What is the best way to share in sync a calendar between a Windows desktop and Apple iOS devices? That’s the question I been trying to answer. So far, I have figured out most of that queston. My wife and I both have iPhones and iPads. When I originally set them up, I made a choice between Google and Apple. Since it is helpful to have your calendar with you, and our mobile devices are Apple devices, I chose iCloud. Probably a mistake. It’s been hit and miss.
I haven’t had a problem using iCloud to sync contacts. On my Windows 7 desktop, I installed the Windows iCloud control panel (version 2.1.1). Unfortunately it doesn’t play nice with Outlook 2013. (more Office 2013 grief) Every time I run it I get an error from Microsoft Outlook saying that Office has run into an error, needs to close, and would like to repair itself. Oh joy.
I need to see my exchange server calendars from work, I have Google calendars, my buggy iCloud calendars, and the calendar in Outlook 2013. The problem with the iCloud calendar is that our shared iCloud calendars on our iOS mobile devices are not updating iCloud. The calendar notice only appears on the local mobile device. Creating the calendar notice in iCloud from a browser interface will push the calendar notice down to the mobile devices, but that’s not very helpful if you’re not in front of your computer.
The Google calendar and tasks sync up fine with the mobile devices and vice a versa. It makes me think that android devices are the wave of the future. But for now, I need an IOS solution. I was about to switch over to Google when I remembered I have this fine new little Synology NAS. My iOS devices support CalDAV. In the control panel in the Synology box you can set up CalDAV calendars in the WebDAV menu. Ooooooo…
I set it up. It works really well. Going forward I’m going to lose the iCloud calendars. While it is reported that Windows phone will support CalDAV and CardDAV, Outlook 2013 does not. Really Microsoft? Mozzila Sunbird is an open source calendar with a windows version that will sync to the CalDAV calendar on the Synology box. The instructions can be found here.
To set up a Synology hosted CalDAV calendar in an iOS device:
In Settings, select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
Under Accounts, select Add Account.
Under server, enter the domain name you have chosen from your DDNS provider. (I use no-IP)
Enter the username and passwords of the people you’ve given read/write rights on the shared folder where you created your shared CalDAV calendar in your Synology NAS.
I recommend, you use SSL over HTTPS, so if you’re running behind a router like most home users are, you have to port forward 5006 to your Synology NAS.
The account URL will be https://yourddnsname.com:5006/Cal (if your CalDAV calendar is stored in a shared folder you named /Cal). You do not need to add the name of the calendar (i.e. /Cal/myfamily).
Now I need a battery backup for my NAS.…