Friday, August 08, 2008

No calendar sync on the iPhone?

I took a look at some of the reviews of our iPhone client and the main complaint is that it syncs only contacts, and it does not sync calendar. Beside the fact that the description of the app is "address book synchronization"... the issue is simple: Apple does not offer developers access to calendar on the iPhone. Period. There is nothing anyone can do to have a legit application on the App Store that is able to access calendar. Apple does not allow it.

Now, we have an application that works on calendar and notes as well, but it needs the phone to be jailbroken. And it will never see the light of day on the App Store (Apple checks every application manually). Therefore, it is useless for the mass market, which is the target of the 3G. But it proves that - had Apple decided to open something - we would have had a solution...

Why is Apple not allowing access to calendar, when they allow access to contacts?

Good question... One can only guess. Let me try to virtually ask Apple and see what they might say:
  1. Calendar is so complicated that we could not make it. Contacts was simple so the API was easy to make. And we have not enough QA people and we are trying to make things right (like MobileMe, for example). One day, when we will have enough QA people, we will support it. It is a promise.
  2. Nobody uses calendar, so why bother? You should use paper instead for your events. Electronic calendar is just for geeks and geeks are so uncool. Get a life.
  3. Open? Who said the iPhone was going to be open? We are opening what the heck we like. And we do not like Calendar. Suck it up and do not bother us. This is not open source, go ask Android if you want calendar, or Windows Mobile for that matter (they are more open than we are but their CEO is like the PC in our ads).
  4. We are trying to defend MobileMe from any external attack, like your open source thingy. MobileMe works so well that, if your are lucky, your will see the Calendar API in 2020. For the time being, check ActiveStink out, they told me it kinda works.
Although all answers seem quite appropriate to explain the reasons behind Apple's choice (...), I tend to believe the right one is #4. MobileMe is too hot of a product for Apple to allow anyone else to create a competitor. You can have competition, as long as you do not do it on the iPhone... Open is not what Apple is. I just feel they will pay for it one day, but it is working quite well for them so far... Why change?