Do you want the ability to sync your contacts and calendars without connecting your iPhone to your computer? Do you have to sync your phone to multiple computers just to make sure your contacts are up to date on all of the machines. Sure we all know that we need to backup our data regularly, but how often do we really do it?
Our buddies over at Google have come out with a new service that will make all of these issues a thing of the past and it’s called Google Sync. This walkthrough will give you a step by step on how to set up Google Sync on your iPhone.
You can use Google Sync to manage your contacts and calendars and it’s a process that is completely effortless. Syncing your device will happen wirelessly and on a regular basis when using Google Sync, so there is no need to worry about losing a contact because you forgot to sync your phone.
Google Sync is not only easy to use but it’s also a free alternative to services like MobileMe, which costs $99 a year . Another plus about Google Sync is that It makes your contacts and calendar available to you on any computer where you can access google – not just your home computer.
I will walk you through all the necessary steps to get started with Google Sync.
First – uploading your contacts from your phone to Google through iTunes (important* if you do not do this then all of your contacts from your phone will be deleted and replaced with those in your Gmail account.) The directions for windows Users and Mac users are nearly identical so I will just post both of the instructions.
1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB and start iTunes.
2. Select your iPhone and click the Info tab.
3a. For windows users, click the Sync Contacts with option and select Google contacts from the drop down menu. Click configure and enter your Gmail username and password.
3b. For mac users, check the Sync Google Contacts option and enter your Gmail username and password.
4. Click Apply and your contacts will now be uploaded to your Gmail account and you are ready to setup Google Sync. I should also note that this does not upload your calendar to Gmail, this you must do manually.
How To Upload Calendar To Google
Now I will show you how to upload your calendar to google. As the instructions are different for Windows and Mac, I have written instructions in both.
We are going to sync Outlook’s calendar with Google Calendar.
1. Make sure you have a compatible version of office and windows. The google Calendar Sync software only supports windows XP and vista and only supports office 2003 and 2007.
2. Download Google Calendar Sync (version 0.9.3.5) at
3. Execute the installation file and click I agree on the Terms Of Service page.
4. Select your installation options such as where you would like the icon to be installed for the tool. Click Next.
5. Select the Install Directory. Click Install.
6. A window asking for your username and password will come up. Enter your information and select which way you would like the sync to go. I chose “2-way” as I would like my outlook to be updated when I enter a new appointment in my calendar on my phone. Chose how often you would like it to check for updates. Click Save and your outlook will now sync with your google.
We are going to sync iCal with Google Calendar. Seting up iCal with Google is much easier than with outlook as there is no program to install, just a few settings in ical to change.
1. Open iCal, then fire up your iCal Preferences (iCal -> Preferences or Cmd-,).
2. Click on the Accounts tab, and then click the ‘+’ button to add a new remote calendar to iCal.
3. Call the calendar whatever you want (I went with ‘Personal’ for my main calendar), then enter the Google account username (which is normally your Gmail address) and password.
4. Click on Server options to display the Account URL text box. For your default calendar, enter the following URL:
…replacing firstname.lastname@example.org with your actual email address. Mine is not JD@gmail.com, sorry folks.
5. Once you’ve done that, just hit Add and you’re finished. Give iCal a few minutes to download all your events and you’re good to go.
How To Setup Google Sync on the iPhone
Now it is time to setup Google Sync on your phone. I know this is what you all came for, so I will get on with it. The process is rather quick and does not require the use of your computer, so you can disconnect your phone now. Google Sync requires apple iPhone firmware version 2.2 or higher, so upgrade if you have not done this yet.
NOTE: This will delete all contacts and calendar entries from your phone, so be sure to back them up yourself if you did not follow the previous directions!
1. Tap settings on your iPhone Menu. Once in settings, scroll down and tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
2. In the Mail settings, tap Add Account. Then you will tap Microsoft Exchange. Do not tap Gmail as we are not setting up a mail account.
3. Now it is time to enter your account information. In the Email field, Enter whatever you want, this is only a label. In the User name and password fields, enter your Gmail address and your password. Then tap Next. In the next menu, you will be asked for the server. Enter m.google.com in the server field and tap Next.
4. A page asking what you would like to sync comes up. You will turn off mail and turn on contacts and calendar. Then you will simple tap Done.
5. You will now be given two pages of confirmations because this is the point of no return. Your contacts and calendar will now be deleted from the phone and replaced with your contacts from Gmail. Click Sync on each page and you are done.
If you see the message above under the info tab in iTunes when you connect your phone next time, you have set it up correctly.
Your contacts and Calendar are now Synced with Gmail. When you edit any contact with either your phone or Gmail, it will be updated on the other. This process happens wirelessly over your phone connection as long as push is turned on and you will never even notice it is happening. Your syncs to iTunes will be shorter and if you ever lose your contacts or calendar on your phone, they can be recovered from your Gmail account wirelessly.
A backup is always good to have, especially when you don’t even notice it backing up.