How to Use iPhone 4s : More and more of us are switching from paper to digital diaries — not just for work, but for life, too. The iPhone is helping to accelerate this trend by making it easy not just to schedule and manage appointments on the go — but also to view, edit and, share multiple calendars and to synchronize them with laptops, iPads and other devices.
Setting up and syncing calendars
Although it’s possible to use the iPhone as a standalone diary, most users will want to sync their iPhone with their existing calendars on their Mac, PC, iPad or Google account. Here’s how it’s done.
If you’ve already got calendars on your Mac in iCal — or on your iPad — the simplest way to sync is to activate the iCloud calendar option on both your iPhone and your Mac or iPad.
Outlook and iTunes
If you use iCal but prefer not to use iCloud for some reason, or you have your calendars in Outlook on a PC, it’s still possible to sync them via iTunes. Simply connect the phone to the computer (either via Wi-fi or USB), open iTunes, click the iPhone’s icon and switch on Calendar Syncing under the Info tab.
If you use Google Calendars, this can be easily set up on your iPhone by setting up your Gmail account and switching on calendars. The downside is that – at the time of writing at least – you’ll only be able to see the mail calendar linked to your account, not any others that you’ve created, shared or subscribed to. If you want to get around this, one option is to use Google Sync, which bypasses the problem by serving up Google email, contacts and calendars via a Microsoft Exchange system. To get started, follow the (slightly fiddly) instructions at:
Google Sync google.com/sync
An alternative is to use a third-party app such as CalenGoo or to use the – actually rather good – Web app version accessible with Safari at the usual Google calendar address.
TIP If you’re struggling to set up a Gmail calendar that you only need to be able to view, rather than edit, consider subscribing to it instead.
Corporate account Most corporate calendars are linked with a Microsoft Exchange email account. To import and sync these calendars, simply set up the email account and switch on calendars as described.
Once syncing with iCloud or iTunes is working, calendar data is merged between your computer and phone, so deletions, additions or changes made in one place will immediately be reflected elsewhere (or the next time you connect to iTunes if you’re doing it that way).
Subscribing to calendars
The options described above are all about setting up calendar accounts in ways that enable you to add and edit events, as well as view events that already exist. However, it’s also possible to “subscribe’ to a calendar created by someone else. This is particularly handy for things such as sports fixtures and public holidays. A quick Google search will reveal lots of options. When you’ve found one you want, grab the subscription address – which should be clearly shown on the website highlighting the calendar – and then add it to your iPhone as a subscription. This is done by tapping Settings > Email, Contacts, Calendar > Add Account > Other.
The iPhone Calendars app is very simple to use and doesn’t require much explanation. You can view your schedule by month or day, or in a list. There’s no proper week view, though if you rotate the phone you can see today, yesterday and tomorrow and slide left and right to view other days.
To add a new event, tap +, enter whatever data you like, and tap Save. To edit or delete an existing event, tap the relevant entry and use the Edit button or Trash icon.
You can have as many separate calendars on the iPhone as you want. This is useful if you’re syncing with a work and home account, for example, or if you want to have a specific calendar for a particular area of your life – childcare, for example, which might be shared between two parents. Each calendar has its own colour to make them easy to differentiate.
When you create a new event, you can choose which calendar it will be added to. If you don’t specify, the event will be added to your default account, which you can set under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar. To change an existing event from one calendar to another, tap it, followed by Edit, and use the Calendar option.
You can set an alert to remind you of an impending event either as it happens or a certain number of minutes, hours or days beforehand. To set up how these alerts appear – for example, in the middle or the top of the screen – tap Settings > Notifications > Calendar.
TIP To quickly view recent calendar notifications without opening the Calendar app, swipe down from the top of the iPhone screen to reveal the notification area.
Most types of calendar accounts support invitations. The person who created an event can invite other people to whom the event is relevant; they accept and the event appears in their calendar too. To invite someone to an event, tap it followed by Edit > Invitees and add some email addresses.
Incoming invites can be accepted or declined via the invitations tray at the bottom-right of the Calendar app. The number of unanswered invitations shows up as a badge on the app’s Home Screen icon.
TIP You can decide whether or not incoming calendar invites flash up on your screen under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Invite Alerts.
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