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Stay Connected to Google with CardDAV and CalDAV

On January 30, Google ended support for a Microsoft technology, Exchange ActiveSync, many Apple iPhone users employed to synchronize their phones with your Google Calendar and Contacts. New accounts and reset phones reconnecting to Google services must use a different connection technology.

This post will step you through the simple process of using CardDAV and CalDAV to sync with your Contacts and Calendar, respectively. One benefit of CalDAV over ActiveSync is support for calendar colors when your account is set up to view other calendars (like a friends, significant other, or group calendar).

The steps mention iPhone, but they will work for iPad and iPod touch.

Set up CardDAV for Google Contacts:

Account Choices

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down a bit and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add New Account…
  4. Tap Other.
  5. Under Contacts, tap Add CardDAVAccount.
  6. Fill in the form with the following information:
    Server: google.com
    Username: Your Google email address
    Password: Your Google account password
    Description: Enter a meaningful name for the account such as Google Contacts
  7. Tap Next.

 

The iPhone should sync with the account and populate the iOS Contacts app with your Google Contacts.

Set up CalDAV for Google Calendar (if you did the CardDAV setup, this will be familiar):

Add Account Settings

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down a bit and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add New Account…
  4. Tap Other.
  5. Under Calendars, tap Add CalDAV Account.
  6. Fill in the form with the following information:
    Server: google.com
    Username: Your Google email address
    Password: Your Google account password
    Description: Enter a meaningful name for the account such as Google Calendar
  7. Tap Next.

The iPhone should sync with the account and populate the iOS Calendar with Google Calendar events.

T-Mobile. No Contracts Sound Good, But…

[This post was written March 25, 2013; the day before T-Mobile holds its March 26 event.]

T-Mobile Logo

T-Mobile is expected to announce no annual contracts and unlimited services. This sounds great, but here is the other side of the coin: The phones will likely NOT be subsidized.

So you are left to do the math. Does paying $450 or more for the latest phone up front and then saving month-to-month create a savings for you? Or does a subsidized phone and relatively lower monthly rates with a 2-year contract make better sense?

It appears T-Mobile will allow you to make payments on buying your phone, so that might help the initial hit to your wallet. And we have yet to see the monthly rates with unsubsidized phones.

T-Mobile’s strategy is something only a scrappy, third place carrier could implement. And Verizon and AT&T are watching the market closely to how people react. If it’s anything less than torches and pitchforks, they will do the same very soon. Carriers hate subsidizing phones, especially the Samsung Galaxy S and Apple iPhone devices.

It looks like consumers have more choices and more decisions to make.

UPDATE March 27: I did the math. When adding up devices and services similar to what I have and will want, the total is about the same as what I’m paying my current wireless carrier.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication for your Apple ID

This is important!

Your Apple ID isn’t just for your Contacts and Calendar in iCloud, it holds your personal and credit card information. It also allows purchasing content from iTunes. If someone with malicious intent gets your password changed, then you could be facing a lot of trouble and inconvenience.

Two-factor authentication offers real protection against this threat. It uses something you know (but that a thief can get) and something you have (most thieves won’t be able to get both). So please consider implementing this for your own Apple ID account.

Rather than create a mediocre guide, I’m linking to perfection. iMore offers a terrific step-by-step guide to implement this solid level of protection. iMore is a great resource for Apple rumors and tutorials.

Visit iMore*

* One important thing missing from the iMore guide is that Apple mandates a waiting period of 3 days to complete the process. This allows time for Apple to send messages to email addresses on your account. This is good just in case it’s not you implementing the Two-Step Verification.

Tip: Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in iOS

iOS Keyboard

If you have an iOS device and tried to type even a simple message, then you’ve met the quirky AutoCorrect feature in it. You might have been frustrated by it, as well. But did you know you can take control of it and use it to your advantage?

Custom Keyboard Shortucts

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General. Scroll down a bit and tap Keyboard.
  3. Scroll down to Shortcuts to review existing shortcuts.
  4. Tap Add New Shortcut… to create a new shortcut.

By default, iOS has a shortcut where typing “omw” will change to the phrase “On my way!”

When creating a shortcut, type out the complete phrase (or word) you want, then type the shortcut that will trigger it.

Here are a few ideas.:

Shortcut: pnc
Phrase: Pat & Chris

Shortcut: mym
Phrase: myemail@example.com

Shortcut: myp
Phrase: 714.555.1212

Go Beyond Simple Passcode on iPhone

If you wish you were able to have a five-, six-, or 20-digit numeric code to unlock your iPhone, then you’re in luck. With an innovative implementation of the alpha-numeric passcode, you can create a numeric passcode of any length.

Advanced Numeric Passcode

  1. Go to Settings/General/Passcode Lock.
  2. Turn on the Passcode Lock on if it isn’t already.
  3. Tap the toggle for Simple Passcode to Off. If you have an existing code, you will be asked to enter it.
  4. Tap the keyboard key in the lower left corner to toggle to the numeric/special characters keyboard.
  5. Use on the number keys to enter a numeric code, then tap Next.
  6. Re-enter the numeric code again (after you change to the numeric keyboard), then tap Done.

When you wake up your iPhone, your Passcode screen should look something like this.