Thursday, June 18, 2009
Shared Calendars with the iPhone
Yes it can be done, even if you already have an Exchange account setup on your iPhone. This pertains to iPhone users who are already connecting to their company's exchange server, and if you're doing that, I'm sure you're aware of the calendar sharing features of Outlook and Exchange. The problem is that your iPhone (or even ActiveSync) will only sync your personal folders. A shared calendar would be a public folder and therefore will not sync. I've tried using other services such as Google Calendar. The problem here is that when you configure your iPhone to sync with Google Calendar you must set it up as an Exchange account. RIGHT! YOU CAN ONLY HAVE 1 EXCHANGE ACCOUNT ON THE IPHONE!!! Here is the workaround. (Before I get started I'm going to assume you can get around Microsoft Outlook fairly well and have working knowledge of Sharepoint and Exchange features.) Go to http://www.icalx.com/ and create an account. (It's free.) After you make the account you can click on the "account" link and it will give you the proper URL's for posting calendar data. There will both public and private URL's and the only difference between the 2 is that "private" will make you enter a username and password. I used "private" and had success. Next, locate your public calendar in Outlook and right-click on it. Click "Publish to Internet." Click "Publish to WebDAV server." Enter all of the information given to you on the pages from icalx.com. Here you can give your credentials as well as how often you want it published. Now for setting up the iPhone. Back to the account page on icalx. Once you have published your calendar, you will see the filename of it on the account page. On the iPhone, go into "settings" - "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" - "Add Account" - "Other" - "Add Subscribed Calendar." In the server field enter your icalx URL follwed by the .ics filename. EX: http://icalx.com/private/accountname/calendar.ics. You have just worked around an issue that is bugging thousands of people. I'll leave the finer details and tweaking to you.