Sharing iCloud calendars with Google Calendar and viewing shared Google Calendars in iOS

iCloud logo (via Flickr/AJ Cann)

In the first part of my calendar syncing fiasco, I was able to syncronize my calendar across Windows 8/8.1, iOS, OS X and Android, but that was only half the battle. As iCloud was the key to syncronizing my calendars across all of my devices, I chose to abandon Google Calendar. Since I had a few people who followed me on Google Calendar, I hit another roadblock as the calendar in iCloud can’t be shared with Google Calendar users as easily as native Google Calendars unless you find a way to get around some bad coding.

Google Calendar logo (via Wikimedia)

Part of the reason iCloud calendars don’t work well with Google Calendar is because the public calendar link (created by right-clicking on your iCloud calendar and clicking the Public Calendar option in OS X’s Calendar app) can’t be read by Google Calendar. When you input the link into Google Calendar (by clicking the arrow to the right of “Other Calendars” and selecting the option “Add by URL”) you usually get something saying Google Calendar couldn’t fetch your URL because of robots.txt. (robots.txt is a security measure Apple put into place so web crawlers don’t index and save your calendar.) Google’s Calendar service abides by robots.txt despite that it is a calendar service, and it was likely not Apple’s intention for Google Calendar not to work with iCloud calendars, (but considering the infamous thermonuclear war Jobs quote, I’m not 100 percent sure about that anymore). is key in getting iCloud calendars to cooperate with Google Calendar is key in getting iCloud calendars to cooperate with Google Calendar

I was able to find a workaround, however. Head over to and copy the link you created from your Calendar app in OS X into the box and you’ll get a link you can take over to Google Calendar to get the sync up and running.

 If you think that’s where the problems stop, you’re wrong, I noticed that those who followed me through Google Calendar would have problems viewing the shared calendars on iOS devices. The option to view them is a bit hidden. You have to head over to Google Calendar Sync Settings using your web browser and select the shared calendars you want to sync to your iOS device. After that, you should see an option to view them on your iOS device.

So with all that in place and what I mention in my previous calendar post, you should have a calendar that syncs between all your devices whether they are running Windows, OS X, iOS or Android, and a way to share them with folks using Google Calendar. Bear in mind that I can’t verify how secure is, or the other software mentioned in the previous post but as long as you’re not putting in addresses for home, work, or anything particular that may reveal your identity, you should be fine. If you do want to put in addresses, for a travel time feature lets say, use a near by address for home or work, or if you live in an apartment building or large condominium, or perhaps work in a large office tower, the actual address maybe fine, but of course leave out specific unit numbers.

View more info on viewing shared Google Calendars in iOS here.