Keeping your calendar in sync using the Google Sync app

Google Sync BlackBerry
By Adam Zeis on 29 Sep 2011 02:40 pm
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Since the Google Sync app was released for BlackBerry I have always been a big fan. I have been a long time Google Calendar user, so being able to keep my device calendar in sync with Google has been a big plus. When you want to go a bit further you can even use the Google Sync app to sync more than one calendar to your device as I do with my wife. One you setup your calendars in Google, you simply check a few options in the app and then never have to think about it again. Granted RIM also introduced calendar sync through BIS which is great, but if you need to sync more than one calendar to your device it isn't much help.

The alternative to Google Sync is BBM Groups. This is great for some as it allows you not only to create a calendar that stays in sync, but also share a task list and photos with ease. This is a great solution for those looking for more functionality, however when you need just the calendar, Google Sync is my method of choice. Keep reading as we look into how to get the job done.

Sync your BlackBerry Calendar with Google Sync

Flying Solo

The Google Sync app is a straight forward, no nonsense app to sync your contacts and calendar. The initial setup requires a bit of work, but once you're up and running you never have to think about it again. To get started, you'll obviously need a Google Calendar for yourself (and another party if you plan to sync two calendars). Once you have them setup, you will need to install the Google Sync app on both devices from m.google.com/sync.

Now if you're planning to just sync your own calendar, you don't have to do much leg work here. Before you get going you'll want to make sure your default calendar on the device is set to match that of your Google calendar. To do this (OS6+) go to Options > Device > Advanced System Settings > Default Services. Make sure the Google address you are using for your calendar is correct, then save. 

Google Sync BlackBerry

 

To get rolling, just start up the app and enter your Google info. On the Options page we'll choose Automatic so the sync won't have to be initiated manually. You can choose to leave this on manual, however you'll have to go in and sync the calendar on your own whenever you update it. Note here you can also choose to sync your contacts to Google. This is a bit quirky and will most likely create duplicate contacts either in Google or on your device (or both) so use with caution. If you have some time to play around, you can let it sync then later prune your contacts the way you'd like, after which you'll be good to go.

Google Sync BlackBerry

 

Check the box next to Calendar, then choose your options for sync and how long to keep previous events. Your default Google calendar should show under Sync These Calendars. Save and let the app sync. Once it's done all of the events on your Google Calendar will show on your device and vice versa. That's it! As long as you have everything setup correctly here you won't have to think about it again as the app will sync your calendar in the background.

Doubling Up

If you want to sync more than one calendar (ie. to your kids, spouse etc.) then it's a bit trickier, but nothing we can't handle. Again, you'll need to be sure you and the other party both have a Google Calendar setup. You'll have to share your calendars with each other in order for everything to work correctly. Do this in Google Calendar by going to Calendar Settings, then Calendars. Next to your calendar name, click Shared. Here you can enter the email of the other party in order to share your calendar. Choose Make changes to events, then click Add person. Once the other party accepts your invite, your calendars will be shared. Also note that they'll have to do the same on their end if you'll be sharing calendars both ways. 

Once you're shared you've won the fight - the rest is easy. Go back into the Google Sync app on your device. We'll setup much the same as before, however under Sync these Calendars you'll have to choose ther other calendar as well. Click on the calendar name and you'll see a list of all the shared calendars. Choose with which you'd like to sync (if you share more than one you'll see multiple options) by marking the checkbox. Next to Add new handheld events to you'll want to choose your default Google Calendar. This will be where any appointments you add on the device are synced. When you're done here save and head back to the main screen.

Google Sync BlackBerry

 

Now you should see both calendars listed here and you know you're on your way. Press the Menu key and select Save. The app will ask you if you'd like to sync now, choose yes and let it do its thing. When it's done, you should have a totally synced calendar between you and the other party.

Now mind you there are some quirks here that will annoy you from time to time. If for some reason you delete your calendar (or reload the OS) you'll have to setup sync all over. Some events may not show if they aren't "new", so you may have to edit them (change the title or edit the time) so they reflect as updated and sync to the calendar. Also, when you install a new OS and sync again, be sure that you set your default calendar first, or Google will happily splatter your appointments where they don't belong. Should you device you want to start fresh, simply log out of the Google Sync app and it will allow you to remove your calendar entries as well.

Stay on Sync

This is just one way of many to keep your calendars in sync. I prefer this method because I know it, I've been using it for a while and it just works. I don't need to have a task list or photo sharing with my wife, so BBM Groups aren't for me. Our calendars stay in sync - whether I add an appoint on my device or in Google Calendar - it will sync up where I need it. 

Have you used the Google Sync app for your calendars? Or do you use BBM Groups or another method? Hit the comments and let us know what works for you!

28 comments

credgett

I use google sync and it works pretty well. The most annoying part is when it randomly decides to unsync one of my calendars. Other then that it works really well at keeping everything up to date

CC_HangGlyder

Good post Adam! I've tried this and it worked good when I had more than one calendar. It doesn't sync my tasks that I add to the calendar as "all day" event. There's a separate Google app for that.

I actually don't need to use more than one calendar so I've found Funambol works best for me. It syncs my calendar and "all day" tasks well. No duplication errors or events that can't be deleted as I've run into with Google sync. Funambol works great with my Thunderbird on my Linux laptops.

maninthesky

When I installed Google Sync on OS 6 i obviously did something wrong as it told me my diary was being synced elsewhere. Clearly I ignored this and I allowed Google sync to do its work - which it did, doubling, trebling quadrupling etc all my upcoming appointments. I had over 500 of each to delete !!

