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Working with Calendars and Reminders in iCloud

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This chapter is from the book

One of the best features of iCloud is its ability to keep your calendar events and reminders in the cloud and let you share your calendars with family, friends, and colleagues. Tom Negrino walks you through how to work with calendars and reminders in iCloud.

One of the best—and incredibly useful—features of iCloud is its ability to keep your calendar events and reminders in the cloud, automatically synchronizing them among all your devices. Imagine you’ve just finished an appointment at the dentist, and the receptionist asks to set up your next date. Whipping out your iPhone, you enter the next appointment into the Calendar app, and in a moment, that appointment appears on the rest of your devices.

Similarly, iCloud can create synchronized reminders for things you need to do. With the iOS 5 Reminders app, you can even set a reminder to appear only when you arrive at a particular geographical location.

But probably the most useful feature of iCloud calendaring is that you can share your calendars with family, friends, and colleagues. So when your daughter adds her soccer practice to the family shared calendar, it appears on the rest of the family’s schedule as well.

Setting up Calendars

You begin with calendars in iCloud by creating them, either in iCal or in the iOS Calendar app. You can also create calendars on the iCloud website circle-a.jpg, which I’ll discuss later in this chapter.

There’s one important concept to get when you start managing your schedule and to-dos with iCloud. There are two kinds of items that iCloud deals with:

  • Events are items that appear in the body of your calendar views. They will appear in the Day, Week, Month, and List views. They always have dates and times associated with them (though sometimes the associated time is “all-day”).
  • Reminders are to-do items. They work differently than they did with MobileMe, in that Reminders “calendars” now appear in a separate Reminders section in the Calendar List in iCal and the iCloud website (as such, a group of reminders is now properly called a Reminder List, not a Calendar) and you work with them in the iOS Reminders app, rather than with the Calendar app. Reminders don’t appear in the calendar views; you have to show the Reminders pane in iCal and the iCloud website to see them. Reminders may have a date and time associated with them, but don’t have to. Unlike Events, you can also set a Priority (None, Low, Medium, High) for a Reminder. Using a feature called “geofencing,” they can also be set to trigger on your iOS device when the device is physically near a location, using your device’s GPS and Location Services. Even cooler, geofencing can be set to trigger the reminder when you arrive at or leave a particular location. So that’s how the Siri personal assistant built into the iPhone 4S and later can deal with commands like “Text my wife when I leave the office.”

In this book, I’m focusing on iCloud, rather than working with iCal or the iOS Calendar app, so I’ll deal mostly with working with events on the iCloud website, rather than in the Mac or iOS programs. However, because Reminders are so intimately connected with iCloud, I’ll be going into detail with the iOS Reminders app in the “Working with Reminders on Your iOS Device” section, later in this chapter.

To create a calendar on a Mac:

  1. Launch iCal circle-b.jpg.
  2. Choose File > New Calendar > then either iCloud or On My Mac circle-c.jpg.
    04fig03.jpg

    circle-c.jpg Choose where you want to create your new calendar.

    Choosing iCloud will place the calendar on iCloud, where it can be shared by your other devices and by other people. If the calendar is on your Mac, it will be private and will only exist on the Mac where you created the calendar.

  3. The Calendars popover appears, allowing you to name the new calendar circle-d.jpg. Enter the name, then click anywhere else to save it.
04fig04.jpg

circle-d.jpg Name the new calendar in the Calendars popover.

To create a calendar on an iOS device:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, start the Calendar app.
  2. Tap the Calendars button.

    The Calendars (iPhone) or Show Calendars (iPad) popover appears circle-e.jpg.

  3. Tap the Edit button.

    The screen name changes to Edit Calendars.

  4. At the bottom of the iCloud section, tap Add Calendar.
  5. In the resulting Add Calendar popover circle-f.jpg, delete the name Untitled Calendar, then type the name you want for the new calendar.
    04fig06.jpg

    circle-f.jpg Type the name you want for your new calendar.

  6. Tap next to the color you want the calendar events to appear as.

    You may be able to see additional colors by scrolling.

  7. Tap Done.

    The popover will go back to the Edit Calendars screen, and the new calendar you created appears in the list.

  8. Tap Done.

To edit a calendar on a Mac:

  1. In iCal, click the Calendars button at the upper left corner of the window.

    The Calendars popover appears.

  2. Right-click the calendar you want to change, and choose Get Info.

    The info dialog appears for that calendar circle-g.jpg.

  3. Do one or more of the following:
    • Change the name of the calendar.
    • From the color pop-up menu next to the Name field, choose the color in which you want the calendar’s events to appear. One difference in iCal versus the Calendar app on iOS is that one of the color choices is Other, which when chosen brings up a color picker that allows you to choose any color you want, rather than a preset color.
  4. Click OK.

To edit a calendar on an iOS device:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, start the Calendar app.
  2. Tap the Calendars button.

    The Calendars (iPhone) or Show Calendars (iPad) popover appears circle-d.jpg.

  3. Tap the Edit button.

    The screen name changes to Edit Calendars.

  4. In the Calendar list, tap the name of an existing calendar.
  5. In the Edit Calendar screen, change the name or the associated color of the calendar, then tap Done.
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iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide

This chapter is from the book

iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide

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