Improve Google Calendar sync by setting it up as a Microsoft Exchange account
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
- Open up the Calendar app, swipe down from the top-left and select "Preferences & Accounts". Scroll down to the bottom and choose "Add Account"
- 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
- 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
- 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 *
- 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:
- Access it directly on an iOS device from an iPod Touch to an iPhone or an iPad
- 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)
- 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
- Make sure you have already added your Google calendar as an Exchange account, per the directions above
- Go to http://www.google.com and sign in to your Google Account
- Go to http://m.google.com/sync
- 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
- 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
- Hit "Save" when done.
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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