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Busted-arse Apple Mobile Me Calendar forced onto me.com users

Got this email from Apple’s Me.com service today;

from MobileMe <MobileMe@insideapple.apple.com>
date Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 13:02
subject Upgrade to the new MobileMe Calendar by May 5, 2011

Upgrade to the new MobileMe Calendar by May 5, 2011

Dear MobileMe member:

On May 5, 2011, MobileMe will transition completely to the new Calendar service that we launched in October. The new MobileMe Calendar includes calendar sharing, invitations, and a new Calendar web application. To maintain calendar syncing between your devices and to continue accessing your calendar at me.com, you must upgrade to the new Calendar by May 5, 2011. Please follow these instructions to complete the upgrade …

This is a total deal breaker for me.

I “upgraded” to the new calendar when I got my iPhone 4 because it promised me over-the-air calendar syncing from my iPhone. A useful feature. But then I discovered my Google calendars were no longer being synced to my Mac (and thence to my iPhone) via Spanning Sync. I use Spanning Sync on my Mac to sync from my iCal on the Mac to Google calendars. From iCal it gets to and from the iPhone via iTunes sync. We use Gmail at work too, so I can share my work calendar to my personal Google account and vice-versa. Thus on my Mac, my iPhone and both my Google accounts, I’ve got a completely unified view of my calendaring world. If that appointment ain’t in my calendar, it doesn’t exist as far as I’m concerned.

And along comes Apple with their “upgraded” me.com service:

Third-party calendar plug-ins, calendar clients, and non-Apple  devices are not supported.

The iCal/me.com “upgrade” made the calendars on iCal unwriteable by Spanning Sync (or any other program on the Mac). In effect, calendar changes I was making on Google – and as that’s where my email goes to, that’s the calendar I use most – weren’t appearing locally or on my iPhone. The Spanning Sync developer confirmed this is due to the Apple Sync Services locking them out of writing Calendar events into the “upgraded” iCal. Google may eventually supporting importing the calendar from me.com into Google but I don’t see how that cures the problem of writing calendar entries from Google (i.e. accepting and creating appointments in Gmail).

My solution was simple. I downgraded my me.com to use the old format, re-hooked everything back up in Spanning Sync, and everything is back to hunky-dory. The only downside of going back to the old calendar format is that I had to go back to performing a sync with iTunes from my iPhone in order to get updates to and from the phone, rather than it being able to work “over the air”.

As far as I am concerned the “new” me.com/iCal calendar system so broken, that I will discontinue the Me.com service rather than use it. Basically, if Apple force me to choose Gmail or me.com — Google wins. I┬áthink Apple are increasingly being blinded by their little blinkers of everyone-works-with-our-complete-stack way of thinking their are in danger of becoming Microsoft.

So Fuck You Too, Me.com.

One Comment

  1. I have exactly the same feeling. Even posted a note in http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2785672&tstart=0

    I used to share my calendar via Spanning Sync + GCal with my wife, my secretary and a partner that have a PC. Now Apple wants me to buy individual $100 MobileMe accounts for each of them? Come on…

    The good news I have found in you post is that I can downgrade to the old calendar. I’ll do that and and another alternative to manage my calendar without MobileMe.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 11:31 | Permalink