Google Apps & iCloud Side by Side

A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook about my desire to get Google Apps and iCloud to work in tandem on my Apple devices, specifically an iPhone, iPad and iMac (my MacBook is still on Snow Leapard and doesn’t yet have its head in the iClouds).

Previously I’d attempted to use both my Gmail account and MobileMe account on my computers. Perhaps I just set stuff up wrong, or perhaps the difference between MobileMe and iCloud is sufficient enough that the previous attempt to work with both Google and Apple was an unmitigated disaster. This time it worked smoothly.

I must clarify that I am not attempting to “merge” data across the two cloud services. That was the problem before. I couldn’t find a way to use both Gmail/Calendar and MobileMe services side by side with out them trying to merge data. The result was dublicated and lost data. It really sucked, and I’ve still not recovered all the contacts that were lost.

Both iOS and Lion make adding GMail accounts (and Calendar, etc.) a snap. After putting in my church Google Apps account info I selected which Google services I wanted to use (Gmail and Calendar) and voila! they’re in. On the calendar I did have to tell it to also pull the Google Cal delegates, but that’s no big deal.

I’m not techie enough to say what’s different or why. Before when I added Google, it tried to sync both my google calendars and address book with my MobileMe data and that backfired big time. This time, it just works beside the iCloud stuff. In fact, google address book isn’t even pushed to my devices. When I create calendar items I stipulate which calendar its to go into. My personal and family calendars are on iCloud and my church calendars are on Google. It’s quite easy and painless.

That’s it.

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