How much does Google hate the iPhone? Well, I can count two ways. One is in the pisspoor shape of the Google Mobile app for iPhone. I begrudgingly use it because of the insta-local searches. Yeah, Google on Safari is supposed to work this way as well, but more often than not I have to add a click to get local results. But seriously, have you used the Google Mobile app lately? Gotta love that jump from previous searches to search bar, often causing a misfire when you really wanted to search for something recent again. Back in March there was a nasty push notification issue as well.
Then today I ran into a particularly nasty thing using Google Calendar. In theory you can sync more than one calendar with the iPhone using Google Sync. Of course, on the iPhone it isn't an app itself, so you go to m.google.com/sync in mobile Safari and set which calendars you wish to sync (by default only your "primary" calendar is included). So that's great except this particular page, for iPhone users and iPad users alike are being routed to the dead-end pages (see photo above). There's a link for "How to setup Google Sync on iPhone" which comically then refers you to go to m.google.com/sync. That, my friends, is what we call a loop or dead-end and is very, very bad web design. Not to mention it effectively breaks Google Calendar sync for anything but your primary calendar.
What makes me think this is a bug? Well, I don't have an Apps account, so I don't know how the other half lives, but in the "Setup" guide I get it refers to my device as "null." I realize Google has little love left for the iPhone, but has it really come to this craptacular performance? Must we mice be trampled as elephants joust? Pipe up in the comments if you see a fix or are having the same issues.
UPDATE: It's a frickin' documentation error. Google changed the URL but didn't document it. Here's the proper URL for adding calendars to sync with iPhone: https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect
This still doesn't eliminate the loop I documented, but maybe their intern in charge of this will stop playing Pac-Man one day and fix it.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Google sync issue for iPhone sends you to web dead end