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I am using a MacBook Pro running 'Lion'. I would like to make one of my calendars in 'ical' available to one person for at least reading. If that is not possible, I would like to publish the calendar. Apple's website fails to explain these necessary steps:

  1. How do I publish a calendar that responds to my newly added schedule items;
  2. How do I inform the other person(s) how to access the calendar;
  3. How do I know that that other person has even looked at the calendar even once? (aside from asking them in person)
  4. Does the Macbookpro calendar even 'play well' with dissimilar devices, say the iPad, or the iPhone that this other person might be using?
  5. Is it even possible for people using a conventional browser on a non-Mac device to access such a calendar.

I'm set up on iCloud to share such things as photos, calendars, etc.enter image description here

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Great questions - lets thin it out so one question is asked per question. –  bmike Apr 13 '12 at 0:54
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3 Answers

The Apple Knowledge Base has an article on how to use iCal basics, and includes a Publish your calendar section. A few things they don't accurately specify:

  • Click on Calendars in the top-left corner, and then secondary-click on the calendar you'd like to share, and select Share
  • Choose a name and a sharing method
  • If you made the calendar public, you'll need to copy the URL and share that via email, IM etc.

You can't say if they have looked at the calendar or not. But they will be able to see the calendar on any device where they have an application that supports the CalDAV protocol—which means they need to use Google Calendar, iCloud via a browser etc. to subscribe to it. This should generally not be a problem.

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How do I publish a calendar that responds to my newly added schedule items;

Covered above.

How do I inform the other person(s) how to access the calendar;

When you invite someone it sends them an email with instructions

How do I know that that other person has even looked at the calendar even once? (aside from asking them in person)

When you go to the sharing properties it'll show you if they've accepted the share and are subscribing. After that, you'll have to ask.

Does the Macbookpro calendar even 'play well' with dissimilar devices, say the iPad, or the iPhone that this other person might be using?

Yes, it syncs with iCloud and is easy to use across iPads, iPhones, etc. I have mine shared with my wife across a couple of Macs, iPhones, etc. It's all very easy to use.

Is it even possible for people using a conventional browser on a non-Mac device to access such a calendar.

Yes: http://www.icloud.com That does assume they're sharing it into their own iCloud account, but the interface is largely similar to the Mac and iPad/iPhone apps. Even down the color of the calendar, etc.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Make sure you have Calendar set for sharing in the System Preferences > Mail Contacts & Calendars > iCloud
  2. Confirm that System Preferences > iCloud similarly sets 'Calerndars' to share
  3. Login to your iCloud www page (or at least set it up);
  4. Select 'Calendar' from the WWW page;
  5. Pick the one Calendar you want to share from the left hand side of the WWW page;
  6. In the following dialog, click the [email] button and enter the email address with whom you want to share. The email does not necessarily have to be coupled to an Apple Account/ID.

Optional steps: 7. Check that you are able to get 'cc:'d on that outgoing email that 'invites' the other to join in sharing; 8. Add a calendar entry; 9. Ask your friend to check visibility of new entry on iPad 10. Ditto for all other Apple devices.

When Apple's 'iCloud' makes the Calendar available for sharing, a Green Icon appears just to the right of the name of the Calendar. This icon means the calendar has been made available. It doesn't mean that anybody has actually looked at the calendar.

On your friends side, they should perform the following steps:

  1. Open their email, and if necessary, check the Trash or Spam folders to find your invitation;
  2. Accept;
  3. Open their Calendar application, iCal;
  4. Make sure that the 'visibility' of your calendar is toggled 'ON' with a check in the box appearing at the brown top margin on the left by clicking [Calendars];
  5. It wouldn't hurt to have them try to add a calendar entry in a reciprocal manner to the same Calendar to see if you can see it.
  6. If you are having trouble still, check that their Settings-> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> iCloud is set to swap Calendars with the iCloud

If you have a falling out or otherwise part ways with your friend, you can easily 'unpublish' your calendar (or even just stop updating it) from within the iCloud website.

For extra credit, try to see if you can get the receiving device to 'ping' in response to new calendar entries. This would be similar to push notifications. Go to the receiving person's iPad Settings-> Notifications -> Calendar to get Badges and Alerts set to 'on'

In "Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars->Fetch New Data" you can setup what to do. iCloud-> 'Push' seems to be fastest.

As per Q3, above, it seems that you still have to ask the person if they've accepted the invite and looked at a calendar entry. MacBookPro plays well with iPad. I tested this out. Not clear how well the published calendar works with PC users.

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