Facebook Calendars on your iPhone: The Old Way

–So as you may have noticed from the preceding post– I’ve found a better way to do this if you’re on 3.0. No matter though, I’ve got valuable information at the end for importing birthdays and stuff.

So I mentioned recently that I had successfully integrated my Facebook events/birthdays into my iPhone Calendar. It’s awesome, and was one of the things that I felt was really missing from the experience until now.

Today I bring this gift to you, my discerning reader.

What You’ll Need:

  • iPhone
  • Facebook
  • GMail
  • Friends that either: A.) Invite you to cool events or, B.) Have birthdays
  • (Optional) FBCal, if you want birthdays
  • (Optional) Jailbreak
  • (Optional) Remember The Milk account

So let’s start from the top. iPhone and Facebook should be obvious. You will need a Google account, as you’ll be using Google/Exchange syncing as the “transport layer” between FB and your iPhone.

I can’t help you make friends, but for a nominal fee I will make an appearance at your party.

The following  two bits are completely optional, but I feel add a lot to the experience. Remember The Milk (RTM) is a great todo-list service that integrates very well with gCal.

…and Jailbreak– man I could go on and on. It’s just… it’s the Mutt’s Nuts– You’ve gotta try it. The important take-away is that you can’t display your calendar directly from the lockscreen without it.

Step 1: Adding FB to gCal

First, you need to make sure that your Google account is subscribed to your Facebook events. This involves two pages (I’d recommend doing them in two tabs/windows): http://google.com/calendar/ and http://facebook.com/events.php.

  1. On Google Calendar, click “add” along the left-hand side of the page, and select “Add By URL”.
  2. At this point, go to Facebook Events, and click “Export Events” in the top left corner of the page.
  3. Copy this URL, and Paste it into the text box in your gCal window.
  4. That’s it! Your Google Calendar will always show you upcoming events, pulled directly from your Facebook account.

Step 2: Google Sync

Now to get your Google account talking to your iPhone. Follow the guide here (and be sure to turn off contact syncing unless you really know what you’re doing). This will make sure that your google calendars are always being pushed to your iPhone. Automagically, as it were.

That’s all there is to it! Your Facebook events should now show up on your iphone.

Step 3: Getting Birthdays

This part is something you may not want to do. You’d be surprised at how many people have birthdays. However, if you’re determined to soldier on, you can create a custom calendar using the service at http://www.fbcal.com . It’s actually quite easy to do, so I won’t bore you with more step-by-step instructions.

Step 4: Improving your TODO’s

http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ Is a web-based todo-list service that has plugins and apps for just about every platform imaginable– iPhone, Dashboard, Text Messaging, EMail. If you can interface with it, and you can probably use it to create a reminder on RTM. Handily enough, it also integrates into Google Calendar and your iPhone calendar:

Step 5: Getting your Calendar onto the LockScreen

This is what your Lock Screen could look like!

This is what your Lock Screen could look like!

Learn how to jailbreak here. If you need help or want to know if it’s really all that safe (it is) or easy (yes), feel free to give me a call or drop me a line. After you’ve jailbroken, install Lock Calendar from your new Jailbroken App Store (Its real name is Cydia, btw).

So anyway, I hope this has been informative for you; and enjoy your newly super-powered calendar!


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