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iPhone 3.0 Supports Both Local AND Exchange Calendars and Contacts

What would you like to do with the existing calendars information on your iPhone?

What would you like to do with the existing calendars information on your iPhone?

When Exchange support was added in the iPhone 2.0 software last summer, turning on Exhange Syncing for Contacts or Calendars was an exclusive action.  Once you turned on Exchange Calendars you could no longer sync your calendars on your iPhone with your computer directly.  It appears that in the iPhone 3.0 that this is no longer the case.  I upgraded to the beta of 3.0 last night and when I attempted to setup Google Syncing again with my calendars, I got the screen on the right.

Previously, doing this action would prompt me that all existing calendars on the iPhone would be deleted, now it asks what to do with the calendars already on the iPhone with an option to keep them intact.  This indicates that Apple is planning on removing the limitation of supporting either Exchange OR synced content but not both.

Unfortunately iTunes seems to not know what to do with this yet, and if I don’t delete the synced calendars, iTunes is not able to do anything with them.

Also unfortunate is that the iPhone will still only support 1 exchange account, an attempt to add a second Exchange Account brings up the familiar “Only one Exchange ActiveSync account can be configured.” message.  While most business users will only have one Exchange account to sign into, Google’s recent move into adding ActiveSync support to Google Calendar and Google Contacts means that at least some of those business users with business accounts on their company Exchange servers may want to setup their personal Google Calendar and Contacts as well, and they’ll be out of luck.

This is still good news, however, for anyone who needs their corporate calendars and contacts but has their own calendars and contacts on their computer as well that they would like to sync.  Kudos to Apple for this non-touted but useful feature.

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  • Lachu

    I have a question – i currently have the 2.2 version on iPhone and I was synced up with Exchange in my job. I have recently left the company and made some additions to my iPhone contacts that i would like to sync with my local computer contacts (.pst) my local PC (as I am working on my own).
    If I tried to remove the exchange connection, it says in 2.2 that it will remove contacts local to iPhone with a few updated contacts. How do I do this now?

    Lachu

    • That is a really good question, honestly I don’t know the answer to it, but I’m going to look it up because my curiosity is piqued.

  • Hans

    If you tap “Keep On My iPhone” when added an Exchange account, will the contacts and calendar events you had on your phone be synced to Exchange or does the phone intelligently keep track of which are local and which are Exchange? Would be ideal to be able to keep work email/calendar/contacts separate from personal, but accessible from the same device.

    • Another Excellent question I don’t quite know the answer to. Later versions of the beta software have hinted that it merges them, however the feature still does not seem to work correctly at least in my tests

  • jascha

    do you know if the “push” function of subfolders via exchange works now?

    • I’m not a good person to ask about that I’m afraid, as I indicated, I don’t actually use an exchange server, I just use the ActiveSync based Google Calendar and contacts support, which works well.

      However, I can postulate thusly: based on what I know of ActiveSync and Exchange, each Calendar is a subfolder, and at least in the calendaring application I have multiple calendars and they are all updating via push marvelously.

      This is however based purely on the Calendaring application, I suspect your question was regarding the Email application, and I have absolutely no knowledge if that works push or not.

  • This is a huge and under-reported feature. And have you noticed that it also supports CalDAV and ICS calendars over the air? I just noticed that myself – check my blog for details!