iTunes Beta 11.1.6 contact and calendar sync coming back

Apple currently rolled out a new beta of OSX and iTunes where they seem to have reimplemented the possibility to sync contacts and calendar entries with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. So for all who requested this feature to be reimplemented by sending feedback to apple and complained this within apple community pages, a great thanks:

iTunes 11.1.6 brings fixes for the latest 10.9.3 builds and “restores the ability to sync contacts and calendar information to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from your Mac running OS X 10.9.3.” The ability to sync contacts and calendar data to an iOS device from a Mac was removed previously (to many complaints) but remained possible through iCloud syncing. (source: 9to5mac: http://9to5mac.com/2014/03/18/apple-seeds-new-os-x-10-9-3-beta-itunes-11-1-6-beta-to-employees/)

Decentralize your services unchain your data…

Regarding my article : Apple silently removed calendar and contact sync in Mavericks from the recent past I have decided that I want to move my data away from cloud services as much as possible. Therefore I thought about possible solutions and found out the following:

owncloud is the alternative for me regarding iCloud sync for files, calendar and contacts because own cloud support calDAV and cardDAV as proposed by apple to use instead of the missing SyncServices. owncloud provides client apps for iOS and Android so it can be used like dropbox or google drive and also has a quite comfortable webinterface.

The problem arising was where to install that to because I do not have server hardware at the ready at home. A short google later I was sure I had to by a rasperry pi B model because raspbian (OS) got good remarks and owncloud was available there. For a mere contact, calendar and a little filesharing my 16GB 95MB/s SD card seemed more than enough and I can tell you it is.

A few hours later I was ready to install the rasperry pi following the instructions on the links below to put an image on the sd card, boot the system, configure the system, overclock the system (on your own risk) and install and test the owncloud package:

  1. How to flash an SD card for rasperry pi
  2. Install owncloud on the raspberry pi (german)

I tested afterwards how this works out if I connect the rasperry to my NAS (Gigabit LAN for NAS but not for rasperry) and found out that this method is too slow for owncloud to work properly. Use at least a directly connected USB hard drive/stick or a fast SD card (SDHC 95MB/s was used here). Uploads are suprisingly fast using the iOS client (I had no opportuniy yet to test the Android client). So far I was able to test the file sharing options. Therefore I recommend to create a folder for each user which is then marked as shared for the users you want to share the folder and put your data (images, videos…) in there you want to show the others on your cloud (this can be your parents, children, friends, it is up to you).

So if you follow the above links it would be easy to get your own cloud up and running at nearly no time.

Cost:

  • Rasperry Pi Model B 38 €
  • Rasperry Pi compatibel power adapter 9,99 €
  • Rasperry Pi compatible casing 6,99 €
  • Sony SDHC 16GB 95MB/s 16€

So if you believe it or not you can have your own little linux server spending not much more than 75 €. You can spend a little more if you need bluetooth or a camera module but for a cloud server the list above is sufficient.

In the near future you should keep an eye on arkOS where Jacob Cook is working on a distribution containing all of the above in one with a piece of software for configuration and setup which will fit also simple users to setup their own cloud. So stay tuned.

Next steps I have to report about in the near future:

  • backup of the entire system to a NAS or external storage
  • connecting the cloud to the internet so the data are accessible also from the outside

 

Apple silently removed calendar and contact sync in Mavericks

According to Adam Wilt from MacInTouch .

So, it’s confirmed: under 10.9 you can no longer sync Contacts & Calendars over USB:
„If you use OS X Mavericks v.10.9 or later, your contacts, calendars, and other info are updated on your computers and iOS devices via iCloud. “
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12117

I’ve tested this myself using 10.9 and an iPhone 4 running 7.0.2.
How do folks feel about the privacy & security implications of this?

See also this german article for details on this issue.

For me this is a security issue and security savy people should send input to apple so they can react. Goto Apple feedback page and tell them to put back in syncservices. Do it now.

Google removed ActiveSync service – CalDAV for iOS devices

Hi out there. For all iOS users having google calendar sync active this is the time to do something about it and change your settings according to the changes at google with deactivating active sync. First of all you have to go to your iOS Settings –> Mail and Contacts and deactivate the calendar sync at the google account you have there.

After you have deactivated calendarsync you have to add a CalDAV Account for your google calendar entries. CalDAV is a standard Calendar Synchronisation protocol. To do this, goto your Settings –> Mail, Contacts –> Add New –> Other –> CalDAV and fill in the server name for google with google.com, your gmail user id and password. After clicking done everything is verified and if everything is ok on opening your calendar the next time your main google calendar entries should be there. If you have more than one calendar as I have, then you have to contact the following google page for including all or some of your calendars to your mobile devices: https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect. When opening you will see a list of your calendars, check all the calendars you want to see on your mobile devices. DONE.

Sync multiple calendars with iPhone and google mobile sync

I had the problem, that I wanted to sync multiple calendars using the google mobile sync to my iPhone. I am located in Austria, so my language settings are German. If you follow the instructions here you will get a device not supported error message. I found on the web that you have to click on „Change Language“, change the language to „English (US)“ and then it will work. This is a bad bug on m.google.com/sync which is not easy to go around if you don’t have the information I found on the net, so Google please fix that.

(goto http://m.google.com/sync).

(click on „Change Language“)

(Select the device and then select the calendars to sync)