Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Calendar vs. iPhone: My reminders are gone

It's been a while since I've had a good Synchronization is Hell story. This one is just a small reminder of the nastiness of divergent application and data models.

The reminders on some of my yearly recurring (birthday) Google Calendar events are gone. The Reminder heading shows up, but there are no choices beneath it.

Google Calendar syncs with my iPhone using the CalDAV standard (built on iCalendar data model, so really iCalendar is what I care about) [1]. If I inspect the same event on my iPhone I see reminders set for 2 days and 14 days.

The 2 day reminder is a valid choice on the iPhone. The 14 day reminder is not [2] - it is supported only on Google Calendar. If I edit the event on iPhone I lose the 14 day reminder (probably doesn't work anyway).

No big deal. I'm sure my relatives understand why I don't get their 80th birthday cards to them on time.


Sigh. One more reminder that synchronization really is hellish.

[1] The Wikipedia page on CalDAV is ancient. At this time ActiveSync works better with Google/iPhone than CalDAV/iCalendar , but with OS 3 there's only one ActiveSync source per phone. That one is taken by work/Exchange Server.

See also:
--My Google Reader Shared items (feed)


Andrew W said...

There's a Phone for That. Android. ;-)

JGF said...

One would hope the data models would match! How well does the Android calendar app work when disconnected?

Andrew W said...

Works fine while off the network. It's cached locally and syncs in the background when connected.

Anonymous said...

I tried to solve this problem setting a default reminder in Google Calendar for every event created within that calendar. Still, when I make a new event from the iPhone app, I dont get the default reminder working, while it works flawlessly within on the Mac for instance...
anyone knows whether the new iOS4 will solve this?