14 December 2007

Google Sync - Unified Blackberry / Google / Exchange Calendars !

Like everyone one else, I noted the release of the Google Sync from Blackberries with some interest. We have been doing an eval of Google Apps Premiere at work, and the first question we get on calendars is "does it sync to my Blackberry or Exchange?".

Until Wednesday, the answer was "no". Well, "maybe" if you bought some 3rd party app. But we hadn't bothered to test any of others without strong business needs articulated.

When I downloaded Google Sync (see here to get a link sent to your Blackberry), I was wondering what would happen. Had Google added a new category of events to my calendar ? If I created an appointment on my Blackberry, would I get an option to sync to Google or Exchange or both ?


Since there seems to be little discussion of Google Sync yet, here is what I have seen -
  • Everything you have in your Blackberry/Exchange calender before the install is ignored.
  • Feature Request - It sure would be nice if there was an option to populate existing events into your Google Calendar.
  • All events created or modified after install Google Sync show up in your Google, Blackberry, and Exchange calendars.
  • Modifying events on any of the three places seemed to work fine and sync fine.
  • With the default "server wins" setting in Google Sync, events don't disappear from the Google calendar (since the server wins).
  • Settings the option to "handheld wins" causes all three calendars to be in sync. This seems to be the way that Google Sync turns your Blackberry into a magical bridge between Google and Exchange.
  • Google Sync gives you the option to also sync events from other Google calendars you subscribe to. I would be careful with this.
  • Bug - Making meetings private in Exchange does not flow through to your Google calendar. So anyone with access to your Google calendar can see your dentist appointment or other embarrassing stuff.
  • The app seems to sync about every 5 minutes and a manual sync takes about 15 seconds.

BTW - Google Sync works with either a regular GMail calendar or with your domain if you are Google Apps user.

I hope to see more Good Things in this arena. Have fun.


Andy said...

I would love to discuss this more with you if you are open to it? I installed the app and synced and somehow my enterprise calendar was wiped and all appointments were canceled. My co-workers received cancellation notices and my entire was open (which is nice in some senses but it made it hard to remember what I did have scheduled). Anyway, I've disabled the sync and am somewhat leary to enable it again. What have your experiences been?

qazwsx said...

Hmm. I haven't heard that anyone else at work having this issue.

I don't manage Exchange or the BES server, but I would be happy to discuss what I do know.

How should I contact you ? Your Blogger profile is restricted.

Andy said...

I read one of the things you noticed since the launch and that was to make sure that my blackberry is set so that the handheld wins when syncing. I changed that setting but then my phone wants to delete 971 items on my google calendar? I have the option of pressing: 1. No. Reset to Google Calendar; 2. Yes. Continue to synchronize; 3. No. Disable Automatic Synchronization. My main questions at this point are isn't there anyway to just have it sync going forward and if so how? It seems most of the chatter on this has been people that wanted to sync events already populated and that's what I want to do as well but I don't want to delete anything from either calendar!

qazwsx said...

Hmm. That sounds like an issue.

I didn't have much at all in my Google Calendar, so this was not a problem for me.

The behavior I saw was that it only sync'd going forward and everything already existing was ignored. I never saw a dialog like you are describing.

Sorry I can't be more help.

NK said...

"Google Sync gives you the option to also sync events from other Google calendars you subscribe to. I would be careful with this."

If that's true, how do you accomplish that. I can only sync my own calendar, not other ones that I subscribe to.