Update: Over-the-air synchronization available
You can seamlessly synchronize your Google Calendar and Contacts with a free service called NuevaSync, as discussed by me in this article. Google has also recently implemented its own version of OTA sync by licensing Microsoft ActiveSync technology. I’ll have a writeup on this soon. OggSync is still a viable alternative though, if you already incorporate MS Outlook in your workflow and don’t mind the limitations this application causes.
- Native syncing with NuevaSync << Ace on Tech.com
Synchronize multiple (primary and secondary) Google Calendars to Outlook and your iPhone/iPod Touch for free with OggSync.
The iPhone and iPod Touch don’t support calendaring very well out of the box. Apple provides some rudimentary implementation for Microsoft Outlook on the Windows side (the majority of the user base is Windows-users — after all). And that’s pretty much where it stops. Most likely, when the iPhone SDK makes its debut the tables will turn once the third-party developers get their foot behind the door, but for now we’re stuck with Outlook.
The only way to get your Google Calendar(s) onto the iPhone* (i.e. without hacking) is to go through Microsoft Outlook. This means you’ll have to subsequently synchronize your calendars with Outlook and then with the iPhone. Furthermore, the latest version of the ‘Home & Student’ edition of Office  doesn’t come equipped with Outlook anymore, like previous iterations used to. If you’re a Windows user and want calendaring on the iPhone, you’ll have to acquire Outlook first.
Lame, I know.
The secondary calendars dilemma
The problem with Google’s own syncing app for Outlook is that it only supports 1 calendar, the primary calendar. If you like a certain structure in your events, like I do, this will rapidly become a problem. If you want, it is possible to merge all your calendars into one. In that case, you can go ahead and sync to Outlook with Google’s own app.
In order to accomplish a merged primary calendar, you can:
- Move the events to your primary calendar, or
- Export your entire secondary calendar and import them into your primary calendar
(Google promises to make the multi-calendar feature available in the future, but doesn’t specify a date)
OggSync (Google-Outlook Sync) to the rescue
For those who refuse to make such a sacrifice (hell, I do) there’s a free app out there called OggSync. It’s an Outlook Add-In that supports primary and secondary calendars seamlessly and best of all, it’s free. It docks right into the standard Calendar view as a toolbar and provides you with a few options. Once you’re set, all you need to do is hit the ‘Sync’-button. Magically, GCal events will start to trickle into your Outlook Calendar…
After that, plug in your iPhone and sync away.
- Full support for all your calendars
- Support for both Outlook 2003 AND 2007
- Pro version available, but optional
- A bit of a hassle, but heck, it’s better than nothing, no?
- No calendar coloring support [yet] in Outlook 2007
- An occasional freeze, but they don’t usually linger for long
Download OggSync 3.22 for Outlook (direct link)
*: You can also access your Google Calendars via the Safari browser on the iPhone. However, this is a static view and means you cannot add or edit events. Furthermore, you will need WiFi availability in order for this work. Experience has shown you don’t usually have wireless around when you need that desperate peek at your calendar.