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GCALSYNC: Operator Lockdown Strikes Again?

Posted: May 28th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Mobile, Web Services | 14 Comments »

I was catching up on reddit this morning and stumbled upon a link to GCALSYNC, a j2me app still in its early stages that allows you to sync your mobile phone’s calendar with your google calendar. I immediately got excited and went to try it out as a replacement for my current iCal/iSync setup.
I navigated over to wap.gcalsync.com using Opera on my Nokia 6682.

While I’m on the subject of Opera, if you’re using Opera for S60, run don’t walk to the 8.60 upgrade, it’s really amazing!

I downloaded the GCALSYNC jad, the installer launched, and I went through the usual “this is untrusted, install anyway?” dialog. This is something I’m used to, but I wasn’t ready for the “Authorization Failed” popup to end my install process.

I’m not sure if the install is failing because of a problem with the JAD/JAR or if the phone is refusing to install it because it uses the calendar API (or possibly another security API). My gut is telling me that it’s the latter because of an entry under known bugs on the GCALSYNC web page:

SecurityException: On Cingular (US mobile operator), the phone calendar is not available due to Cingular security restrictions. “Test” fails with a SecurityException whne testing phone calendar if you have this problem.

The workaround (if you ever manage to install it) is to bypass login information and link to your private calendar address, only allowing GCALSYNC to download information from your calendar, not upload information to it.

So what gives? Is the phone that I paid a decent chunk of change for (on contract) so locked down that I can’t use this compelling J2ME app on it? Is there any way that I (as an end user) or the developers of GCALSYNC can get around it?

I sure hope so, because this app looks totally awesome.


After catching up with me in the comments section of the GCALSYNC reddit post, Thomas has released an updated version which asks “pretty please” for permission to do something.  With that modification GCALSYNC now installs on my phone.  Thanks to Cingular’s lockdown though, I can only get at my calendars via the private feed which still means read-only data.

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