Daylite and MobileMe

Our Company / March 16, 2011 / Alykhan Jetha

As many of you know, Apple has changed the method of interaction between MobileMe & iCal.

This has resulted in changes that may affect workflows and, in some cases, has lead to functionality loss for Daylite users that are also using MobileMe.

We have come up with a solution that mitigates this loss in functionality

Who is affected

Daylite customers who are using MobileMe to synchronize their calendars and contacts with mobile devices or other computers.

Who is not affected

Daylite customers using only Daylite Touch to access their calendars and contacts on mobile devices or customer who do not use Sync Services.

Some background

The MobileMe calendar used to partake in the “Sync Services” ecosystem in order to achieve things like the two-way sync with iCal. Daylite has been Sync Services compatible since 2007. One of the benefits of this functionality is that users have been able to sync their Daylite calendars directly with their local iCal calendars. This allowed MobileMe users to use iCal as a middleman to Daylite. Daylite has never directly spoken to or integrated with MobileMe in any way – it was just a benefit of both systems using the same sync ecosystem. The benefits were that you could share your personal or family calendar from MobileMe with Daylite, using iCal as the bridge. All of this was possible because of Apple’s Sync Services technology.

With the introduction of the newly upgraded MobileMe Calendar, MobileMe has isolated itself from the Sync Services ecosystem, and any application using Sync Services. Some users who were using Sync Services to get their iCal data into Daylite and other third-party applications may remember this upgrade as it resulted in a very destructive effect. The MobileMe upgrade migrated all existing iCal calendars to the cloud using new technology, and forced a deletion of all local iCal calendars. The same deletion was forced in Daylite due to its compatibility with Sync Services. Luckily our engineers included a Trash bin in Daylite to capture any accidental deletions, preventing users’ data from being permanently lost.

Reasons for the change

Apple has not directly communicated with us in regards to the reason they made such a big change and why they did it in such a destructive fashion (even after we and other developers expressed our concerns during the MobileMe beta). We believe that moving away from Sync Services is a good direction in the long run.

Previous workaround

After introducing the new MobileMe Calendar, Apple allowed you to stay on the old system. By staying on the old system, the integration continued to work. As of May 5th, 2011 however, Apple is completely discontinuing the old calendar, meaning that the old workaround will no longer work.

New solution

In investigating and testing possible workarounds, we found a better and more flexible solution. The new solution comprises of BusyMac’s BusySync and Google Calendar. Albeit still dependant on Sync Services, we found this combination to be more reliable and more accessible.

The good folks at BusyMac have offered Daylite users a discount for BusySync. We’ve also prepared a Knowledge Base article that gives you step-by-step instructions, and answers the following questions:

  • How do I accept external meeting invites?
  • How do I share my calendar with people that aren’t using Daylite or a Mac?
  • How do I work with my personal/family calendar while in Daylite?
  • How can I see my Daylite calendar on the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch?
  • How do I share my Daylite Calendar with other handheld devices like Android, Blackberry or Nokia?

Going forward

Taking a cue from Apple, we’re not in the habit of talking about future products, however, let me assure you that we understand that some of these *use cases* are very important to many of you. We cannot predict timelines, but please know that some of these are on our priority list.

Until next time…

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