Friday, 7 August 2015

How To Use Apple iCloud Easily On Google Android (Part 3: Contacts)

For as long as I remember I've used my Mac to hold my master address book (ok since late 2002 when I switched to OS X). Over the years it's been synced ad-hoc to Google Contacts (remember Address Book used to offer an easy sync when Apple and Google were in bed together) but the google side has always been a bit messy.

Part 3: Contacts

Since I want to maintain iCloud as my master address book for now, it's handy that Apple implement their service as CardDAV.

Fortunately Android Play Store has a plethora of CardDAV sync apps, and I chose to use one called CardDAV-sync and it seems to work fine so far (after giving it a few minutes to pull down all the details from iCloud).

The app offers two-way sync by default which should mean any new contacts entered on my phone find their way into my address book.

When configuring the app all you need to know is your personal iCloud credentials and Apple's contact server - sensibly enough named ''

Type all that into CardDAV account setup and you should be good.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How To Use Apple iCloud Easily On Google Android (Part 2: Email)

I'm using a refurbished Sony Xperia Z2 with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. I'm also firmly entrenched in Apple's iCloud eco-system and am a multi-platform user (Android, iOS, OS X).

Part 2: Email

If you don't use any iCloud aliases then just use the stock email app on the Android device. Stop reading now. It's that simple.

I use an iCloud alias to shield my true Apple ID. Whilst not particularly any more safe or secure, it helps me feel clever.

However most Android email clients do not give you the option of using iCloud email aliases. There are ways and means though (and over time I expect more and more Android email clients to support iCloud aliases).

This was actually particularly easy for me. I've been using Gmail as my back-end email for almost 10 years (Google remembers so I don't have to - I just have to be good with search keywords, which I am).

With Gmail I'd already setup my default sender address as one of my iCloud aliases. So on Android I can just use Gmail and my outgoing reply-to address defaults to that alias.

More recently though I believe Gmail have made it more convoluted to add additional email addresses (aliases with differing domains) to your Gmail account. So I don't particularly recommend it unless you want to use Gmail as your backend.

A simpler method for people who keep their email on iCloud and don't forward it anywhere is an app Aqua Mail.

The free version doesn't support iCloud aliases (identities) but reportedly the paid version does (I say reportedly since reviewers say it does, I have not tried it myself - go and read the reviews for yourself).

Sunday, 2 August 2015

How To Use Apple iCloud Easily On Google Android (Part 1: Calendar)

After committing to my new/old/refurb Sony Xperia Z2 by putting in my day-to-day SIM the question of how to access my iCloud services crops up quickly.

Part 1: Calendar

I've done the hard work for you - just install Sunrise Calendar from the Play Store then configure it for iCloud. Easy!

Slightly longer explanation:

Install Sunrise Calendar and launch it.

In Sunrise:
Connect with Google.
Add your iCloud account.
Disconnect your Google account (unless you have Google calendars you want to use too).*

Told you, Easy!

Now you can add stuff on your Android phone and it will push to your Mac desktop iCal app, and vice versa.

And this is all thanks to the new good guy Microsoft (can't believe I just typed that but there you go - once bitten twice shy and all that).

*EDIT: after disconnecting from Google, Sunrise gave me an authentication error. So you need to Sunrise to remain authenticated with either Google or Facebook (second time around I chose Facebook since it has event calendars I actually refer to occasionally).