Fast Forward's Help File

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By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, June 3, 2007

Q How can I sync Google Calendar to my smartphone?

AIf you only need to view the appointments stored in Google's online calendar service on your phone, you can use the mobile version Google launched two weeks ago. Just open your phone's Web browser and type http://calendar.google.com.

If your phone doesn't have Web access, you can also set up Google Calendar to remind you of events via text message: Click the "Settings" link in Google Calendar, then "Mobile Setup."

If, however, you also want to see Google Calendar events in your desktop scheduling software, Apple's iCal and Microsoft's Outlook 2007 can both subscribe to Web calendars like Google's.

Visit http://calendar.google.com, click the "take a tour" link, then click the "Help" heading and search for "37648."

If you run Outlook 2003, you can try a free add-on program, Remote Calendars ( http://remotecalendars.sourceforge.net). Note that it requires you to install a couple of Microsoft downloads first.

If you run Palm Desktop, a $30 application called CompanionLink for Google Calendar ( http://companionlink.com) seems to be the only option for downloading Google Calendar schedules.

I use Firefox in Windows, but on a Mac I've got Safari. Should I stick with Apple's browser or download the Mac version of Firefox?

Both browsers are about as secure in Mac OS X, but Safari fits a little better on a Mac. For instance, it can fill in your name and address automatically in online stores' order forms by reading that info from OS X's Address Book program.

Firefox, however, offers features absent in Safari, like a choice of search-engine shortcuts and find-as-you-type searching in Web pages. Some sites, such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, also work better in Firefox. (It doesn't help that Apple reserves major updates to Safari for new releases of OS X.)

It's probably easiest to keep both browsers around, with Safari as the default and Firefox as a backup.

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 orrobp@washpost.com.


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