Friday, September 22, 2006
Mac OS X Integration with Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a popular Web 2.0 application. I have switched from using Entourage as my primary calendar to using Google Calendar and iCal with Mail.app. My system seems to be running more smoothly without Entourage with fewer sync foul-ups. Since publication from Google Calendar is a one-way process I use iCal simply as a mechanism to synchronize multiple calendars with my cell phone. I found some drawbacks in using GCal and so have created a few AppleScripts to simplify data entry from Mail.app and the Apple Address Book. Last week in my Blog, which was also picked up by SysCon's Web 2.0 Journal here, I mentioned that I was close to finishing a utility that uploads iCal files to Google Calendar. I use this utility because Gmail is not my primary email and I receive calendar bookings from Outlook/Exchange users. This utility is now ready. You can find it here. While working on this utility I also took the opportunity to implement an update to the Address Book Scripts that I announced in an earlier blog here. The new version of the Address Book Scripts ( available here) allow you to add a meeting booking if you ctrl-click on an address in the Address Book. If you Ctrl-Click on a phone entry it will insert a telephone call booking in Google Calendar instead. The iCal to Google Import Utility is designed for use with Apple's Mail.app. You can configure a mail rule to run the AppleScript when processing your inbox. If you place the script in your Library/Scripts folder you can also run it by selecting a message in any folder in mail and running the script from the script menu item. The script looks at mail attachments and if it finds a file ending with .ics it will interpret it to select the Vcalendar details and use these to create an event booking in Google Calendar. One requirement for all of these scripts is that you have already logged in to Google Calendar. These scripts are still evolving. Try them out and let me have your feedback.
Posted by Mark Scrimshire at 5:37 PM