With iCouch, you can synchronize your calendars with your Google Calendar and, through Google Calendar, you can also have your appointments show up on your iOS iCal as well. This guide will show you how to do this.
It's really important to read this article completely so you have a complete understanding of how sync works. The way we do it at iCouch is a lot different (and more powerful) than other synchronization methods used by competing products. So even if you think you understand it, please read on!
Very Important Concepts
iCouch does a 2-way sync with Google. This is an amazing timesaver and makes your iCouch and Google Calendar work together extremely well. What 2-way sync means is that if you add something to your Google Calendar, it shows up on your iCouch. If you add something to iCouch, it shows up on your Google. And, this part is important -- if you DELETE something on your iCouch, it will delete it on your Google Calendar. If you delete something on your Google Calendar, it will delete it from your iCouch.
This is extremely important to understand so it bears repeating: If you delete something from Google, it deletes it from iCouch. If you delete something from iCouch, it will delete from Google. So be careful!
If you don't want to have your stuff synchronized anymore, you can disconnect your iCouch from Google Calendar. Here's the article on how to do that:
The one limitation on Google Sync is that "all-day" events on Google will not show up on your iCouch. So, if you create an "all-day" event on Google Calendar, it will not affect your iCouch Calendar.
How Google Calendar events affect your iCouch availability
If you add an event to your Google Calendar, it will make that time unavailable on your iCouch availability calendar. So, for example, if you have a dentist appointment from 3-4pm on Wednesday, a client will not be able to book an appointment during that time. This is all automatic -- you don't need to do anything for this to happen. In other words, your iCouch availability is affected by events on your Google Calendar. Except "all-day" events on Google; all day events will not affect your iCouch availability.
When you create an appointment on iCouch, it will instantly (within a few seconds,) show up on your Google Calendar. However, when you create a Google Calendar event, it may take up to 10 minutes before that will show up on your iCouch Calendar. Be sure to reload your iCouch Calendar if you aren't seeing your events and over 10 minutes has passed.
How to sync your iCouch Calendar with Google
Sign in to iCouch. Click "Calendar" from the left sidebar. In the top-right of your Calendar, there is a button "Sync with Google." Click it. You'll be prompted to sign into your Google account. Follow the instructions. Assuming a successful connection, that Sync with Google button will now say, "Syncing." Now reload the page (Control-R on Windows or Command-R on Mac.) You could also sign out and sign back in again, but that isn't necessary, but if you aren't sure about how to reload the page, that's an easy way to accomplish this. When the page is reloaded, you'll now see your Google Events on your iCouch Calendar and you'll also see your iCouch appointments on your Google Calendar!
Syncing with iCal
There's no direct sync with iCouch and iCal. This is because to do an iCal sync, that involves creating a "feed" of your calendar to which you would subscribe and we don't like the security implications of that. However you can still sync with iCal. The way to do it is to sync your Google Calendar with your iCal -- then you'll see all of your iCouch events that way. So yes, you can have your events on your Apple Calendar, you'll just use Google as a proxy.
How to disconnect your iCouch from Google
Go to your Settings by clicking the gear icon in the top right of the window (it's near the Sign Out link.) Now click on the Calendar settings. Near the bottom, there's a button "Unsync with Google." Click it and that'll immediately break the connection with Google, however any events that have already synced will not be removed on either your Google or iCouch Calendar. You can now delete events from either calendar without affecting the other. Basically, the connection is completely broken.
There is one more step to fully disconnect. Visit https://myaccount.google.com/permissions and you'll see a section called "Third-party apps with account access." Look for iCouch in that list, click on it, then select "Remove." You will not be able to re-establish the connection with Google and iCouch in the future if you do not remove iCouch from that list. Even if you attempt to sync iCouch again in the future, you have to start fresh and ensure there isn't any existing iCouch connection within your Google account.
Privacy and Security
All synchronizations are HIPAA compliant. There is no Protected Health Information being shared with Google. iCouch appointments will be designated on your Google Calendar using the client's first and last initial. So a client named Omar Smith would be in your Google Calendar as "iCouch: OS."
iCouch never has access to anything else in your Google account except for your primary calendar. iCouch can never access Gmail, Google Docs or anything else you might use with Google. The only permission you are granting to iCouch is permission to read and write to your Google Calendar. That's it.
Google never has access to anything in your iCouch account. iCouch "pushes" events to Google and pulls events from Google. Google itself doesn't have any connection to our system. Meaning, there's no way Google can "see" anything in your iCouch account. This is the reason it takes up to 10 minutes for newly created Google events to show up in your iCouch and new events from iCouch can show up instantly in your Google Calendar. When you create a new iCouch appointment, we immediately send that to your Google Calendar, but when an event is created on your Google Calendar, Google can't "talk" to iCouch directly -- so what we do is ping Google every 10 minutes to check for new events. That helps ensure maximal security to both comply with data privacy laws as well as protect you and your clients' privacy. Privacy and security are core values at iCouch and because of that, we make no exceptions to our privacy practices, even for the sake of convenience.
Google Sync is optional. You don't have to use it. But for those that want it, it's there for you! Be sure to contact us through the help chat system if you notice any bugs or issues. We're glad to help!