Can the iphone do this . . .

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mwchris, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. mwchris macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2008

    I had an 8525 (previous version of the tilt) but it died on me so I decided to wait for the iphone before purchasing a new one. However, I have a few questions about what the iPhone can do before I go and make the purchase. (I already know the tilt will do these things, but the iphone is attractive, and a nice price point.) Here is my question:

    I want to be able to sync my calendar on my phone with both my pc at work and my mac or pc at home. Is this possible?

    (I have heard conflicting reports that you can sync from multiple computers, but one computer can do the calendar, and one music, but not calendar and music from both.)

    This is basically my deciding point between getting the iphone or the tilt. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Nykwil macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2002
    Boston, MA
    I believe you can only sync with one library and calender and email database from one computer.

    unless you have mobileme which syncs all your calanders, emails and pics over the "cloud" using any computer....but that's 99 bucks a yr.
  3. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    You can use a service called MobileMe that Apple will be releasing sometime next month around the iPhone month.

    It basically syncs all your calenders and stuff wirelessly with all your computers. So if you make a change on one thing, it will be changed on the computer in a matter of seconds.

    You can of course just sync your music from one of the computers now.

    But if you DON'T want to have that service (It costs $100 a year, and you get 20GB of online storage and other cool stuff), you can sync it by plugging it into your computers. If there was a contact changed, it will ask you to change it before you change it.

    I think i understand your question...? Sorry if this is different.
  4. mwchris thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2008

    Thank you for the quick reply -

    I understand I could accomplish this task by subscribing to mobileme, however, my work would block access to that. So mobile me is out.

    So, my question is, can I sync my phone with two different computers and two different calendars? (For instance I would like to sync my iphone with my work calendar, then go home and sync my calendar on my home computer with the calendar on my iphone.) I can do this no problem with windows mobile devices, but do not know if the iphone can accomplish this task. Oh and all the syncing would be completed by plugging in the phone to the computer.

    I hope that clarifies my question and some one who has tried syncing a calendar between two computers with one phone will chime in.

  5. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    So you want to sync contacts from your work computer, then go home, and sync those new contacts with your PC? Then yes, you can do that.

    Why can't you have MobileMe? It isn't software. It's all internet based. You login through IE / Firefox etc.
  6. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    You can do it if you have an exchange account and a .mac (MobileMe) account and they're configured to sync over the air. Unfortunately, you can't do it through USB to two different computers. As a caveat to this, that statement is based around the current version of iTunes and the new version that will be released with Version 2.0 of the firmware may change that
  7. GotMac? macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2008
    You can create a gmail account, and pull your calendars into a gmail account. I believe gmail calendar syncs with outlook, though you need to install google desktop I believe. Might be a solution to avoiding the tilt ;)

    Techincally this will then allow you to have a web version of your calendar that would be accessible when you are not at work or home, and do not have your phone.....

    Try this link -
  8. rainmanbk macrumors 6502


    Jan 30, 2006
    Southington, CT
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but current iPhones will not do that, and I do now know of any update to this coming with 2.0. Prove me wrong please, but I really don't think it's possible. Ever tried syncing an iPod with two libraries? Can't do it. Sorry mate.
  9. Donz0r macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
  10. bstpierre macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2008
    I'm your huckleberry.

    I tried doing this exact thing. At work I have Outlook with an Exchange server and my work calendar. At home I have a Mac with iCal. I wanted to sync both calendars with the iPhone. I could do it, kind of. There were issues, some of which seemed like bugs and they may have been fixed but I doubt it.

    I would sync with work computer and appointments on the iPhone would go to Outlook and appointments in Outlook would go onto the iPhone. Then I would go to sync with iCal at home. iCal wanted you to specify a calendar to put appointments in that were created on the iPhone. If I remember right you could pick any calendar and it would put the appointments in the last calendar created. Then when I went back to work to sync with the work calendar it would not know that the appointments that it transferred to the iPhone were the ones it already had so it would move those to Outlook, giving me plenty of duplicate appointments.

