Syncing multiple Google calendars to iPhone

Reader Drew Lincoln is interested in syncing Google calendars to his iPhone. He writes:

My wife, daughter, and I have busy lives and it’s sometimes hard to know where everyone is or needs to be. I was hoping there was some way to create Google calendars for all of us and then sync those calendars to my iPhone. Is that possible?

It is. The means is Google Sync. Google provides a document aptly entitled Set Up Your Apple Device for Google Sync that provides the necessary steps. But I’ll outline them here.

First, if this hasn’t been done already, create Gmail accounts for each family member. Then, each family member should create a personal calendar and share it with other members of the family.

On all the iOS devices you wish to sync the calendars with, go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars and tap Add Account. Choose Microsoft Exchange as the type of account to set up.

Enter your Gmail address and password in the appropriate fields. Tap the Next button and a dialog box appears telling you that a certificate can’t be verified. Tap Cancel. In the resulting screen enter m.google.com in the Server field and tap the Next button at the top of the screen.

In the next screen you have the option to sync Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. To sync only calendars, flick the switch next to the Calendars entry to On and flick the Mail switch off. To keep your existing events on your iPhone, tap the Keep on My iPhone button that appears. Verify that you want to do this when the Keep on My iPhone button reappears. Tap Done at the top of the Exchange screen.

To choose the calendars to sync, launch Safari on the iOS device and travel to http://m.google.com/sync. Enter your Gmail username and password when prompted. Tap the name of your iOS device in the Manage Devices screen that appears. In the resulting Settings screen, tap on the shared calendars that you want to sync with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

Now, when you launch the Calendar app, tap the Calendars entry at the top of the screen. In the Calendars screen that appears you’ll see an entry for your Gmail Exchange account that lists all the shared calendars you’ve chosen. When someone in your family updates their Google calendar, those events will sync to your iPhone.

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