Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Google Apps Calendar #sucks

Dear @google, your Apps for domains are awesome but why does it have to suck with real push syncing on the Mac? #icloud ftw!

I have 4 main machines I use in my daily use, a MacPro (for my desk), a MacBookPro for my remote development and work, my iPad for bedtime reading and air travel, and of course my iPhone for my "keep it always with me". I need them to also always be in sync. I also use Google Apps for Domains for my email and calendar. I loved it when Google released real "push" email and calendar by simulating an exchange server for my beloved travel devices. I assumed they also had "push" in the calendar for my computers. I assumed wrong. I noticed that as I added an event on Google or my computers running iCal, the IOS devices got the events, but the Macs did not. The only way my computers got the event was if I ran iCal continuously on each machine. If I didn't, the machine would miss the event... so there I had a manual step in my "syncing" my computers. Luckily my trusty IOS apps got the event.

I think I must have set something screwy, since Google offers exchange style push for Microsoft Outlook on Windows and mobile devices. So off I went and Googled "google push ical exchange" and this appears to be a real complaint for Apple users. Apparently Google made exchange/push for IOS/Android and Microsoft Outlook users (non-Mac of course), but silently left out Apple users to have a true push experience. Not sure I get why. Tin foil hat posters seem to think its a vendetta for the Google vs Apple wars. *shrug*

Then along came Apple's iCloud. Oh how I love thee iCloud. With push and syncing between devices... It just works™. So I exported my calendars from Google and into iCloud they went. Total time to set up on all devices and computers: about 10 minutes from export to fully running synced calendars. So now, Google Apps now handles my email and iCloud wonderfully handles my calendar. I get my cake and can eat it too!

So here is what I don't get. Google must have seen the iCloud thing coming. You would think they would have thought "Hrm... we had better get our act together and give push to our Apple users or they may leave our calendars behind." But they didn't. Was it really that difficult to enable Exchange for use on Lion, especially since Lion is 100% exchange compatible? I really like Google's services and have been a faithful Apps user for Domains for several years. I would have kept my calendars at Google had they "pushed" me my calendars and never even looked at iCloud. But Apple built a better mouse trap and it will need to be something compelling to get my calendars back on Google. If Apple builds an "ICloud for domains", it will probably be adios to Google Apps for good since I can still only use IMAP or POP to my Mac email clients.

Are you listening Google?

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