Syncing University of Leicester email and calendar with Apple devices

Today I tweeted about a useful guide from the University of Leicester IT Services about how to sync your University account with Mail on a Mac. This prompted this question from Henrietta O’Connor, a colleague from the Centre for Labour Market studies.

Tweet from Henrietta O'Connor

The key is to think of your university account as a Cloud service i.e. hosted and updated at UoL. Therefore the best way to keep devices up-to-date and accurate, is to sync them independently, as shown in this diagram.

Here are two useful guides form our friends at IT Services that instruct you how to do this:

  • Syncing with Mail of a MacBook (OS)
    After completing the setup this syncs your UoL email with Mail, UoL calendar with iCal and UoL contacts with Contacts
  • Syncing with iPhone
    After completing this setup you can choose to sync Mail, Calendar and Contacts (select as required). Just note if you sync contacts, this will override your iPhone contacts!

Henrietta said she also has a personal calendar in iCal on her MacBook. This too can be synced with the iPhone alongside the UoL calendar. This can be setup when syncing your iPhone in iTunes. During the sync, on the info tab go to Sync iCal Calendars, choose Selected Calendars and tick only the personal calendars on iCal. Don’t select the CFS calendars, as these will already be live synced with the iPhone (if instructions above have been completed).

Sync iCal in iTunes

Calendars on iPhoneThe reason for not syncing CFS calendars via iTunes is they will only be as accurate as your last iPhone sync. Live syncing your CFS account with all devices will mean whenever the CFS calendar is updated on one device, it will be updated on all the other devices.

My advice would not be to keep the personal calendar in iCal, as you will face similar inaccuracy issues as described above. i.e. If you add something new to the calendar, either on the MacBook or iPhone, the calendars won’t match until the next iPhone update.

I personally keep my personal (social) calendar and email on Google, as shown in the diagram above. These too can be synced with iPhone and MacBook:

I don’t personally sync my google account with Mail and iCal, as it is easy enough to view these via a browser. Hence the broken arrow on the picture above.

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