I’ve been getting strange messages from iCal for the past several months. Friends, colleagues, or partners have been sending me meeting invites from Google Calendar, and iCal has been completely barfing on them.
“The server responded with an error” … followed by an iCloud location, and the happy note that said location “is not a location that supports this request.” And then I have the happy choice of either Going Offline (which means my calendars won’t sync) or Reverting to Server (which means my new calendar event will disappear).
This has been a problem since Lion, and it’s time for Apple to fix it. For now, there seems to be one “solution.” Ignore the email with the calendar invite on your Mac, and accept the invite on your iPhone. It’s cheesy at best, and hardly indicative of the elegance that is supposed to accompany a truly Mac experience … but it does have the virtue of working.
I’m being forced to use Entourage, the Mac version of Outlook, on my work computer. And yes, it’s a major hardship. Not quite up there with communicable diseases or debilitating illnesses, but approaching. Definitely approaching.
First of all, it looks like a pilot’s dashboard. Simplicity is not part of the plan. This is after some serious effort to tone down the menus and email fields that display:
Worse, it’s stupid. I mean that quite literally. As an example, see this pop-up question:
That’s in response to a double-click on a recurring event – a weekly recurring event. Would it seriously open up the hundreds of recurrences over the next couple of years if I selected all? Is it not fairly obvious that generally users might want to see the details of the event, not to open up 52 copies of the event as it stretches out over the next calendar year?
Alas, iCal is not on speaking terms with our Exchange server … somehow the month field is being represented by a single digit in the details it’s sending up the line. Until I get that fixed, I’m stuck in 1998.
I knew it would happen in my lifetime: Google Calendar and Apple iCal syncing simply, quickly, effortlessly:
Google calls it Calaboration … and yes, that’s the way they spell it. The software is a thing of beauty. Download, install, enter your Gmail account information, and you’re done. In my initial testing on two Macs, it works perfectly and quickly.
It also completely reduces the need for Apple’s MobileMe. Now my calendar is everywhere I want to be, and it’s on my iPhone either through syncing (unlikely, as I only sync every couple of weeks or so) or through simply going to Google Calendar in Safari, and checking the latest updates.