Tag Archives: iphone

OS 3, CalDav: update

In addition to Shep’s helpful comment, right after I posted my last entry I discovered that the settings at m.google.com/sync apply to the Exchange sync. Apparently the Exchange sync worked in OS 2.2, so there was no reason to upgrade at all, if I had just known that.

Of course, there are some nice additional features that I got, and it was only $10, but it’s rather irritating to me that I have to set up 10 different accounts to sync my 10 different Google calendars. That seems odd, to say the least.

Anyways, perhaps this is an enhancement that will come along shortly. Meanwhile, I’ll probably just keep using the Exchange connector.

OS 3.0 and CalDAV

I had one single motivation for upgrading my iPod Touch to OS 3.0 – CalDAV. According to very vague reports I had read before, it would “support CalDAV”, although the actual explanations of what that meant varied somewhat.

But iCal on the Mac started supporting CalDAV – actually allowing editing of CalDAV calendars – a while back, so I figured maybe the iPod/iPhone would too. And, hey, it’s only $10.

I found several conflicting instructions on how to configure CalDAV for Google Calendars. The best ones were here and here, suggesting that you set it up either as an Exchange account or a CalDAV account. While CalDAV seems more probable, the one that says to do it as Exchange is at Google. Weird.

Also, if you go to m.google.com/sync on your iPhone, you get a thing that lets you select which of your calendars you wish to connect to.

So far, sounds pretty good.

Yes, I said “which of your calendars.” I have a dozen calendars on my Google calendar account, because I share calendars with several people. It’s the only way to fly. But the iPhone seems to assume that I’ve only got one. As far as I can tell, it is syncing quite happily with one, but the other ones are being entirely ignored, despite what I configured on m.google.com.

Is this expected? I vaguely remember reading somewhere that I’d have to create a “new account” for each calendar, but that’s so completely ludicrous that I must have misunderstood, right? In that case, why would there be this tool at Google for saying what calendars I want to sync?

I *think* I have it set up right now, but now m.google.com says that my iPod hasn’t sync’ed since yesterday at 15:46, so … apparently something is still not set up right.

So. Frustrating.

iPhone ToDo Apps – Things

By the way, I did try Things. It is indeed very slick, but the $60 price tags – $50 for the service and $10 for the iPhone app – seems a little steep. In fact, Things looks like almost exactly what I’m looking for. The UI is great, and it looks like it does exactly what I want it to do. But I’m not really willing to spend $60 to find out if it does what I want.

What I really need is a gig where people pay me to to comparative reviews of products, so that I can get them for free. You know, like Skippy.

iPhone ToDo Apps

My biggest disappointment with the iPod Touch has been the lack of a usable ToDo application. The main thing that I used my Palm for was always to keep track of tasks, as well as shopping lists, lists of books I wanted to read, and other things that fit the general category of ToDo lists.

It’s pretty simple to write a ToDo list application, and it seems very strange to me that Apple has never done a decent job of this. There’s a tasks thingy built into iCal, but it is almost worthless, and I’ve never been able to figure out how to use it as an actual task manager. And it doesn’t sync usefully with the iPhone/iPod software.

Over the last week I’ve been evaluating some of the available ToDo applications for the iPhone. My requirements are simple:

1) Synchronizes with the iPhone
2) Has a desktop component (web application is fine, too)
3) Allows me to share a list of tasks with someone else

#3 is less important – more of a nice-to-have than a requirement. The other two are essential.

Surprisingly, the pool is very shallow. I quickly narrowed it down to just two candidates – Remember The Milk and ReQall.

I tried RTM for about a half day, and found the process of marking a task completed was just too darned hard. It was 3 or 4 steps. I want to check a box. I had to select the item, click edit, scroll down, mark it completed, and save it. Way too much work if I’m just trying to mark off a shopping list while I push the cart.

ReQall looks like it might be the one I end up with, but rather than being hard to mark a task done, it make it hard to create the task in the first place. It’s got clever syntax interpretation, so that I can say “buy coke” and it knows from the word “buy” that it’s supposed to go on my shopping list. But that means that I have to type “buy” 48 times when I’m making the grocery list, rather than just selecting the grocery list and adding items.

I’m not sure why this has to be so difficult, when Palm did such a good job of this more than ten years ago.

Item 3 – the ability to share a list with someone else – I’ve had no luck with at all. I thought it would be a simple requirement, but apparently it’s hard. I just wanted a way for my wife and me to build a shopping list collaboratively, and then either one of us would have that list whenever we went to the store. Perhaps someone from one of those two companies can implement this before my 90 day trial runs out – or however long it is.

Anyways, for the moment, I’ll be sticking with ReQall, just because it’s so much easier to check off the shopping list. Marking something complete is the most satisfying part of having a list, and so that action needs to be simple. This is fundamental ToDo list UI dogma. If you don’t get that point, I’m not sure I want to use your application.