    I feel a fix to this would be to allow multiple calendars on the iPhone like iCal has. That way you can tell iTunes at work to sync your outlook calendar with the "work" calendar on the iPhone. You can also tell the iTunes at home to sync your home calendar(s) with a specific calendar on the iPhone (or provide a mapping to multiple calendars) and then you have everything nicely binned with the ability to view only specific calendars if the view is too cluttered. I would love to be able to keep a copy of my wife's and kids' calendars on my iPhone without having to look at them all the time, just when I want to see what is going on. I would also like separate views of my home and work calendar. I definitely don't want all those home appointments on my work calendar for others to see. I have suggested this to Apple a long time ago through their feedback system. I am unaware of any action they are taking in this direction.

    For me this is a bigger issue than MMS or copy/paste (although I would use copy/paste a lot).

    In the end I put the few work appointments that are important to me on my iPhone manually. It isn't many and they are recurring so I don't have to do it often.
  11. Jack Dangers macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2007
    Yup, I did that for a while, but like the other poster said, you start getting duplicates. I have Outlook at work and wanted to sync with iCal on my mac at home. It would work pretty well, but then the dupes started popping up.
    I've found this the case when you're trying to sync any device with two computers. For some reason it never works out as well as you would think. My solution was to start up a google calendar and use their Outlook sync tool. And for the Mac I used Busysync ($20.00) to sync up iCal with the Google calendar. This solution works well as I only had to sync up my iPhone with one computer, the Mac.
    But now with exchange support coming, I just plan to use it with my office exchange account...

    now if I could only find a good solution to use exchange w/ iCal:mad: entourage is terrible...
  12. MyJelleo macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I just plug my iPhone into each computer and sync. I just make sure iTunes is configured correctly to the address book and calendar.

    I just did this last night. iTunes asked if I wanted to sync the iPhone with the different computer and poof, done.

    I've had no problems. No duplicates, no spending money on extra programs.
  13. mwchris thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2008

    It seems as though I am not understanding the iphone functionally clearly AND that my question is not clear. Based on the numerous replies and many people having different answers, it currently seems to be impossible. So, Let me try again to restate:

    First, I can not use mobile me due to my profession limiting MANY MANY internet sites from work.

    Second, I will be syncing my music from my home machine so that is no issue, I know that can be done.

    Third, I would like to sync my contacts and calendar from two different computers. The first machine, at work, is a windows machine running outlook. The second machine, at home, is a mac running entourage (I do not use ical or mail).

    So, would it be possible to sync both of those computers calendar and contacts to one iphone? (My work calendar is the most important, but I want to be able to make changes on my computer at home and then sync again if need be.)

    I do not want to use any different software, or a website to do this. I just want to know if the iphone can do it. I know that my old 8525 and the new Tilt will do this no problem mind you I need to purchase "The Missing Sync" for my mac, but it works. If the iphone can do it, I will purchase one, but otherwise, I will stick to the tilt.

    Thanks for all the great responses, it explains why I was unable to find a definitive answer on the web.


    Phil, based on what I know about the iphone and your answer I believe to be true.

    I was under the impression that you could use multiple computer to sync via the cable for each different function (calendar, music, contacts), but you could not sync from multiple computers for the same function, just as you can not currently sync from multiple computers for your music collection on an ipod, legally.

    Sorry I do not know how to do a multi quote in a post . . .

    I can not add any additional software to my work machine. They have us locked up pretty tight. I can however sync with my phone though . . . .

    Can you be more specific in how this worked for you? It is similiar to when you plug in an ipod into a computer that is different than it's home machine?

    Thank you in advance!
  14. Jack Dangers macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2007
    From my experience, yes it can. But after several syncs it would start making duplicates in my calendars, primarily in Outlook. iTunes would ask me if I wanted to resolved the "sync issues" but it was never a clean sync. Only when I started using one computer is when I got the best results.

