Improve Google Calendar sync by setting it up as a Microsoft Exchange account | webOS Nation
 
 

Improve Google Calendar sync by setting it up as a Microsoft Exchange account 23

by Adam Marks Sun, 11 Dec 2011 10:04 pm EST

Using Google Calendar to manage all of your calendar events on your webOS device is a good idea since it provides a reliable cloud-based solution that can be easily viewed or updated on a wide range of cross-platform devices (including any computer), supports the ability the sync multiple calendars as well as create shared calendars. Unfortunately, Google Calendar doesn't always sync flawlessly with webOS, with missing or duplicate appointment a known issue. There is one solution that has been identified to improve the sync timing and performance of your Google Calendar, and that is to set it up as a Microsoft Exchange account. Once you set up your account, your primary calendar will be synced to your webOS device and you will notice immediate performance improvements, with event updates being synced almost instantaneously to/from the calendar. Unfortunately, like sending an SMS message to create a calendar event, setting up your Google calendar as an Exchange account will only work for your primary calendar...unless you know of a good workaround! And luck for you, we have such a workaround. Just follow the steps after the break.

To set up your Google Calendar as an Exchange Account

  1. Open up the Calendar app, swipe down from the top-left and select "Preferences & Accounts". Scroll down to the bottom and choose "Add Account"
  2. On the "New Calendar Account" screen, choose "Microsoft Exchange" and fill out your email address and password. If there is a "Username" field, insert your entire email address there as well. Tap the "Sign In" button
  3. On the next screen, fill out the account details as follows:
    • Email Address = your full @gmail.com email address
    • Server = https://m.google.com
    • Domain = (leave blank)
    • Username = your full @gmail.com email address
    • Password = your password
  4. Press "Sign In" again. On webOS 2.x and 3.x devices, at the Create New Account screen, only turn "Calendar" to ON and then create the account *
  5. Your account will be created, but only your primary calendar will be syncing at this point

The work-around to get all your calendars to sync

In order to get multiple Google calendars to sync with your webOS device, we need to go to an ultra-secret website that Google set up for iOS users to select which calendars they want to sync to their iOS device. While the web browser on webOS will not allow you to get to this page (although I would assume that if you have a Spoof iPhone Agent patch installed, it may work), you have a few other options on how to access this page. You can either:

  1. Access it directly on an iOS device from an iPod Touch to an iPhone or an iPad
  2. Access it on an Android device using Dolphin Browser, which will allow you to spoof the user agent to make it think it's an iOS device. (If you have a TouchPad, you can always install Android/CM7on it to get access to an "Android" device)
  3. Install a browser on your computer that will allow you to spoof the user agent. Anthony Chu, lead developer of Wonder Reader for WP7, posted a nice tutorial showing how you can use Safari to accomplish this

Once you have access to an "iOS" browser, follow the steps below

  1. Go into the browser setting and find the "Enable Javascript" setting. Turn it off.
  2. Make sure you have already added your Google calendar as an Exchange account, per the directions above
  3. Go to http://www.google.com and sign in to your Google Account
  4. Go to http://m.google.com/sync
  5. You will see a listing of all devices that you have synced your Google account with as an Exchange Account. Both webOS phones and the TouchPad will appear simply as "Palm". Tap the device you want to update
  6. A recent change by Google removed the ability to select your calendars, but only because the URL ends with "supportMultiCalendars=false". Just edit the web address and change that to "supportMultiCalendars=true" and all your Google Calendars will appear with check boxes next to them
  7. As long as you turned off "Enable Javascript" above you will be able to select multiple calendars.
  8. Hit "Save" when done.
  9. If you have multiple webOS devices, you will need to add set up your Google Calendar as an Exchange Account on each device and then repeat the steps above to set those up to support multiple calendars.
  10. Before you are done, don't forget to re-enable Javascript in the settings and reset the User Agent on your browser if you needed to update it above.

Once you are done, you should be able to go into your Calendar app on your webOS devices and perform a "Sync Now" (which can be found by swiping down from the top-left corner to bring up the Calendar Application dropdown menu) and all your calendar appointments should populate. Well, not "all" of your appointments. As we previously reported, each calendar account type has a unique set of sync time frames that they will sync. So, while a "traditional" Google calendar will sync one month back and two months forward, an "Exchange" Google calendar will only sync two weeks in the past but unlimited forward.

* Two notes about the initial Exchange account set up

  1. Do not set up Contacts, Email, Messaging or Tasks as part of the Exchange sync. There are limitations on what contact fields will sync over (only one mobile number per contact, for instance), and incoming emails do not display the name of the sender, only their email address. And Messaging and Tasks won't work at all. Keep all of these as part of a traditional Google Account
  2. If you are having trouble getting your device (specifically your TouchPad) from actually adding a Google Exchange account and calendar entries to your device, there are two possible fixes that you may need to do. First, uninstall any Calendar-related patch (such as UberCalendar) and then try adding the account. If that does not work, when you set up the Exchange Account, try adding either Contacts or Email to the account along with Calendar. If these work, you can then reinstall any patches and remove any extra synergy pieces you had to add to the Exchange account.

Thanks to Gabe Tinti for this tip

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23 Comments

Am I the only one that hasn't had any trouble with Google calendar sync?

I have used it for over 2 years now and I have never seen a single issue. Maybe because mine is Google enterprise account??

never had an issue either . . . maybe I did and didn't know it???

Thanks for the info, I'll try it out later tonight.

My Pre & FrankenPre2 have no problem staying synched regardless of how events are added to my Google calendar. My TouchPad is the one that refuses to update unless I manually create entries on Google or the TPad. Anything created by my Pre or an app through Google is ignored.

