Workaround for multiple Google calendars on Mango

Anthony Chu, the lead developer of Wonder Reader for Windows Phone, has posted a wonderful workaround for Windows Phone “Mango” users that wish to access multiple Google Calendars from the same account. As I’ve documented separately, this should be possible since Microsoft has broadly enabled multiple EAS-based calendars from the same source in Mango, and Google Calendar uses EAS. But because of a misconfiguration on Google’s part, only the primary calendar shows up in Mango.

Until now.

By default, Google only syncs your primary calendar with your device. On other mobile OS’s like iOS, Google allows you to select additional secondary or subscribed calendars to sync. The problem is that Google doesn’t allow Windows Phones to access this functionality.

The Solution in a Nutshell

Google provides a web page for selecting which of your calendars to sync, but they only made the page visible to iOS devices (and also Android, I would assume). The basic idea is to make Google think you’re browsing to that page on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) so that you can select additional calendars to sync to your Windows Phone. There are 2 ways of doing this: actually using an iOS device if you have access to one, or spoofing the user agent of your web browser to make Google think you’re on iOS. I’ll be detailing the latter approach.

There is one additional workaround before we’re able to select additional calendars; that’s because Google knows we’re trying to sync with a Windows Phone and they only allow us to select 1 calendar. Luckily, Google uses JavaScript as the only mechanism to prevent us from selecting more. So while the web developers among us are shaking their heads in disbelief at Google for using this web programming practice from 1996, this is great news for us because all we have to do to get around the limitation is to disable JavaScript.

Read the post for the full instructions. I’ll play with this today, but I’ve got a busy morning with a few meetings, so I wanted to get this news out as quickly as possible.

Thanks Anthony!

Update: I can now confirm this works wonderfully. Good stuff.

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14 Responses to Workaround for multiple Google calendars on Mango

  1. Brandon says:

    Sure, a week after I buy SuperG Calendar…. Oh well, i’ll see which way’s better :) at any rate, GENIUS! Thanks for the head’s up. I’ve been complaining about this since Day 1, since my wife has an Android and keeps the family schedule across multiple calendars

  2. You da man Anthony! Thank you mucho.

  3. Pingback: Tip: synchoniseer meerder Google agenda’s onder Mango > Post >

  4. lsobrado says:

    wow google is surely doing itself a lot of harm by providing the anti-trust guys from the EU and the US with more ammunition to prove it is using its power to harm other companies intentionally. this goes in the face of their “data liberation” initiatives, “do no evil” and, “open” claims. We saw this behavior with the youtube client for wp7 which is cripped by google, microsoft claims. If everything is as it appears, a lot of this stuff will come back to bite google just like similar things came back to hunt microsoft.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I really don’t think this is nefarious. I’m sure they’ll fix it and that their (perfectly valid) excuse will be that so few people use Windows Phone they didn’t even register this as a need. They’ll get there.

      • efjay1 says:

        Not so sure its as innocent as you say. We have Microsoft claiming WP7 is being blocked from proper youtube access, a poor official search client, now this. Pretty obvious they are doing what they can to hinder WP7.

  5. bradbamford says:

    That is awesome! I love workarounds that work this great.
    I also can’t help but think that Google will update their JavaScript detection to support mango sometime in the not so distant future.

  6. Pingback: How to Sync Multiple Google Calendars in WP7 Mango Beta - All Phones

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  9. Does this work with Google Apps accounts?


  10. Pingback: Add your facebook’s friends’ birthdays & events, seperatelly to your Google Calendar account « End of Line Magazine

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