone 4
80 GB iPod Classic
1 GB 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle

Apple TV (2nd gen)
Apple TV (1st gen 40 GB)
AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n)
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post #16 of 30
This is a most welcome move, long live Google, early and iterative!
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

MobileMe still beats this service, but does it beat it by the $99 fee? Perhaps not.

Apple need to scratch their heads and work out what they want MobileMe to be, and then strengthen that with far more competitive features like remote wipe, and exchange-level calerdaring and invitation support.

Exchange needs those functions, but they are also helpful out of the enterprise for personal device and life management.

Let's hope this competition is just what Apple needs.

Did you ever forward a meeting request from Outlook to MobileMe ? It shows the meeting requets as .ics file but nothing more.

That is why I for one use Nuevasynch (which interacts with Google calendar. Basically forward meeting request to Google calendar and retrieve it via Nuevasynch. Works a treat and it free.

Not everyone has access to a full blown Exchange account yet recieves quite a lot of meeting request from coroporates.....
post #18 of 30
This was the extra push I needed to clean up my Google contacts. I love having the push calendar.

Too bad it won't be useful for so many people since the iPhone can only use one Exchange account at a time...
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Are you using a paid Yahoo account ($20/yr)? Free Yahoo accounts don't support push.

Yahoo offers free push for the free accounts. Ive got 3 yahoo email accounts, and all of the accounts push the mail almost instantaneously. Its roughly a 10 second delay. You just have to input your number in the yahoo mobile through your email, and instant push email........for FREE

Ive got no use for push calendar or push contacts, google should have released a push email instead. While I use gmail as my main account, I prefer my ymail, because of the free push
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quash View Post

Yahoo offers free push for the free accounts. Ive got 3 yahoo email accounts, and all of the accounts push the mail almost instantaneously. Its roughly a 10 second delay. You just have to input your number in the yahoo mobile through your email, and instant push email........for FREE

Ive got no use for push calendar or push contacts, google should have released a push email instead. While I use gmail as my main account, I prefer my ymail, because of the free push

I think its quite clear why they havent released the push email, they are doing a controlled release, and seeing as calendar/contacts is only a small hit on resources etc they have chosen to do this first. Push email will be coming soon, once the service is stable and reliable.
post #21 of 30
Syncing my Google Calendar and my iPhone calendar is something I wanted to do badly a few months ago. I found a free service called NuevaSync that implemented what Google has just released almost exactly. The service has been great and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they implemented push GMail before Google did.

Doug
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

That is why I for one use Nuevasynch (which interacts with Google calendar. Basically forward meeting request to Google calendar and retrieve it via Nuevasynch. Works a treat and it free.

OMG this rocks. However, now that I've set this up, how is it different than what Google is now offering directly??? ;-)
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

OMG this rocks. However, now that I've set this up, how is it different than what Google is now offering directly??? ;-)

If nuevasync doesn't use Exchange ActiveSync then maybe you'd want to use it to get around the single Exchange account limitation on iPhone.
post #24 of 30
well, i scuttled off and enabled google sync for my iphone using the exchange settings.

Calendar seems to be fine, but my contacts are pretty messed up :-/

Many are duplicated and there are contacts missing from both gmail and the iphone. It's going to take AGES to sort this crappy mess out.
post #25 of 30
Ok, So I spent a few hours messing around and managed to sort the worst of it.

(I originally backed up all my contacts, so I'm safe ultimately)

After enabling exchange for google sync my contacts were messed up.

I disabled sync for contacts on my iphone, which cleared the iphone.

I resynced my iphone to itunes (which re-synced to gmail).

Now missing iphone contacts were in gmail contacts.

I deleted newly added duplicates from gmail contacts (and used the handy new merge feature)

I then deleted all iphone contacts.

re-enabled google exchange sync on the iphone.

viola! It's all working nicely.


Now I just hope hope (hint, hint) google mail no longer auto-adds occasionally used one-off email addresses to my contact list and then sync them to my iphone.


good work google :-)

Of course now they know what I say, who everyone in my life is, and when I do stuff. If they ever start a private detective agency (googlopolice?) I'm screwed :-P
post #26 of 30
I agree with PG4G, $99 per year with a sync service that blackberry offers with exchange/Dominino servers doesn't beat the price. But they are in different purposes Maybe? I don't know I use my cell mainly for my businesses and work.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuice View Post

well, i scuttled off and enabled google sync for my iphone using the exchange settings.

Calendar seems to be fine, but my contacts are pretty messed up :-/

Many are duplicated and there are contacts missing from both gmail and the iphone. It's going to take AGES to sort this crappy mess out.

My contacts are now all messed up. Some of then seem to be using the LAST name as FIRST name and vice versa. Depending on where the contact is entered the whole thing is flip flopped. So I now have some contacts that are listed by last name and some by first name. I would probably switch to Google Sync for both contacts and Calendars and cancel Mobile Me, but this was too annoying and I had to go back to mobile me quickly.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

There have never been ads in Gmail when accessed by POP or IMAP.

Not only that, the person was talking about ACTUAL ADVERTISEMENTS being APPENDED to your email, not purely display ads on the gmail web page itself. That is something Google has never done (and I doubt they even considered it).
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I have had my Yahoo address since the early 90's, but I must admit that free push support is really tempting, I don't need the calendars etc that often but find that my email frequently comes in batches on my iPhone from Yahoo.

Wasn't to long ago that you had to pay for yahoo email if you wanted it on your iPhone. This changed a few months ago. Not to bad. Has numerous folders and its free.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quash View Post

Yahoo offers free push for the free accounts. Ive got 3 yahoo email accounts, and all of the accounts push the mail almost instantaneously. Its roughly a 10 second delay. You just have to input your number in the yahoo mobile through your email, and instant push email........for FREE

Ive got no use for push calendar or push contacts, google should have released a push email instead. While I use gmail as my main account, I prefer my ymail, because of the free push

Yup. Been this way since December although most probably didn't know. They do now LOL. Hope to see mme go down and let them license iWork. :-)
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