And yes, I used a Windows Phone 7 tutorial to update my webOS device (TouchPad) by putting Android in it and spoofing the user agent to pretend that it's an iOS device. talk about cross-platform

On the TouchPad with 3.0.4, you may have to enable Email sync also (not only calendar) when creating the Exchange account, otherwise you probably won't have the new calendar. Seems like Email is needed for the initial sync.

Later, you can disable Email sync for this account.

Then, for this hack, you have to switch language to english on the sync page, if it does not show devices.

After adding calendars, I had to disable and enable calendar syncing on the TouchPad account to see the other calenders in the calendar app.

Thanks, I had the same issue.

I'm using this for 2 years now, works great but I have only one item that in Inbox I see only the full email address in the From field but not the correct Alias name. When I open the mail I can see the names correct.

Has anybody this issue?

Worked like a charm on the touchpad. Thanks! On my pre+ 1.4.5 however, where the issue with calendar syncing is a real problem, I am getting a message "An account using this email address already exists". My email and contacts are already set up with "just" a google account (ie, not exchange). What am I doing wrong?

Thanks

Thanks for that great workaround! I hope the syncing issues are now gone. It was annoying that often events created on the pre do not appear in the google calender.

Little addition from me: If your are (like me) from outside the US, change the language on the google mobile sync site to "English (US)". It seems, that this special setting page is only available for US-Users.

Greetings from Germany.

Guys, I got a Touchpad a couple of weeks ago and I have the original Pre on Sprint – love both of them. Yes I do miss some apps, but now with Open Source I think that is going to change. However I had an issue getting the two calendars synchronize – this tip helped and is working great – thanks!

Hmm, my TouchPad already shows all those calendars. What I haven't been able to get it to do is to show the Syracuse Orange calendar. But that's not listed on that page under Shared Calendars either. I can only see it in the web browser.

This tip worked for me on German O2 Pre Plus running webOS 2.1.0. HOWEVER, I didnt realize until the end that all the calendars synced this way would have to share the same color.

I have 1-2 recurring events that are on the wrong day, out of approx 100 events per week. I thought it was just a transient sync problem that could be fixed by a full/slow sync rather than the incremental/fast sync that Sync Now does...but there appears to be no way to trigger a full sync unless one disables the acct and re-enables it.

I need color differentiation more than fixing 2% of my events, so I'm reverting back to standard connector. I recommend highlighting the color limitation in the body of this post.

I need some help. I added an Exchange Account to my touchpad (3.04) per the instructions above. After enabling both email and calendar on the Exchange Server account, the calendar then brought in my data properly (for all my google calendars :O). The problem I'm having is removing my old data. I went to My Accounts, opened my Gmail account and turned off Calendar and Email (before adding the Exchange Account). Unfortunately, all my prior calendar entries are still in my calendar. The color background disappeared for each old entry, but all entries are still there.

Any suggestions for removing the old entries?

If no better ideas are shared, I suppose I will remove the Gmail account entirely, and then add it later. I have 3,500 contacts; so, I'd prefer to not go this route but will give it a try if I have to.

Still - what I have now is a HUGE improvement over where I was at. The calendar on my touchpad was insanely slow with syncing. Syncing sometimes took 12 or more HOURS. Now, it's virtually instant. Thanks for this tip!!

This whole process worked like a charm for the first part relative to the primary calendar. But then when I tried the second part to go into the google sync page off of an ios device I got to a page that allowed me to click on to palm device and when I did that all that showed up was a check box and a statement "send mail as". No ability to change URL or find the list of multiple calendars. Am I doing something wrong or were the instructions incomplete?

I set my account up using this formula after the 3.0.5 update not thinking and now my sync and preferences menu option just takes me to a blank white card. I followed the directions exactly and it worked perfectly on my husbands iphone but not the touchpad. I can't get into the the change login in the accounts app either. I deleted the account and that didn't help. Any ideas? Did I break it?

Could please someone confirm, that the above procedure is still working? Becaue I have tried that several times now, but all attempts failed. http://m.google.com/sync doesn't show any calendars, no matter what I do. I even tried using a real iOS device.

interesting - will check it out, thanks.

I have been using a simple program called gSyncit ever since the pre came on the market to synchronize between Outlook and google - works great still for my pre and touchpad - go to www.fieldstonsoftware.com/ if you are interested.

Very timly post on how to do this, as with the change to Google Drive the google apps login on some of my accounts (specifically the one I use for my calendar) will no longer login, so this work around is perfect. Thanks.

Has anyone else had a problem with the calendar being one day out? I think it started after February 29th 2012. Now my Google Calendar Events show up one day in the future on my Pre 3. It seems to be a problem with repeated events rather than single ones.

This work great but I am having issue with Day Light saving time. I live in an area that does not observer Day Light Saving time and my repeating appointments are off an hour after the time change. I have check both my phone and the google setting and all are set to the correct time zone. Does any on have any ideas on how to fix this issue.

Has anyone noticed the difference between ATT Pre3 and the Verizon Pre 3? My ATT just worked at using exchange and multiple calendars, my Verizon, using the exchange account, does not see the multiple calendars, only the one main one. One just works, one just does not. I checked w. Google (am an Apps user) and they pointed me to this page which does not help, with the Verizon issue. In all the posts about calendars working or not working, rare that anyone identifies the carrier - could be that it is a carrier issue, which is why it is so hard to fix?

I couldn't create the account for MS Exchange, so I tried adding the "Google Calendar Sync Behaviors" patch via Preware as someone else suggested. It worked for me (though it took a couple of hours for my Pre3 to sync my Google calendar). You might also want to add Tweaks from Preware so you can tweak the settings of the patch.