Android, Google Calendar, BlackBerry, and Sending Appointments

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My wife has a BlackBerry and I used to as well until I switched to a Droid X. One of the things we used to do to help each other remember stuff or get things onto the other person’s calendar (when using BlackBerry) was to send an appointment via MMS to the other person. You could add an appointment to your BlackBerry calendar, select it, and send it to someone else. Really easy.

Problem is, that’s not how Google Calendar works, which means when I switched to Android, all hell broke loose. You can’t export an event as an iCal (.ics) or vCal (.vcs) file, which is basically what the BlackBerry was doing. However, there is a way to do this, it’s just not… intuitive. At least not to me since I’m so used to shipping .ics files around.

Getting an Appointment from BlackBerry to Android/Google Calendar

  1. Open the appointment on the BlackBerry.
  2. Send the appointment to the Google user’s Gmail address (the account the calendar is hooked up to).
  3. When the Gmail user opens the appointment the BlackBerry user sent, Gmail displays it as a meeting invite and asks you if you’ll be attending. Click the “Yes” link  in the email and it gets added to your calendar.

There’s an alternate way to do this, too, but it involves saving the .ics file that’s attached to that incoming Gmail and going to Google Calendar and running an import… but that’s painful and not necessary. Just click “yes” and call it good.

UPDATE 12/22/2010: Opening an appointment in Gmail appears to only work if you do it from a desktop computer, and from the full view - not just the basic HTML view. You can’t open the appointment and accept it right on the Android phone because the Gmail client on Android will simply show the appointment as an attachment and not an invitation.

Getting an Appointment from Android/Google Calendar to BlackBerry

For this one, you need to have the email address attached to the BlackBerry. Some people set up their Gmail or Hotmail or whatever so the BlackBerry automatically picks it up, and if so, that’ll work; other people (like my wife) have a special email provided by the service provider like that goes to the BlackBerry. You’ll need that address so you can get the email to the BlackBerry’s native email client, not, say, the Google Mail app installed on the BlackBerry.

  1. Open the appointment in Google Calendar.
  2. Add a guest to the appointment and use the BlackBerry’s email address (as discussed above) as the guest email.
  3. When Google Calendar asks you if you want to send a notification to the guest, say yes. This automatically sends the .ics file to the BlackBerry user on their phone.
  4. The BlackBerry user can open that email and add the appointment to their calendar using the attached .ics. Done.