As much as I hate to say it, iCal is my Mac and iPhone life. My wife and I have many calendars—family, school, business, personal, and more.
We connect and sync using MobileMe (Apple’s rather thin version of the cloud). Unfortunately, we’ve encountered many of the more notorious iCal quirks, hiccups, and gotchas. And, we found a solution (to some).
Playing Nice With iCal
As you would expect, iCal plays nice nice with Macs and Mac users. It’s the Apple way. Try sending an iCal invitation to a Microsoft Outlook user and see what happens?
We send iCal invitations all the time. Unfortunately, many, many Windows users rely on the complexities of Outlook.
Outlook doesn’t open iCal invitations in a way that makes everyone happy.
That’s just one quirk. Here’s another. When you send an iCal invitation which email account does it use? It’s fine if you have only one, but not if you have and use a number of email accounts (personal and work, for example).
Don’t get me started on time zones in iCal. And why do outbound invitations have to say anything about iCal at all? Despite the Mac and iPhone’s growing popularity, most invitations recipients have no idea what iCal is.
Time For A Solution
Just as we’ve added a few nifty neato plugins for Mail, we’ve found a few for iCal that we like. A new one that solves some of our major iCal hiccups (duly noted above) is Zamain.
It’s a quirky yet inexpensive extension for iCal which fixes a few of the gotchas many iCal users have. iCal invitations to Outlook users can be opened. Use any of your Mac Mail email accounts to send invitations.
Sent invitations don’t have iCal noted anywhere. You can even add your own comments to invitation replies. And, if you’re a Mac user who hasn’t gone Intel Inside, Zamain gets all friendly with the past and works with PowerPC Macs using Tiger and Leopard (as well as Intel only Snow Leopard Macs).
Any caveats? Yes, a few. It only fixes those iCal gotchas that infuriate a relatively small segment of the Mac and iCal using market. Get this: Zamain is a subscription app. The price tag is for a year, so you really, really need to hate those iCal gotchas. That’s not an ordinary way to purchase a Mac app, but, to be fair, it’s barely 4-cents per day.
Finally, Zamain isn’t available on the Mac App Store, and it does not have a trial version. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee, but that’s not the same as a 30-day trial. It’s a leap of faith. Our experience has been good so far, but we have specific iCal irritations to address.