Tag Archives: how-to

iPhone How-to : calendar sync with Google Calendar via caldav

if you’ve read my earlier post, my choice to sync my personal Google calendar with my iPhone 3GS is to use caldav. The other option is activesync (MS Exchange), which I used prior to OS3.0 on my iPhone 3G. To understand why, do read my earlier post here.

This post will specifically guide you, step by step, to be able to get your Google based calendar on your iPhone (with OS3.0+). The calendar app on the iPhone will be the default app, nothing additional you’ll need from the app store.

I will create another post to show you how to add other calendars to your iPhone, e.g. your spouse’s or your kid’s calendars.

  1. first, you’ll need your email address… which would be something like “myemail@gmail.com”
    or “myemail@mysuperdomain.com” if you are on Google Apps
  2. next, you’ll need to compose your own “server string”… it looks something like this
    https://www.google.com:443/calendar/dav/myemail@gmail.com/user
  3. pretty much just simply replace the section “myemail@gmail.com” with your Google based email address, be it with “gmail.com” or “whatever.com”
  4. If you’ve got email setup on your iPhone already, you can just email the “Server string” to yourself, which you can copy and paste later… or just type it out carefully on the phone
  5. next, pick up your iPhone,  go into “Settings” -> “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” -> “Add Account…” -> “Other” -> “Add CalDAV Account”
  6. here’s what you put in
    Server : paste or slowly thumb in the “server string” from above (customized with your own email address of course). When you move to the next field, it’s normal for the “server” to only show “www.google.com”, so don’t worry about it.
    User Name : your full email address, e.g. “myemail@whateverdomain.com”
    Password : the password to the account you put in above
    Description : what ever you’d like to call it, doesn’t matter what you put, it’s for your own identification
  7. click “next” when done
  8. If all went well, you’ll be taken back to the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” screen… if you had a typo in the “Server”, “User Name” or “Password” field.. then you’ll be stuck here. Just fix the typo and try again
  9. Validation…. Launch the “Calendar” app
  10. check and see if your calendar items are showing up, or if you have multiple calendars and it’s hard to validate you can select to see only one calendar
  11. in the “Calendar” app, on the top left, tap the “Calendars” button
  12. you’ll be presented with the list of Calendars you have configured, select the one you want to check
  13. You should now see only the entries belonging to that calendar

have fun =)

PPTP over cellular network with iPhone 3GS

ever since I upgraded my iPhone to OS3.0, I’ve been having trouble trying to get PPTP VPN to work. Never had the time to seriously look at it until now.

My VPN end point is a Linksys WRT54GL running with DD-WRT. I know that PPTP service works there as I can connect with my notebook, even with my 3G dongle.

Initial findings pointed towards the support for encryption on the DD-WRT implementation, and it has to be forced to “none” on the iPhone. Even that didn’t work.

With the release of OS 3.1, I started to tether my notebook to the iPhone, and through that, the PPTP will fail. That stumped me! Initially I thought could be due to the NAT implementation to enable tethering.

With trial and errors, I found out that over a WIFI connection, PPTP connection will work. Did I forget to mention that CISCO based IPSEC VPN to my office network works nicely over cellular and WIFI? That really baffled me. So, there’s something that’s in place that only works for IPSEC over cellular.

Finally, I came across some forum postings that lead me to the solution. There are many other people with similar issues in Canada and USA, and for some, they are able to tweak their APN on the phone to a different one and it worked for them. Of course they needed to be on different data subscription etc… for that to work.

I’m in Singapore, and my cellular provider is SingTel. I whipped out my iPhone 3GS and compared it’s APN settings to my 3G dongle for my notebook. Wallah! they are different, even though they are both with SingTel. I swapped in the new APN settings on to the iPhone, and PPTP started to work.

So, for all those in Singapore and on SingTel with similar needs and issues, the solution is to change the APN from “e-ideas” to “internet”. And here’s SingTel’s official instructions. BTW, these instructions are generic for all data devices.

For everyone else, what I realize from this is that some services/ports are controlled by the service provider. So, just by changing the APN won’t work if you don’t have access to the relevant APN.

If you need some guide on how to set your APN on your iPhone, the official Apple guide is found here.

*update 2009 Oct 09* after changing the APN, the “tethering” feature disappears. But if I reset the “Cellular Network” settings, “tethering” comes back. Got to figure out how to enable both.