How to sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts

February 10, 2011 by · 39 Comments 

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and you use Google’s services (Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts) the video below will walk you step-by-step through the best way to sync all your data seamlessly with your Apple Device. Although these devices have a built in Gmail option it has some major limitations – specifically it doesn’t offer the ability to sync contacts over the air and limits you to one primary calendar.

I have tried several different ways and found  Google Sync (which acts like a Microsoft Exchange connector) works great.  I used it for years on my iPod Touch and now that I’m the proud owner of a new Verizon iPhone 4 (I am stoked) I used this same method to keep my iPhone and Google services perfectly in sync. One of the great features is that it lets you sync multiple Google Calendars (up to 25). That means when you create a new appointment in the calendar on your iPhone you can add it to any of the Google calendars you have access to (your own or any shared calendars).

Watch my video below and follow along with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as I show you how to sync your mail, contacts, and multiple Google calendars with your Apple device so you can send/receive mail, schedule appointments, and call any of your contacts from anywhere – instantly.  Now that’s The Anywhere Office in action!

Note that Google Sync is only supported on iOS versions 3.0 and above. You can check your current version by going to Settings > General > About > Version. If your business, school, or organization uses Google Apps, your administrator will first need to enable Google Sync before you can take advantage of this feature.

If you prefer written instructions Google provides them here but I figured it would be easier to follow along as you watch the steps in this video.

These steps work great if you are using your Gmail address as your primary email address.  If you prefer to send mail from your Gmail account (and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) using your own domain (ie I send email from @theanywhereoffice.com) then you will want to check out my next article and video where I’ll walk you through how to change the mail setupIt’s tricky but I found a way to get it to work so stay tuned!

(BTW all the video of me configuring the iPhone was actually shot with the video camera on another iPhone – how cool is that!)

How to Downgrade your iPod Touch or iPhone from iOS4 to 3.12/3.13

July 16, 2010 by · 10 Comments 

Downgrade your iPhone or iPod Touch from iOS4 to OS 3.13If you’re like me, and apparently many others, after installing iOS4 for your iPod Touch or iPhone you were less than impressed.  Well after several weeks, and a few tries, I’ve successfully removed iOS4 from my iPod Touch 2G and downgraded/reinstalled the previous OS 3.12 (more on why it’s not 3.13 in a bit).  Read on and I’ll explain how you can do the same on your device to solve problems such as battery drain, sluggishness, and crashing.

I’ve always been someone who jumps on upgrades for software pretty much as soon as they come out.  I also try a lot of beta software – friends, colleagues, clients, and readers of this blog have come to trust  me to “test it all out” and then report back on what are the best programs, devices, and technology available.  I have to say however it was a mistake for me to upgrade my iPod Touch 2G to iOS4 the day it came out. I should have waited a few days and read about what others were experiencing as it would have saved me a lot of problems.

I was really excited about the new features in iOS4 and you have heard me mention here on this blog before that my iPod Touch has pretty much been my favorite piece of technology for the last few years.  It’s amazing and it just works – I travel without my laptop a lot more these day thanks to this handy little device.  In fact it has essentially acted as an Apple gateway drug making me want to switch from a PC to a MAC.

But my wonderful, joyful piece of technology was no longer bringing me as much joy after upgrading the firmware/software from 3.13 to iOS4. As it turns out many of the new features I was excited about (multitasking and screen rotation lock) were not supported on my older device. But worse was that the addition of persistent wi-fi when the device goes into sleep/standby mode was killing my battery.  Even when it was off in my pocket what used to last a few days was out of juice by the middle of a single day.  UNACCEPTABLE! Read more

Are We Entering the Era of Mobile Video Chat?

June 28, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

It’s clear that video is booming on the web.  Video sharing sites like YouTube and portable camcorders like the Flip have exploded.  Also, as I’ve discussed in previous blog articles and in the recent Businessweek Video Webcast – video conferencing is growing in leaps and bounds.

I’ve seen significant growth in the desktop video conferencing space with services like Skype, Tokbox, and ooVoo being used for everything from virtual meetings and remote collaboration to friends and family keeping in touch.   Thanks to the increase in broadband and wi-fi people can meet face-to-face virtually from almost anywhere.

Well now it looks like video chat/conferencing is about to get even more mobile.   Last week Apple released the iPhone 4 which includes a forward facing camera and a built in program called FaceTime that allows video chatting from iPhone to iPhone.  Also Sprint released the EVO 4G which also includes a front-facing camera and the QIK video chat software. It seems like the natural next step . . .

There is no mistaking that the time is ripe to get into the mobile video chatting game. It is already big enough with tools from Skype, Google (Talk) and others, and it’s only going to get bigger. There are already millions of notebook owners in the mix, and when you add what is likely going to be millions of smartphone and tablet owners, the potential market for video chat offerings is going to be huge.

via Is a Mobile Video Chat Revolution Imminent?.

I’m sure these two phones are only the start of this trend.  In fact you can be sure that once Apple starts to push this envelope others will be soon to follow – much the way that the iPhone invigorated the smartphone market and the iPad has woken up the sleeping tablet market.  I’m still shocked that the iPad didn’t include a camera on it for video chats – but I’m almost certain the next generation will include that feature.  In fact it’s Read more

iPhone OS 4.0: Big Productivity Benefits

May 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

I love my iPod Touch! I got it over a year and a half ago and it is still my favorite piece of technology (along with my Flip video camera).

In fact, it’s probably one of the main reasons for me planning to switch from a PC to a Mac soon.  I don’t have to troubleshoot it, almost never reboot it, it doesn’t get hung up or give me dll errors – the damn thing just works – and it’s FUN!

When they released the 3.0 OS upgrade for it last year I was really stoked for a few of the features – but mostly for the copy and paste.  That was a huge productivity booster.  Well this summer I have OS 4.0 to look forward too and once again there will be some big time savers. Here is a look at some of the main new features:

iPhone OS 4.0: The Web Working Benefits

This time around I think it’s the folders to group my apps into that will bring me the biggest boost.  I download lots of apps to test (which I’ll be reviewing soon here on the blog) and tons of games for my son.  The quick search they introduced in 3.0 made finding things a lot easier – but being able to group related apps together will be sweet! Also the new multitasking looks great but I will have to see how it’s implemented.

Are you an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad user? What are you most looking forward to in the new OS or what features/functions do you wish Apple would add? Post a comment below and let me know.

Mobile Web Will Rule by 2015 (maybe sooner)

May 24, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

It’s no surprise with all the ads you see for iPhones, iPads, Blackberry’s, and Android phones that accessing the web on mobile devices is a growing trend. I probably spend a good 1/3 or more of my time on the internet using my iPod Touch rather than my laptop to search Google, view websites, and connect with people on Twitter.

This article shares some eye-opening stats and graphs from Morgan Stanley analysts showing the most important online trends:

Mobile Web Will Rule by 2015

Here are a few highlights:

  • Video accounts for 69% of mobile data traffic.
  • Facebook is the single largest repository for user-generated content such as pics, videos, links and comments.
  • Apple and Android platforms are gaining in the mobile OS market, while Windows Mobile, RIM and Palm decline. Read more

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