iPhone 2.0 and MobileMe: Shared Calendar and Contact Pushing.

I have two iPhones and two Macs that were sharing the same Calendar and Contacts. Each Mac/phone had unique email, bookmarks, music, etc., but the calendars and contacts were identical.

I have one .Mac account and purchased an additional email account, so how did I do it?

With .Mac and the old iPhone OS I accomplished sharing via the following:

  • iPhone A synced everything with the iMac, and the iMac’s .Mac system preference synced everything up to the cloud. This phone/Mac combination was the “master”.
  • iPhone B synced everything with the MacBook, and the MacBook’s .Mac preference (with my login credentials) synced only Calendars and Contacts. Meanwhile, the Mail app on the MacBook used the additional purchased .Mac mail account.

In this manner, phone A/iMac and phone B/MacBook each had unique emails, bookmarks, preferences, widgets, dock settings, music, videos, etc., but contacts and calendars were identical.

When a change was made on either iPhone or either Mac, a lot of syncing had to take place. It wasn’t too uncommon that something was entered on one device and, because it wasn’t synced, didn’t get to the other device(s) for a day or two. Still, it worked well.

Then came the MobileMe announcement and the promise of Push. Ah, the joy of not having to mess as much with manual syncing any more.

Setting up phone A was a snap, it uses my credentials and pushes everything. Works very well. However, phone B has a different MobileMe account (for the unique email), so if I turn on push calendars and contacts they’re empty! So I set it back to the manual sync above and gave it some thought…

What I ended up doing was this:

  • As mentioned, phone A/iMac used my MobileMe credentials and was set to push everything. The iMac uses the MobileMe preference to sync everything up to the cloud as before.
  • On phone B, I added a second MobileMe account. This account uses my credentials and pushes only calendars and contacts (obviously, the MobileMe account for email has calendars and contacts turned off). The MacBook uses the MobileMe preference (logging in with my credentials) to sync calendars and contacts as before.


Above is Phone A. “MyMail” is one MobileMe account using my credentials to push mail, contacts, and calendars.

Above is Phone B. “Mail” is one MobileMe account using the purchased additional email account. “Contacts & Calendars” is a second MobileMe account using my credentials and pushing contacts and calendars.

It works! Now both phones push calendars and contacts to the same place! The MacBook for phone B still syncs bookmarks, music, and all the other unique data back and forth via iTunes, but calendars and contacts are shared between all four devices and have all the advantages push offers.

So it’s a happy ending, right? Well, yes, but there is one issue. It seems that the iPhone will only allow one push MobileMe account. Since I push the account for calendars and contacts, it will not let me push the account that does email. I can only fetch. In other words, phone B has the same ol’ “check for it” email it used to have. Kind of a bummer, but that’s far less an issue for that phone than all the hassle of syncing calendars and contacts.

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One thought on “iPhone 2.0 and MobileMe: Shared Calendar and Contact Pushing.

  1. Hi! Thanks for publishing this. I have a question for you. I’m trying to do pretty much the same thing but different scenarios. My business partner and I want the ability to: 1) view each other’s calendar (but not the ability to edit them), 2) make changes directly on our iPhone calendar and have those changes be reflected on our “shared” calendar. Right now, we both have Mobile Me accounts. My iPhone is synced to my MobileMe account and works wonderfully. How can we view each other’s calendars? I’ve heard that my iPhone can only have one MobileMe account and I was told by the Apple Store geniuses not to attempt doing this with a second one. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thank you in advance!

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