Two way sync or native Android Calendar Support

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
CodyAPhillips
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Two way sync or native Android Calendar Support

Postby CodyAPhillips » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:12 pm

Great work on the calendar so far. I would like to switch to a private calendar to schedule my bishop's interviews, but there are a few snags. I will only focus on the biggest one and that is the ability to add a calendar item from any location outside of lds.org. What I mean is either the ability to add an item to a synced google calendar and have it push to an lds.org calendar or the ability to support adding an lds.org calendar directly to a calendar app (for me on Android platform). Unless this feature exists, it is completely impractical to have appointments on a calendar. Example, I am in church and a member needs to make an appointment to see the bishop. I can see when he is free (currently though synced calendar) on my mobile device, but I can't add the person to the schedule (at least not without a great effort (logging into lds.org going to calendar and adding it which is tricy on a phone).

My question, are there any plans to add this functionality so I can begin to use an lds.org calendar? Or will I have to continue to use a hotmail or google calendar as the only viable option? Thanks.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:42 am

CodyAPhillips wrote: What I mean is either the ability to add an item to a synced google calendar and have it push to an lds.org calendar or the ability to support adding an lds.org calendar directly to a calendar app (for me on Android platform).
...
My question, are there any plans to add this functionality so I can begin to use an lds.org calendar?


It's clear that the sync is currently only only one way -- to the synced calendar from the Calendar on lds.org, and not the other direction (see Syncing with third-party calendars).

I don't know anything about the plans, but I can see some challenges in implementing a two-way sync. One is certainly that the collection of subscribed calendars on lds.org is merged into one calendar on the synced calendar. When an event is changed on the synced calendar, there is no way to specify which precise calendar on lds.org it goes to. I can also imagine authentication problems -- when you are logged into lds.org with your LDS Account, the system knows who you are and will accept changes from you. But a sync from your calendar back to lds.org is done by some third-party server that manages your calendar syncing -- how will lds.org know that you authorize that update?

There are certainly possible solutions to those problems, but they are thorny issues, so it's not surprising to me that there is no two-way sync. I would guess that if a two-way sync is implemented, we'll first see it in a mobile app such as LDS Tools, where the authentication is already in place, and the Church can control the other end of the sync mechanism better, but that's just my speculation.
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unit5
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Postby unit5 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:33 am

CodyAPhillips wrote:My question, are there any plans to add this functionality so I can begin to use an lds.org calendar? Or will I have to continue to use a hotmail or google calendar as the only viable option? Thanks.


I'd like to second this message. After speaking with the Executive Secretary in our ward, the ability to create/modify calendar events from a mobile platform is pretty much a must or google calendar will still be the preferred method. This is especially the case for private calendars (adding spontaneous appointments and such).

I'll add another technical reason: I don't think Google can two-way sync with a "URL" calendar.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:32 am

aebrown wrote:I would guess that if a two-way sync is implemented, we'll first see it in a mobile app such as LDS Tools


I would agree with that, and add another reason: Just because you control a calendar doesn't mean you want it synced to your personal calendar on your smart phone. The only things I want synced to my personal calendar is events I intend to attend. A good example is a building scheduler and the "Private Events" calendar.
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tortdog
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Postby tortdog » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:08 am

I just use Opera to create events on the private calendar I use to set appointments for the bishop when I REALLY can't get to a desktop. In reality, that need is very low. When a member approaches me I look to the calendar to see when it's available and make a mental note. I then will update within an hour or two from the church, or set a task to remind me to update later.

I have little hope that we'll see two-way sync very soon.


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