Synchronize contacts and calendar between Linux, Mac OS X, iPhone and Nokia

Synchronize contacts and calendar between Linux, Mac OS X, iPhone and Nokia

September 7, 2010 10:01 0 comments
 
10 Kudos
Don't
move!

Yeah!
Are you wondering if there’s a way to do such a thing? Yes, there is.
It’s a bit complicated, but not-so-much complicated, and here’s a definitive solution for your problem.

Let’s start saying that I managed to do that using Google Contacts (this link is a bit messy, you can reach a similar page through gMail’s homepage and by clicking “Contacts” on the left sidebar) and Google Calendar. Of course you’ll need a gMail account otherwise everything explained below won’t work.
Second thing I use a Nokia E52 that’s running Symbian 3rd FP2 that I am sure it supplies a Synchronize application that I can find in MenuControl panelPhoneSynchronization (this is a bare translation from Italian, that’s my native language: MenuPannello di controlloTelefonoSincronizzazione.
Third requirement is an account on Goosync. It’s completely free and you need to do that only if you’re going to sync the calendar. Yeah, you got it right: you don’t need Goosync if you’re going to sync only your contacts.

Well, I think we are all set: let’s start configuring those.

First of all make sure you have a backup of your contacts/agenda. That’s important because it’s aleatory the fact that the data are going to be pulled from the server rather than pushed. If the latter occurs, you’re busted.
Once your contacts are ready and set, you can sync those between the system using:

Linux / Mac OS X
Thunderbird: Use Zindus as I wrote in my previous blogpost
Mutt: Use Goobook

Mac OS X
Mail: Open the Address Book application and, in preferences, set to sync your account data using a Google account

iPhone
Just sync it with iTunes. Unfortunately I don’t know if there’s a “mobile” solution, never dug too much into it.

Nokia
Open the Synchronization application I reported above. Create a new profile and name it as you like, let’s say Google.
Then issue the following parameters:

  • Server version: 1.2
  • Server ID: Google
  • Data transport type: Internet
  • Network connection: As you wish (you can use WiFi or 3g, it’s up to you).
  • Host address: https://m.google.com/syncml
  • Port: 443
  • Username: your_gmail_account_@_gmail_dot_com
  • Password: I think you know that
  • Sync type: Both ways

Than, in address book settings (inside the application, don’t quit it), choose

  • Phone database: C:Contacts.db (but before modifying it please have a test with the default setting)
  • Address book database: contacts

Please double check your settings and make sure that you’ve entered then as I wrote: they are case-sensitive

Once your settings are working, please be aware of the following thing: sync works both ways but it’s not 100% reliable. In fact, sometimes, might happen that you delete a contact, it reappears because you had it in your address book on some old machine and then you have to delete that again. Or it may happen that there are conflicts you have to fix.
It’s not to scare the hell out of you, it’s just to say that it’s better if you keep a backup somewhere safe before doing invasive operation on those.

That’s fine, let’s move forward to the Calendar.

It works like the previous one, except that I haven’t tried to find a solution on Linux, yet.
So, let’s signup to Goosync and, if you follow the instructions on their site, you don’t need to issue the following stuff: it’s enough for you to switch profile to the new Goosync.com (in the same Synchronization application).
However, for the manual kind-of-guy (like me), create a new profile and name it as you like.
Enter the following parameters:

  • Server version: 1.2
  • Server ID: SyncWiseEnterprise
  • Data transport type: Internet
  • Network connection: As you wish (you can use WiFi or 3g, it’s up to you).
  • Host address: http://sync2.goosync.com
  • Port: 80
  • Username: your_goosync_username_here
  • Password: your_password_on_goosync
  • Sync type: Both ways

and, again, go to the Calendar settings and set the database to Calendar.

For what concerns Mac OS X, it’s enough for you to use iCal and, in the preferences, create an account and point it to the Google Calendar account. Make sure you deselect all the local calendars or you’re going to freak out.
iPhone applies to the same rule aforementioned: use iTunes and sync everything with it.

As you have might already understand, the limits given by this solution are:

  • You have to manually sync the data on the phone: good for people that don’t want the phone to start sending data while they’re outside, bad for people that commit a lot of changes to their contact’s list or have tons of appointments.
  • You have to manually switch between the two profiles: pain in the ass for the same above reasons. Of course you can buy a Premium account at Goosync website and then you can share contacts and calendar using the same profile.