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Looks like iPod Touch/iPhone still has work to do on Calendaring functionality, too bad too

Feb 25

Written by:
Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:00 PM  RssIcon

FREAK'N FRUSTRATEDMy new iPod Touch seemed to good to be true.  My problems with Calendering reared their ugly head again tonight.  Read on for more details.

FREAK'N FRUSTRATEDYesterday I wrote about my HUGE frustrations I was having about my iPod Touch and typical day timer calendaring functionality.  Tonight I thought I would try out a few things to see exactly what was the date range for accepting years and pumping calendaring events into the Calendar from Contacts.  Turns out, there's a big HOLE in Touch's Calendaring functionality IMHO!

In my company, some customers do UATs (User Acceptance Testing) before paying the "final bill".  The customer will only accept (and pay for) the product if it suits their needs, ie. it does what you said it would, to their satisfaction.  In this case, the Touch, unfortunately does NOT satisfy my even most basic needs of "contact management."  Too bad too cause it had SUCH potential.

Here are more details.

FREAK'N FRUSTRATED

In doing my tests, I created ten new Contacts on the Touch named 1930 through 1940 and gave them their likewise birthdays (yes, this is all very trumped up data, can you tell I'm a developer? LOL).  I purposely created them on the Touch to see what would happen.  The data synced with Outlook perfectly.  So far so good right?  I expected at a minimum, just the 1940 contact's birthday to show up in my Calendar's, but what happend COMPLETELY threw me off guard.  NONE of them showded up!  That's correct, NONE!  Let me rephrase that, I entered a new contact with birthday on the Touch and I completely lost any visibility onto that person's birthday with regards to calendaring functionality.  That's just a big "NO-NO!" with regards to calendaring.

When I went to Outlook's Calendar, iTune's Sync program DID NOT create the birthday events!  (the Birthday's postfixed with "-1" were from Contacts created explicitly in Outlook to double check I wasn't seeing things)  And for the iTunes people crying foul that it's Outlook's fault, whoa, wait a second here, when I add in Contact's Birthdays in Outlook (as long as the birthday is AFTER 1940) everything works predictable and reliably (birthdays and calender entries are all correctly created and updated).

Outlook Calendar missing Touch Contact birthdays

HUH?  WTF?  Oh, and YES, I do have the settings setup correctly in iTunes.

iTunes IS setup correctly

HHHHMMMMM I now have a big problem.  Return the Touch and wait to see if WP7 is any better, or try to fight with it some more to see if I can coax it into submission.  Keep a close eye on this blog to see what I do, cause to be honest, tonight, I don't even know what I'll do?  DARN and I JUST started making head way with the Mac VM tonight too!  I thought I was on a role!

Time to grab a coffee and try come coding.  At least I know THAT will do what I expect (well....ok.....most of the time LOL).

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3 comment(s) so far...


Re: Looks like iPod Touch/iPhone still has work to do on Calendaring functionality, too bad too

Must be the iTouch... Outlook can do no wrong, right? :)

By Shane on   Friday, February 26, 2010 9:07 PM

Re: Looks like iPod Touch/iPhone still has work to do on Calendaring functionality, too bad too

Doesn't look to be an iDevice -> Outlook only related thing (although to be honest, I suspect Outlook to be the 'bad guy' since iDevices sync perfectly with every other piece of software). It appears to be a problem with Pocket PC and Palm devices as well...

Anways, here is a blurp from a site which includes a plugin to help (costs money though :( )..

"your Contacts anniversary's or birthday's don't appear in the calendar, this can also happen with synchronizations with a Pocket Pc device or Palm. This add-in will automatically put all those anniversary's or birthday's where they belong (in the Calendar) this way you won't miss this important events."

http://www.rsoutlook.com/us/prods/prod05.html

By Shane on   Friday, February 26, 2010 9:07 PM

Re: Looks like iPod Touch/iPhone still has work to do on Calendaring functionality, too bad too

Thank you Shane for your comments. I'm sure it's not one or the other, but the combination of the three (Touch, iTunes and Outllok) plus the syncing multiple times. Don't forget, it was behaving diferently depending on if the Contact was entered in Outlook or the Touch. Lots of variables, but not so much as to overwhelm a 8GB Touch or 6GB i7 desktop. But in reality, it is a bigger issue than I think we give it credit for.

re suspect Outlook
I thought so too, however when I entered Contacts into Outlook, everything behaved predictably. Then when I entered contacts into Touch, Contacts were created correctly, BUT their bday and anniversaries weren't, nothing shows up in the Calendar. I suspect there COULD be some type of addition thread that fires at some later time/date to maybe do the updates? I HAD screen shots to prove it not updating immediately (ya, Touch screen shots) but they weren't syncing over to "My Pictures" when I told iTunes to (hey at that point I had given up and didn't pursue THAT one!).

Can you maybe test that out for me please? Add a Contact, Fred Wins Gold, and give'em a birthday of 02-28-1970, then look right away at your Calendar for tomorrow, is it there? Then look again, say.....four hour later, then the next day. I'm wondering if there's some type of update process running in the background?

re plugins
There were/are a lot of plugins. My problem is I already bought another tool to THAT, the Touch. I don't like having to get yet another tool to do what the first one should be capable of doing to start with. The ugly thing about this is, this issue has been on going for over a year!

Look at the first guys reply ("ish replied 1 year ago") on the following link.
http://getsatisfaction.com/apple/topics/my_iphone_calendar_will_not_sync_with_outlook_2007

This has the problem going back to July 2007! That's just crazy!
http://forums.marketcircle.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6441090623/m/7941051084

There are puuuuuhhhhhlenty of other examples too.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=touch+calendar+birthdays+not+showing+up

Most of the solutions suggest people use Google Calendar or iCal. Both requiring me to use yet another tool outside of my daily process.

Ok, enough with the links. haha In all seriousness, I've looked at this issue from every possible angle I can think of (Outook, iTunes, Touch, data, syncing, number of times synced, duplicates, more tools, Windows Services, more Touch Apps, some free, but mostly fee based products) and nothing solved ALL of the "sync my contacts data, completely and accurately. Therefore, it was with sadness, (yes, it was very disappointed) I returned the Touch. Ya, the guy processing my return was VERY surprised!


By phenry on   Friday, February 26, 2010 9:25 PM

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