Friday, March 23, 2012

Syncing Multiple Google Calendars to iOS devices

With the complexity of home life increasing - our son grows up and has multiple activities, we all have doctor's appointments, fitness, travel plans, etc... - we have been using shared Google Calendars for a long time. What works well for us is:
  • Mom's and Dad's work calendars get uploaded via GoogleCalendarSync
  • We use shared Calendars for each child (daughter still too young for one), plus one for the family as a whole and one for 'Home Maintenance' things.
  • We also have a calendar for friends/family birthdays (the actual date, not any celebrations, which go into the 'family' calendar)

For some reason, one of the things left out of the configuration efforts when we both started using iPads was syncing those multiple calendars. We easily synced our main calendar and that was it... Life moves fast and sometimes 'good enough' is good enough.

Well, complexity caught up with us and now I needed to find a way to look at these alternative calendars without the hassle of opening the Google Calendar page (via Safari or a HomePage link)... I wanted to see them on the native iOS Calendar app.

It was VERY, VERY easy to do (easier than I thought), but took a little searching.

Short version is: starting from a setup that already has the main Google Calendar synced to the iOS device, just go to and choose the other calendars you wish to see. Next time you iOS calendar app syncs, either they should appear automatically or just refresh the calendar list from the 'Edit' section on the app.

I got this from Google's Help section at CalDAV Calendar Sync - Google Mobile Help. While it talks about setting up the account as CalDAV explicitly, it just worked with the 'regular' GMail account.

This is likely old news for many people, but I was pleasantly surprised. :-)