If you have a Google Calendar and want to synchronize it with your cell phone or PDA, then GooSync is something you should check out. GooSync does a 2-way synchronization between Google Calendar and your mobile phone. So, any appointments you make on your celly or PDA is synchronized to your Google Calendar and vice versa. Cost: free (for sync’ing 1 Google calendar). If you want to sync multiple Google calendars or shared calendars, you’ll have to pay £19.95 (GBP) for 12 months of service, which is $38.30 (USD)…too bad GooSync is a British company! 😉
To use GooSync, all you need to do is create a GooSync account and grant GooSync access to your Google Calendar (don’t worry, you can do this without giving your Google login credentials to GooSync). After you create your account, you select the type of cell phone you have and follow the instructions on how to install the GooSync software on your phone. For Windows Mobile devices, all you have to do is download and install a .CAB file. The installation varies depending on your phone type (and GooSync lists A LOT of supported phones). After the software is installed, you enter your GooSync login credentials and press the “sync” button. After 10 – 20 seconds, your calendars are synchronized.
I installed GooSync on my T-Mobile Dash (Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone) tonight and it works as advertised. Here are my pros/cons:
- Synchronizing the calendars is very quick
- Syncs all day appointments
- Syncs recurring appointments
- Syncs the last 7 days and the next 30 days of appointments
- It may not be easy to get GooSync to work even if your phone is listed as a supported device (see below for more details)
- The free version only syncs one Google Calendar
- The free version cannot sync shared Google calendars
- GooSync does not automatically sync your calendars – you have to manually execute a sync
- Damn the US Dollar <–> British Pound conversion rate!
- The usability of the setup process on GooSync’s website was not very intuitive – I had to think when I was setting everything up and the first rule of usability is not to make your users think!
Although GooSync lists a lot of supported devices, your ‘supported device’ may not be so easy to use with GooSync (you can thank your cell phone provider for crippling your phone). For example, my girlfriend’s Motorola Pebl is listed as a supported device but we found out that T-Mobile crippled the built-in sync feature and the only way to enable it is to get a HEX editor to edit the SEEM file on her Pebl…yeah, way too much work to sync a freakin’ calendar.
GooSync is a great product for what it does – it synchronizes Google Calendar with your mobile phone’s calendar. The GooSync application that’s installed on my T-Mobile Dash was easy to install and configure, and it’s free. The only bummer is the free version is not very helpful to me since I want to sync my girlfriend’s shared Google Calendar with my smartphone. But, hey, at least, my girlfriend can see all of my appointments…isn’t that how it always works – the women come first?? 😉
I’m still debating whether or not I should upgrade to the paid version because all of my girlfriends appointments will not be color-coded like they are on Google Calendar – I’ll end up having a bunch of freakin’ appointments on my smartphone and won’t be able to discern which ones are mine. Which leads me to this: GooSync is great but the real usability issue is with our smartphones. Why can’t we get Google Calendar’s features on our smartphones? Specifically, the ability to color-code appointments….Apple iPhone and Google – are you listening?
This morning, someone at GooSync read this post and upgraded my account (for free) so I can sync shared calendars (thanks!). I gave it a try and sync’ed a shared calendar and it worked very well. I was able to configure GooSync to tag all appointments from my girlfriend’s shared calendar. Now, when I view an appointment, this tag is pre-pended to the subject line. A decent solution to help differentiate the appointments. BUT, I did encounter one minor issue: after I sync’ed the shared calendar, my T-Mobile Dash froze whenever I exited any application (calendar, task manager, NewsBreak, etc.) and the only way to unfreeze my phone was to either hold down the ‘end call’ button (until the screen locks) or press the power button and cancel out of the “quick list.” I was able to ‘fix’ this by re-booting my Dash and since then I haven’t had this issue occur. I’ll update this post if it rears its head, again.
Update: (3/25/2007) FYI, there’s a bug in Google Calendar’s API – it doesn’t support the recent Daylight Savings Time (DST) changes. See my post about it.