Google Sync + iPhone = Don’t Bother

Update: A bunch of this stuff has been fixed by either Google or Apple with OS3 for the iPhone. I’m using Google Sync now and love it.

I had a warm fuzzy feeling when I saw Google announce that they’d licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft to offer push-based calendar and contact sync on the iPhone (and other devices). I tried to get it set up yesterday, and it was a monumental waste of time. Here’s what’s broken (for me):

  1. Calendar Sync replaces any integration with iCal.
    That means that if you have multiple accounts (like say $WORK and $HOME) on Google, you can only sync one.
  2. Calendar Sync blows away alarms set on repeating appointments.
    This was the biggest non-starter for me. If I can’t set an alarm on an appointment, there’s almost no reason to have the appointment.
  3. Contact Sync loses all sorts of information
    Google doesn’t support a true first name, middle, last name tuple, so it gets consolidated in odd ways. Google doesn’t support near the level of rich contact information that Address Book on the Mac does.
  4. Contact Sync replaces any integration with AddressBook
  5. And the “sync contacts with Google” option in AddressBook is horribly broken. It lost a good number of my contacts, I’m guessing because I had multiple entries with the same email address? No error, just refused to sync them.

So, back to SpanningSync for me. It works well and the developers are very responsive to help requests. You can even save $5 on it (and make me $5) if you use this link.