Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Apple: It just works. No it doesn't

You know, for a company that prides itself on ease of use and the "it just works" principle, Apple have sometimes got things horribly wrong.

Take calendars, and three Apple specific elements.

  1. An Apple Macbook Pro
  2. A pricey (by most people's views) subscription to Apple's Mobileme cloud/syncing service
  3. An Apple iPhone 4
Now then, let me see - oooh, I have all of those. And what I want to do is have my calendars on the two bits of hardware to be seamless. Update one, the other one updates. And it works, mostly.

I have two calendars on my MBP that are "subscribed calendars". These are calendars that someone else has built. You download them, and then subscribe to them, usually for free (in my case, a calendar of all Cardiff City's fixtures, which saves me having to type the darn things in at the start off a season, and a UK holidays one so I don't have to add in things like "Christmas Day" or "Easter Sunday").

The beauty of a subscribed calendar is, if the data is updated - say a CCFC fixture v Middlesborough on Saturday is moved to a wet Tuesday, the calendar automatically updates with the new data - I don't have to do anything! Marvellous!

And it works except.....that the subscribed calendars don't sync. A "normal" local calendar syncs to Mobileme and to the "other" device, but the bloody subscribed ones don't.

It's such a pain in the arse. A beautiful elegant solution that's been hamstrung for Lord knows what reason.

You'd have thought Apple would have been able to make it work, but it doesn't. And that means they are driving people to alternative solutions like third party sync tools and Google. Surely that can't be good for business?

Come on Apple, make subscribed calendars work with Mobileme.

No comments: