Mobile (cell) phone for sync with google calendar without a phone data tariff?
June 18, 2009 1:46 AM   Subscribe

Advice on a new phone please. Main criteria are (1) needing to be able to add calendar events while out and about and (2) being about to sync the phone calendar with Google Calendar when I get home. Can it be done?

My old SonyEricsson P910i keeps going ditsy and failing to find any signal so I need to replace it. It's great for adding calendar events (handwriting recognition on its touchscreen) and then I can sync these with Outlook on my computer at home (though not Google Calendar as it's such an old version of Outlook).

Out of the millions of phones out there, there must be one where I can:

1. Add items to the phone's internal calendar (ie not into google calendar via web access on the phone, as I don't want to have to pay for this) when I'm out and about - hardware keyboard, onscreen keyboard, handwriting recognition all OK
2. Add items to google calendar whenever I'm at a computer
3. Sync the two via a USB cable (not via web access on the phone - see above) when I'm at my home computer and have things sync'ed in both directions.


Bonus points for a phone that's:

1. available on PAYG (I don't make a lot of calls) in the UK
2. Won't cost the earth

I don't mind which network it's on - I have no particular loyalty to my current PAYG provider.
posted by monster max to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take a look at Goosync. It will allow you to sync a wide range of phones with Google Calendar. You can sync your contacts, too.
posted by Nick Jordan at 2:11 AM on June 18, 2009

Goosync requires direct web access from the phone (contraty to point 3).

I have also been looking for this for a while for my basic (non-symbian) Nokia 6131.

If you have Outlook on your PC, Nokia's PC suite syncs with it, and Google also syncs with it, so in theory you could use outlook as an intermediary. PC Suite is free and supports pretty much any nokia ('smartphone' or not), and operates over bluetooth or USB.

If you don't have outlook (like me!), then a one-way solution is to sync to Vista's calendar, then export it as ICS, then import it into google... This works but as it is one-way, it is not very useful, and is too much like hard work!

Scheduleworld normally syncs between your phone and google via direct web access like goosync, but it can also - in theory - sync via bluetooth thus avoiding data charges. However it is a subscription service now ($25/yr). I used it while it was in incubation, and it worked well enough via the on-line sync, but I could never get bluetooth sync to work.

For s60 'smart' phones, Google have released a sync app, but again this is direct web access from the phone, and S60 phones can be pricey...

In summary, I have been looking for the same thing for my Nokia for some time, and will probably end up paying for goosync+data access...
posted by nielm at 3:37 AM on June 18, 2009

Nuevasync via any of these devices:

Apple iPhone® with 2.0 or later software, iPhone® 3G and iPod® touch 2.0 or later
Windows Mobile® based PDAs and smartphones
Nokia S60 series smartphones

You don't have to use the carrier's network to do it, you can use your home wifi.
posted by bigmusic at 4:46 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ok, so in case you don't know, google has recently added all this functionality as part of their regular service package, able to sync with just about anything...smartphones, symbians, and the iphone.

It currently will sync calendar and contacts, they're working on tasks.

It's super duper easy to setup, on any smartphone you just set it up as an exchange server via activesync. Seriously it takes maybe 2 minutes if you're a slow texter.

What I do is hand input most calendar events via gcal, and then the next time it syncs (For me, set to 2 hours), they're there. It even grabs your reminder timers and whatnot, locations, etc.

It's super crazy hawt because now that you can merge contacts in gmail, you maybe have just a contacts number in your phone but their email in your gmail, now you've got both...and adding the rest of their info either place puts it both places.

I used to use GooSync, and now I have no need for it. With the google sync option, you can do unlimited calendars, etc.

GoogleSync linkage.

I have an LG Incite Smartphone, and it works a charm--via data package, wifi, or sync cable.

(Secret bonus for the Incite and lots of WinMo 6.1 phones is that you can tether them w/o a tether plan from ATT. Shh.)
posted by TomMelee at 5:21 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Excellent suggestions, thanks very much - especially the point about wifi, which hadn't occurred to me as my soon-to-be-replaced phone is pre-wifi... (And clockwork-powered, clearly...) And of course whenever I'm at home and sitting next to my PC and wanting to sync my phone, I'll - of course - have a wifi signal! (D'oh!)
posted by monster max at 3:35 PM on June 18, 2009

Oops, little clarification. If you want to sync via USB, I *think* you'll have to go gCal to Outlook via XML import, then use ActiveSync to grab the info to the smartphone from outlook. could just use wifi. Just be advised that LOTS of smartphones WANT you to have a data package and DO NOT default to Wi-Fi, even when it's on. In fact, on my Incite, I had to specifically turn OFF the ATT proxy to use Wi-Fi for browser use.
posted by TomMelee at 9:47 PM on June 18, 2009

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