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The webOS Wish List: CalDAV and CardDAV support

With the recent news that Google is shutting down support for new Exchange ActiveSync and Google Sync connections in favor of open source IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV standards, we were given a brief scare here in the webOS Nation. While we're safe for now thanks to Synergy utilizing Google APIs instead of Exchange, we can't help but wonder if there might be a better way to go about it.

Google's recommending that iOS and Android users switch away from ActiveSync and use IMAP (or the Gmail app for those devices), CalDAV, and CardDAV, services that the two leading mobile operating systems support. Other mobile operating systems - like BlackBerry 7, Windows Phone, and webOS don't support the calendar- and contact-syncing protocols. They can still send and receive emails with IMAP, but email is a whole lot more difficult without access to your contacts and their email addresses.

BlackBerry 7 isn't going to get updated to support CalDAV or CardDAV - Google had to build a custom sync app for the aged operating system. Windows Phone will need a system update - and quick - to add in CalDAV and CardDAV support, as it's clear Google's not planning on making apps for Windows Phone as they did for iOS and Android unless the platform's marketshare picks up (one could argue that the lack of Google services on Windows Phone will perpetuate a vicious cycle with respect to consumer adoption and marketshare).

webOS, on the other hand, could be an easier fix. While a system update would be needed to correct a no-longer-functioning Google log-in option for webOS (again, that's not happening with the Exchange shut down), replacing it would be relatively easy and could be accomplished with a distribution in the App Catalog or through homebrew channels. Yep, that's right, we're talking about a Synergy Connector.

As Open webOS is based on open source software, is itself fully open source, and is all about embracing open source standards, it's actually surprising that CalDAV and CardDAV support wasn't baked in during the open-sourcing process. Thankfully, thanks to the existence of Synergy Connectors, adding support for both shouldn't be an overly complicated matter for both Open webOS and even webOS 2.x and 3.x. Since webOS 2.0, the operating system has included support for adding third-party synchronization services via Synergy Connectors, though it's rare that an app or service takes advantage of the option.

Our suggestion: Make a new complete package Google log-in Synergy Connector that combines IMAP email, CalDAV, and CardDAV (while also adding separated support for the latter two for other services). Build support into Open webOS and put the Synergy Connector up for free in the App Catalog. If that's something that HP/Gram's not willing to invest their time in, thankfully all three are open source standards and maybe somebody in the homebrew community will pick up the ball and run with it.

Have your own thoughts on this or any other webOS Wish List entry? We fully expect you to. That's why we have the comments, it's your place to say how right (or wrong) we are. And we have little doubt you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so we've created a forum thread just for that - and an awesome discussion it has proven to be.