Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

GooSync: Synchronize Google Calendar with your mobile phone


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:

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Conclusion:

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?

Update: (3/5/2007)

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.

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Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Google, Reviews, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

20 Responses

  1. R says:

    You made my day.

    Have been trying out another freeware synch thing, but couldn’t get it working.

    My luck was probably that the installation was simply possible by installing the sms. And it all worked from the very first time.
    I’m happy with the free version, since I don’t need to see other agenda’s on my phone.
    It’s perfect! Thank you.

    And it serves you right that you’ve got a free upgrade. Because you made me join in and I’m gonna spread the word in my company. 🙂

    Great stuff! Thanks again ….

  2. koolio says:

    No problem – glad to be of help!

    Out of curiosity, which mobile phone are you using?

    Now, all we need is for Google to fix the bug with their API so that it actually takes daylight savings time into account.

  3. […] I would add one to her list: GooSync. Being able to do a 2-way sync from a mobile phone or smartphone with Google Calendar is a HUGE bonus for some people. You can read more about this tool in my GooSync review. […]

  4. Jeff says:

    I couldn’t find a Dash icon to use to set it up. Where is it? Tmobile isnt a cell maker option!

    Jeff

  5. koolio says:

    Jeff, I’m not following you. Could you elaborate in more detail?

  6. Are you able to use this service on all mobile phones ?

  7. koolio says:

    It’s not available on all mobile phones. Their website lists all compatible phones. However, my girlfriend’s Motorola Pebl was listed as compatible but she wasn’t able to get it to work so your mileage may vary.

  8. Matt says:

    I’m going to try it on my palm tx. will keep you posted..

  9. koolio says:

    Cool – let us know how it works out, Matt.

  10. Kristin says:

    Thanks for your review goosync and bloging. I was happy to see that someone else has had such good luck with this program.

    I have a sprint Palm Centro. My phone did crash a few times when first getting the free copy up and going. But my phone crashes after most installs or major changes. I also found that it running of my SD card i have less issues. Which i think is strange. But so far i am very pleased with how well it has worked with my phone.

    I did not see anything about this but i could have missed it. How do you like the contact sync? I have not upgraded yet but plan to when i have a extra 40 bucks.

  11. koolio says:

    No problem, Kristin!

    I can’t answer your question about the contact sync because I stopped using GooSync in July 2007 which was when I switched to the iPhone.

    GooSync should make an iPhone app because true calendar sharing/syncing is still missing on the iPhone.

  12. Aaron says:

    Great post. I’m trying out GooSync myself on a W910i, so far so good, although annoyingly they have taken the site offline for Essential Maintenance. My phone has a decent feature whereby I can request a sync every 1,2,4,12,24 etc etc hours.

    Thanks

  13. koolio says:

    Thanks, Aaron. Glad it was helpful!

  14. Charles says:

    I was actually about to purchase GooSync and then I realized that the Palm Pre is due out soon and with Synergy it will sync all of my calendars and contacts from google, yahoo, myspace and facebook. What advantage does goosync have that would justify a purchase now versus just waiting for the Palm Pre within the next few months? I suppose I could purchase Goosync now but if it does not offer any additional support for WebOS what would be the point? Any suggestions?

  15. koolio says:

    @Charles If I were in your situation, I would just wait for the Palm Pre. This way, you can see how well Synergy works. If it syncs as-expected, then no need to buy GooSync. If it does not, you can then get GooSync (or wait a little longer to see if there’s a 3rd party Pre app that does the same thing as GooSync).

    Hope this helps!

  16. Gonzalo says:

    Hi,

    I have a comment regarding a point above that you refer to as “cons” (a disadvantage):

    “GooSync does not automatically sync your calendars – you have to manually execute a sync”

    I’m using a SonnyEricsson K800i that can schedule synchronisations to amongst others, GooSync. Depending on the configuration I perform in my unit, my calendar is updated automatically.

    Best regards,

    Gonzalo Calderon
    Stockholm

    • koolio says:

      Hi Gonzalo,

      Good to know – thanks!

      My review of GooSync was a long time ago so it sounds like they changed the sync from manual to auto. Either that or the way it’s implemented on your SonyEricsson is different than Windows Mobile phones.

  17. Gonzalo says:

    Hi again,

    these days have been a mess for the users of GooSync. The service is down and there is no support what so ever. I’ve even tried calling them several times and there is no answer from GooSync.

    I totally depend on the sync capabilities of this product since I work as a consultant and I have no static workplace. This is the second day with this problem and nothing has been posted on the homepage about this issue and nothing has been done. I have a OneTime Subscription which cost me £39.90 and it is not worth the money the way it works now.

    The problem during these days is a full database log, an embarrassing simple problem to solve but if there is no support, a simple problem as that can stop the whole application.

    So, if you are considering this product, be aware that their disclaimer states that you cannot expect this to function. You pay real money, but don’t expect a real service.

    The recurring error is: Error 511: The transaction log for database ‘2007beta’ is full. To find out why space in the log cannot be reused, see the log_reuse_wait_desc column in sys.databases

  18. Adadbanty says:

    Wow Article , I considered it remarkable

    I look ahead to more great postings like this one. Does Your Blog have a subscription I can subscribe to for anymore information from you?

    • koolio says:

      Thanks! You can subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed by clicking on the RSS feed icon in your browser’s URL address bar, which is displayed when you’re viewing my blog or by clicking on “Subscribe” in the top navigation on my blog.

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