Nokia N97 2.0: now with iSync support

One of the reasons I complained about the Nokia N97 when I got a demo unit was that it lacked iSync support on my Mac. That immediately made it that less useful to me because I had become accustomed to syncing my Nokia devices with iCal and Address Book. Its how I used to roll and still my preferred way of keeping everything in sync.

Since I started using my N97 as my primary device, I became accustomed to using Mail for Exchange on my N97. I have been synchronising my phone with my business calendar and contacts on Google Apps and although it took me a while to get the hang of it, I finally figured it all out and its been working reasonably well for me. The main downside is that I can only sync one calendar at a time and my choice has been my business calendar (unlike most people, I like to have separate calendars for different spheres in my life).

Today my experience of my N97 got a little better. Nokia SA’s Tania Steenkamp messaged me and asked me if I had tested iSync with my N97. Of course that got my attention because there previously was no iSync plugin for the N97. I rushed over to the Nokia site and this is what I found:

N97 now supported by iSync.png

I installed the plugin faster than you can say “Don’t I have other work to do” and starting a fresh sync with my N97 (I opted to reset my N97 rather than wade through a few hundred sync queries from iSync). Like any reset it takes a little while to complete the initial process (around 20 to 30 mins for me). The result is that it worked reasonably well except when it came to some of my calendars. I need to explain how I have setup my calendars though because my setup is probably a bit more complex than the average user.

Calendars.pngI have setup my calendars to sync with my Google calendars. My personal GCal actually has a couple calendars for alternative projects, family and friends, home and so on. These are identified as “delegates” and are subordinated to my main personal GCal calendar. The structure is pretty much as you see in the image to the right.

The way I understand it, these other calendars are almost subsets of my personal GCal calendar (the “Paul Jacobson” one in blue). iSync allows me to sync my N97 with the two primary “Paul Jacobson” calendars (work and personal) but not the other ones. This type of setup seems to be an issue for MobileMe too because MobileMe doesn’t sync these other calendars either (I’m pointing this out in case someone feels the urge to tell me to get an iPhone, again). Update: I just checked MobileMe and it doesn’t sync any of my Exchange based calendars at all! Nokia 1 – Apple 0.

I suspect that if I had setup my calendars normally in iCal, my calendars would sync with my N97 through iSync correctly and would also sync with MobileMe. I would just lose the ability to sync with GCal. Ironically, I am not sure I want to give up the GCal sync via Exchange so even though this is one of the features I most wanted from Nokia, I probably won’t take full advantage of it.

Another thing to point out is that I have come to realise that Exchange sync between GCal and my N97 over the air is really handy! I don’t need to connect my N97 to my MacBook to sync, it just happens behind the scenes. Unfortunately that is even more limited than the iSync method because I think I can only sync a single calendar (I have this notion that multiple sync profiles in Mail for Exchange would just scramble all my calendars and ruin my day).

Anyway, the big news is that you can now sync your N97 with your Mac using iSync!






  1. Nafisa avatar

    This is awesome – I am very close to getting a MBP – hopefully this week 🙂

  2. The way we live next according avatar

    […] N900 looks pretty promising. The one thing I like is that it supports multiple calendars and given my fetish for contextual calendars and multiple Google Calendar accounts, support for all of these calendars would immediately put Maemo ahead of Symbian for me (as well as […]

  3. nigelspencer avatar

    Hi. I also downloaded the iSync plugin for my N97, but it simply refuses to connect to the N97, breaking off after a few seconds and returning an error message. I have tried both USB and Bluetooth with no joy. Any ideas?

  4. nigelspencer avatar

    Hi. I also downloaded the iSync plugin for my N97, but it simply refuses to connect to the N97, breaking off after a few seconds and returning an error message. I have tried both USB and Bluetooth with no joy. Any ideas?

  5. Dan, Brisbane avatar

    Pleased to see your articulate post and sorry to say i am having the same problem with multiple delegate calendars. Previously i have been using Spanning Sync to handle all the calendar syncing but its been buggy lately for me and the subscription is due again so am cutting out the middle man
    In the get an iPhone rant, I can see all my calendars on my iPod touch using a google tool for iPod/IPhone setups if that helps. Hope there is an answer soon

  6. pauljacobson avatar

    Hi Dan, are you synching multiple calendars using Exchange?

  7. pauljacobson avatar

    Sorry, I meant to ask if you are synching multiple calendars on your iPod using Exchange? Your comment indicates I edited it, apologies for that. I clicked on an edit button but made no changes.

  8. Dan, Brisbane avatar

    yes I have a bunch of delegate calendars that sync up fine to my iPod Touch using google sync

  9. pauljacobson avatar

    Ok, I was wondering about that and haven't had a chance to test it out on my wife's iPod Touch. That is great news for when I upgrade to an iPod Touch.

  10. ariasgmario avatar

    That's exactly my problem. It recognizes my cellphone, and when i click Sync, after a little while, it says that there was a problem retrieven information from my cellphone. I don't know whats happening, i didn't have any problem with iSync and my previos Nokia E71 phone

  11. Jatin avatar

    hey Paul, i just bought an N97, and I tried downloading the iSync plug-in from the nokia site. but when I click on the download link nothing happens, and now after having tried several times and got frustrated. Then I found your blog, it was a great relief. Can you help me with that 'dmg' plug-in file. i need it asap. without that I cannot sync my mac contacts and iCal. can u pls email me at Thanks.

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