Here's my setup:
- Phone: HTC 8525 using Windows Mobile 6.1, Microsoft Active Sync.
- Desktop: Windows 7, Outlook 2007, Microsoft Active Sync, Google Calendar Sync.
- Google: Google Apps Premier for email, contacts, file storage, and calendaring.
The setup to integrate Google calendar online with my desktop:COMPUTER
Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar Sync <-----> Internet <-----> Google Calendar
The setup to integrate Google calendar and contacts with my PDA:PDA
WM6.1, Microsoft Active Sync <----> Wi-Fi <-----> Google Calendar & Contacts
To synchronize my Google calendar & contacts with my Windows Mobile phone, I use Microsoft Active Sync (already installed on my phone) over Wi-Fi. This process was tricky to get working. After pulling my hair out for a few hours, I read on the Google help site that tasks will not sync and attempting to do so will cause errors. So after I unchecked the "tasks" box on my phone I was able to get both my contacts and calendars to sync just fine.
Use Google's server m.google.com for the "Exchange Server", your email address is the user name. Here are the instructions. **Remember, do NOT sync "Tasks".
How to deal with contacts:
I'm still unable to get my contacts to sync directly from Google to my desktop's Outlook. I've used the Google Apps Sync utility, but it gave me headaches so I decided not to use it. I don't want to sync email but the Google Apps Sync program creates a mail account anyways. I am really annoyed by this.
To synchronize my contacts on all devices:
- Sync phone to Google Apps over Wi-Fi using Microsoft Active Sync.
- Connect phone to desktop via USB. Use Microsoft Active Sync.
For my desktop, I use Outlook configured with an IMAP account. Again, I am able to do this because I registered for their premier Google Apps Service. On my PDA, I use the Gmail website over Wi-Fi.
Google DocsAs for Google Docs, uploading files was a pain but worth it now I'm done. I love being able to access my files from all of my computers. I no longer have 5 different versions stored in as many locations. This is freedom for me.
OffiSync is a cool utility I installed on my desktop which allows me to save files created in MS Office directly to Google Apps. They have a free trial version, but I think you need to have Premier Google Apps in order for it to work. I could be wrong on this. This tool is very necessary for enterprise use of cloud computing.
I'm still getting things worked out but it's a great start so far.
The ability to create groups will be helpful for setting up a permission structure. Will Google Apps be used for enterprise computing in academia? Eventually. For small research groups the current version will work out just fine. The uploading of files will have to be streamlined in order for it to be used more widely on the administrative side. I'm sure this will be improved in the near future. I would love a WebDAV version of Google Docs to mount the Google directory as a Windows share.
Here's the rundown on the sync toys I used:
- Microsoft Active Sync - Great to sync PDA directly with online data. Also used to sync PDA with desktop connected with a USB cable.
- Google Calendar Sync - I like this utility. Easy to setup. Links my desktop Outlook to Google. You can adjust the timer to connect regularly and update appointments.
- Google Apps Sync - I really didn't like this, but it has potential. It's an all-in-one utility to sync email, contacts, and calendar between your desktop and Google accounts.
- OffiSync - I like this one too. This utillity allows you to save your documents to Google Docs when you do a "Save-As" in Word & Excel.