How To Sync Your Mac With Google

This is a guest post from the guys over at TestFreaks.com.

So, you have a shiny new, or somewhat new, MacBook Pro, and you like to use Google Calendar. But instead of whipping out your browser every time, did you know that you can easily set up your Mac to sync with Google natively? Believe it or not, there are no additional programs or scripts needed to make it happen – everything is already built in to the Mac and Google.

In fact, we have used a Mac to sync with both multiple Google calendars and the Google address book for awhile now, and in our opinion it works better than other combinations, including MobileMe. That’s just our opinion, but you can try it for yourself. Let us show you how, if you haven’t done so already.

iCal and Google Calendar

Setting up iCal to sync with one or many Google Calendars is very simple to do.

  • Simply start up iCal.
  • Then go to the Preferences tab.
  • From there, click on the Accounts tab for a listing of the current accounts iCal is being synced with.
  • Click the “+” button at the bottom left of the dialog, and you will be presented with the “Add an Account” dialog (see image below).
  • Click where it says “Account Type” and select “Google”.

Click Where It Says "Google"

  • Once you have selected “Google”, fill in the email address and password for the desired Google Calendar account you wish to sync with.
  • Then click “Create” and iCal verifies with the Google server, then adds the account with your primary calendar added to iCal.

But what if you are like a lot of people and have multiple Google calendars that you want to sync with? Well, that is simple.

  • Go back to Preferences for iCal, and click on the Accounts tab.
  • Now select “Delegation”, and you will find all of your Google calendars listed for selection, along with a listing of what privileges you have for each (see image below).
  • Select the ones you want, and the additional calendars will appear in iCal under the appropriate heading.

Select Additional Calendars

Just be sure that the calendars you want to sync with on a two-way basis are marked “Read & Write” – this is set in Google Calendars itself, and some shared calendars may be read only for your account. Once the accounts are added, you can adjust how they are synced to Google by going back to Preferences/Account. From there you can select a period from the dropdown provided (below, highlighted in red).

Select a Period from the Dropdown Provided

After this is done you should find that your Mac and Google Calendar are now synced up, and any changes from either iCal or Google Calendar directly should show up on both. This lets you access your calendar from several locations, such as your MacBook’s iCal, a desktop Mac’s iCal, a Windows machine with Outlook syncing with Google Calendar, a browser on any other machine going to Google Calendar, and your iPhone and/or iPad (if set up to work with Google Calendar). Keeping your calendar up to date was never easier!

Address Book And Google Gmail

If you like using your native Mac iCal app with Google calendar, then you might find that syncing your Mac’s Address Book with the Gmail contacts is really nice as well. You can keep things organized on your Mac, with the contacts handy in your programs, and you can access or modify them directly on the road with Gmail. And, as you may have guessed, doing this is quite simple.

  • First, fire up your Address Book and go to Preferences.
  • Click on the Accounts tab, and you will find a checkbox for syncing with Google.
  • Click the appropriate checkbox, and hit the “Configure” button (highlighted in red below).

Hit the "Configure" Button

  • When you click on the “Configure” button, you will be presented with a dialog to enter your credentials (below).
  • Enter your account and password, and click OK.

Enter Your Account Info and Password

Close the Preferences dialog, and you should be good to go. But how do you manually force Address Book to sync? After all, there is no “sync” button on the app.

Well, actually there is a button, and by default it is right on your top menu (see image below). When you want to force Address Book to sync with Google, just hit this button and you are good to go.

Sync Button

As you can see, setting up a Mac to sync with Google is quite simple, and the components are already built into Snow Leopard. All you have to do is tell iCal and Address Book that you want to sync, give it your account information, and you are practically there. And once you have the syncing in place, you will wonder how you ever made it without it, especially if you use different machines and devices. At least that is what we have discovered.

About the author: TestFreaks.com is a website that provides people with quality product reviews.

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