So now I only sync contacts from Google syns app and my calendar seems to sync itself just once now, so I have left it alone...

I hope my 9900 works as well

The_Adventist

I had a similar problem. Once I deleted the evil facebook app all my sync troubles went away. I have been duplicate free now for over a year.

MrViki

Used to use but has problems with multi-day repeated all-day events. After sync the event is changed to only one-day event.

halifaxx11

I had the same problem with repeating/multi-day events. Since I use a lot of them I eventually had to delete the Google Sync app and go back to the BB native calendar app. What other options are out there for being able to sync my calendar without using Outlook and having to hook up my phone to the computer with a wire?

dougpaw57

If I wanted my calendar out in the "cloud", I'd use an Android phone. One of the only reasons I still use a BlackBerry is that it still syncs with Outlook locally.

diegonei

You really should do a follow up post with the native sync. Just saying. :)

waterfrontmgmt

this is great if you still use an old blackberry. i have an OS7 phone and google sync does not work at all on my phone. i lost all my contacts because it failed, as did back up assistant on vzn.

Adam Zeis

What is the issue you have? I have it on a 9930, 9900 and 9810 and it works fine across the board.

waterfrontmgmt

it won't connect. keeps timing out and having server issues. i have uninstalled, reinstalled...logged out, back in. same issues.

a couple of times it started syncing, then froze. i have had this issue on multiple os's. on .353 now.

my internet connection is fine. i have even tried using my 4G LTE vzn mi fi connection.

davidjlewis78

Do you use 2-step authentication on your Google account?

waterfrontmgmt

i don't know what 2 step authorization is, but i know i haven't changed anything on my google account and i have been able to sync my last 6 or 7 BB's ever since i first started using it.

now, it just won't log in....it just sits there until it times out.

ItsMe6

I have no issues with it on my 9930. I have sync, voice, maps, and mobile app. i heard bad bout VZN backup also....DL BB Protect

ItsMe6

I've been using this for a while but you have to pay attention, Sync deleted a few of my contacts. Good thing i do a weekly backup to my laptop. Then again I've been taking advantage of Blackberry Protect and it worked wonders when I went from 9650 to 9930. So yea best thing is to always backup!!!

JAF1

Do I have to move all my appointments from my default calendar to my "Google" calendar? If so, how do I do that? Will I still be able to sync my calendar with Outlook?

danp2000

I use this to add groups of events to my calendar like Football games, etc. Works great to just import the events and wait a little bit. Suddenly, there they are.

scaramanga89

It still doesn't map to multiple calendars on the one account, they al get lumped in. That's crap. I use the colours to tell what's what t a glance - and I don't want to have to create a separate account for each. I shouldn't have to in the modern day smartphone.

Since Mango WP7, RIM is now the only smartphone maker who doesn't support this. WP7, iOS, Android, webOS, Symbian via Googasync, even BADA ffs. Terrible.

bman5150

I like the Google sync option but I have never been able to stop it from deleting my calender entries older than a week. anyone else been able to fix this or even have the problem? I like to go back and reference notes from a meeting etc.

Made an incredible mistake once.

TIMSHULL

Loaded it up on my 9000 but cant get it do do anything ?

xtremez

I use google sync too! but it looks like there aren't many updates for it...or are they..? I'm on 0.7.3

graspDESIGN

Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but the Google Sync for your desktop is also a great tool for BIS users looking to sync their Exchange calendars to their BB.

It basically syncs your Outlook calendar to online Google calendar, which then syncs OTA to your BB. A good work around for us who don't use BES and don't have Exchange sync capabilities.

Pilchard

Thanks, Adam. I tried this last night for my wife and I and now our diaries on our Bold 9000's are in sync and I am the house hero! We are about to order 9900's so hopefully this will work too.

One problem I had was sharing on Google Calendar where I could not figure out why the shared calendars did not show the detail of the event, only free/busy. I found the answer was in the "manage domain" function of Google Calendar to allow full sharing and then all was good.

Bold 9000
Playbook 16MB

Josoman

I tried it for my BB Bold 9700... It kicked me out saying Google Sync is Not supported on your device!
BB 9700
PB 16MB

MykOne

Used to use Google Sync as well... but also had issues with recurring events/all day events (such as birthdays).... it would be an all day event on by BB calendar and when I sync... it would change it 5pm the day before up until 5pm the day of.
This happened to all my All Day events and was a pain changing them all back as I would think I have something scheduled for 5pm the day before.

bigsupa

WELL IM NEW TO GOOGLE BUT MY WIFE SAYS ITS GOOD...IM GONNA TRY THIS OUT...WILL THIS AUTOMATICALLY DELETE DOUBLE ENTRY'S?

grigia

This does not work on my new Bold.... I installed gsync an un-installed it many times, did multiple battery pulls. This will not work.

Techindian

I have a query here. I have got one Google calendar but multiple internet mails and calendars on my BB. I have set my default to yahoo calendar when I installed Google sync. ( device default under advanced options)

Now, I want to change it to hotmail calendar and I changed the default to hotmail in device default. Google still syncs to my yahoo calendar on BB and not to Hotmail.

Do I need to sync with desktop to get this working?