    But do you use an exchange server? If so, do you connect to it at home? I ask since you mention you use Entourage. If you do use exchange, the new software (2.0) allows full wireless exchange support which I think will basically solve your issues (I think).
  15. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    If I were you, then I would contact IT at your work, and ask if they will allow MobileMe, because this would be the easiest solution to your problem, and I do not see how they could have any major issue against Explain to them the situation and what Mobile Me does, unless your work has issues with access to personal email accounts from company computers, then they shouldn't have a problem with Mobile Me.
  16. benmrii macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2007
    One question for clarification:

    Is the data from home (Mac: Entourage calendar and contacts) different than the data from work (Windows: Outlook calendar and contacts)? If the answer to that question is yes than I'm fairly certain the answer to your original question is no.

    I'm 90% sure that I'm right - and 100% sure if I'm not I'll be quickly corrected :D - that the setup will either work with Address Book + iCal or Entourage or Outlook or MobileMe (which in turn will work with all of the others, but only because the data is then the same amongst them all). If you have multiple sources for contacts and calendars you need to either combine them or choose one for the iPhone.

    For example, this response:
    is a bit misleading given your situation (assuming different info on both computers). You can sync your iPhone with as many computers as you want, but the data will be from only one computer at a time. Syncing your home computer will wipe the data from your office computer, and vice versa.

    Hacked or a 'legal' program from the App Store might make this possible, essentially setting up separate users on the iPhone, but I don't think it is possible otherwise.
  17. mwchris thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2008
    I work in the education field so our computers are locked down significantly. My personal e-mail is blocked as is most e-mail outside of the company intranet. They will not support me on this issue. Thank you for the suggestion.

    I understand the software the same way you are explaining it.

    Yes the information will be the same on both machines. However, I want to be able to add a calendar or contact entry on either machine and have it update via syncing to the iphone then syncing to the machine that does not already have the entry, thus having both computers containing the same information.

    So, if I am going to have the same information on both machines, basically I would like the capability to sync with the iphone with either machine in order to update whichever machine may not have the new contact or calendar entry.

    Is the above possible?

    (It is quite interesting to hear so many conflicting answers to my question - however, I think it is an issue that many people are interested in and if there was a clear answer would help or hinder sales. I suppose if all else fails I can purchase the phone and try it for 30 days. But if it doesn't work that will mean that I have waited that much longer to find out it doesn't work and when I know the tilt will work out of the box. Oh and thank you to the Mod that fixed my posts. :))
  18. mwchris thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2008

    Sorry missed this one in the multi . . .

    We do run an exchange server, but currently my organization does not support/offer over the air sync or syncing from home. So, no, I do not access the exchange server via entourage from home. I do however use entourage to access my home e-mail (gmail and local provider). But the main things I want to sync are not e-mail, not an issue, but rather calendar and contacts.

    Thank You!
  19. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2008
    I thought that if you're solely syncing contacts or calendar (not music), that you can sync with multiple machines through the USB? It would pop up every time asking if you want to cancel, erase and sync, or merge info.

    Then you can just click merge info...

    Did it a couple of times.

    Or am I missing something? :confused:
  20. MyJelleo macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2007
    I don't recall my data being wiped when I synced my iPhone. Thanks for calling my post misleading when I actually got my iPhone to do exactly what I said in the post.
  21. DCBass macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Bringing this thread back to life...

    I'm bringing this thread back to life because I find myself in a somewhat similar position, and...

    1. This thread wasn't resolved, and
    2. iPhone OS X 2.0 came out.

    I recently got my wife a new iPod Touch. She would like to sync it to her calendar at work (pc w/ outlook, but no exchange support), as well as her calendar at home (pc w/ outlook). The rub, though, is that she does not want her personal calendar on her work pc for all her coworkers to see.

    Is it possible to sync one calendar on one computer, and another calendar from a different computer, and have them be separate "calendars" on the iPod Touch?

    Thanks in advance,


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