RealTime IT News

Apple Updates iCal, iSync

Apple , trumpeting the success of its iCal calendar program, Thursday unveiled an update, and also launched iSync 1.0, an updated version of the synchronization software for Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, PalmOS devices, and Apple's iPod portable digital music player.

The announcement comes on the eve of a major product initiative, which the company unveils each year at the Macworld Conference & Expo. This year's show, which takes place next week in San Francisco, marks the return of co-founder Steve Wozniak to the stage.

iCal allows users to manage multiple calendars and share them over the Internet through an "Internet publish and subscribe" feature. Apple said that since launching the software in September, more than 1 million copies of iCal have been distributed and more than 200,000 calendars have gone online. Independent Web sites have also begun to host the calendars, including sites like iCalShare.com, which hosts more than 780 calendars in 28 categories ranging from movies to music and sports.

Once the calendars are online, other Mac users can subscribe to them and view them in iCal on their own Macs. Whenever the calendars are updated, the subscribed versions are also updated.

The new version, iCal 1.0.1, provides a number of performance and stability enhancements, and improved support for importing vCal and Entourage information.

Meanwhile, Apple also updated its iSync synchronization software, which allows users of Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" Address Book and iCal to synchronize contacts and calendars with their mobile devices and other Macs using Apple's .Mac service. The update adds the ability to sync "Jaguar" Address Book with the new .Mac Address Book, allowing users to access contacts from .Mac Web Mail.