Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion

I’m a big Google services user. I’ve had a Gmail account since the day the service launched and Gmail has been my default email address since. When Google launched the Calendar service I integrated that into my daily life. Google Talk hasn’t taken over the instant messaging world but it quickly became my preferred client. With each iteration of the OS since Leopard, Apple has made it easier to integrate these Google Services, including Address Book into my Mac life. Apple’s latest Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, has been out for some time and Apple has made significant changes to some of the native apps including Mail and iCal that make setup and use of Google services even easier. Let me show you.

## System Preferences ##

The simplest method to setting up Google services on OS X 10.7 is via the _System Preferences_. OS X Lion System Preferences has a new option called _Mail, Contacts & Calendars_ under the _Internet & Wireless_ section. Select it.

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10.13.56 AM

## Mail, Contacts & Calendar ##

This section reminds me a bit of the Mail preferences pane in iOS. From here we can set up various email and calendaring services from Yahoo, AOL and others. To setup a particular service, click the _Add Account…_ button and select the icon for the service. In this case, we are setting up Google services so select Gmail. NOTE: This is the same way to set up Google Domain services.

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10.14.25 AM

Once you select Gmail you will be prompted to add you Gmail (or Google Domain) username and password. The username should be you complete email address. After entering your credentials click _Setup_.

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10.14.56 AM

You may have to wait a few seconds while your Mac connects to Google’s service.

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10.15.52 AM

Once complete you will be presented with a screen to confirm which services you want enabled. As you can see below, I’ve selected all of them including iChat. Click _Add Account_ when you are ready to go ahead.

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 10.16.05 AM

The process for adding Google Domain accounts is similar. You should now be able to use your Google Contacts via the Mac Address Book, your Gmail via Mail.app, and your Google Calendar via iCal. Any changes to your Google Calendar or Contacts will be sync to your Mac and vice versa.

## Final Notes ##

My wife and I each have Google calendars and quite often we have a need to view each others calendars. Google Calendar enables us to make all or part of our calendars sharable for ease of scheduling. I’m involved in a number of social clubs and I have subscribed to their published calendars. The process above will only sync the default Google calendar to OS X. To enable syncing for any subscribed or share calendars you’ll need to follow a few more steps.

Launch iCal and select Preferences from the file menu. Select the _Accounts_ tab, the select the Gmail account, and then the _Delegation_ tab. After a few seconds a list of shared and subscribed calendars should appear. Select the check boxes next to the ones you want to view in iCal then close the preferences window.

Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion Screen Shot 2011 09 03 at 2.19.16 PM

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7 responses on “Setup Mail, Address Book and iCal to use Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts on OS X Lion”

  1. @brother_t Now I understand. But what you want is not possible on OS X unless the you are using an Exchange server account. Unfortunately Google only provides Active Sync access to Google Contacts.

  2. @khurtwilliams Thanks for your reply and effort! But when I do as you described, my local address book “On My Mac” will sync with Google. This is not what I want, as I explained here: http://cl.ly/1v0m3c2U1z2p1Z462B3O

    I need a second, separate address book, that syncs with Google Contacts from work, just as you have one in your screenshot under “Work (Exchange)”. I don’t want to sync my local address book “On My Mac” as it is private.

    Anyway, I think there just is no way right now. Thank you again!

  3. @brother_t Launch the Address Book app. Now bring up the “Preferences” for AddressBook. On the Accounts tab click on “On my Mac”. You will see checkboxes for Yahoo and Google. When you click them you will be prompted for your username password. Now Google (or Yahoo) contacts will sync to your Mac.

    http://cl.ly/3Y25331b3v2W433t0n0q

  4. @brother_t You can configure Google Contact (or Yahoo) sync via the Address Book app. It’s not part of the System Settings for iCloud. I know it’s confusing. Let me know how you make out.

  5. Hi Khürt,

    in your article you say: “You should now be able to use your Google Contacts via the Mac Address Book […]” But as we can see in pictures 4 an 5, Contacts are not mentioned. It’s only Mail, Calendars and Chat. What am I missing here? I’m asking because I’m really interested in finding a way to sync Google Contacts with the OS X (Lion) Address Book via Active Sync (Exchange) oder CardDAV. I need to keep a separate local account with private contacts that I don’t need to sync. Using “Synchronize with Google” on the local account is no option for me. Any ideas oder hints? I’ve spent hours on this issue already. 🙁

    Thanks & cheers,

    .tim

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