When people think about email, calendars, and contacts these days, one of the first companies that comes to mind is surely Google. Especially if you’re an Android user, Google may seem like the only sane option. That said, there are plenty of other email, contacts, and calendar providers out there.
Whether you use iCloud, a service like FastMail, or even the calendar component of a service like NextCloud, getting them to work on Android can be tough. That said, it’s not impossible, which is why we put together this guide.
What Are CalDAV and CardDAV?
CalDAV and CardDAV are protocols for calendar and contact data, respectively. CalDAV can be used for both calendars and tasks, while CardDAV is strictly for contacts. These are alternatives to the proprietary systems used by Microsoft Exchange and Google for their contacts and calendar data.
If you use a service that isn’t Gmail or Microsoft Exchange for your personal data, there’s a good chance that it supports CardDAV and CalDAV. Even if it doesn’t use these technologies specifically, the service may offer sync using them.
If you use an iOS device, CalDAV and CardDAV are supported natively. For Android, however, you’ll need to rely on third-party apps.
Syncing CalDAV on Android
There are a few different options for syncing CalDAV on Android. One option is CalDAV-Sync, which is available in free and paid versions and used to be among the most popular options. The other option is DAVx5, formerly known as DAVdroid. This option is fully open source. DAVx5 also allows you to sync both CalDAV and CardDAV from a single app.
Choose whichever app you prefer and install it. When launching the app, you’ll need to fill out your login information. This will include your username (usually your email address) and password. You may also need the CalDAV address for your server.
Now you can set how often you want your calendar to sync. Both CalDAV-Sync and DAVx5 support two-way sync, so changes you make on your device will sync to the server as well.
With CalDAV-Sync you’ll need another app, OpenTask, to access any task lists synced via CalDAV. DAVx5 aims to sync these natively. If you frequently use tasks over CalDAV, this is worth keeping in mind.
Syncing CardDAV on Android
As mentioned above, DAVx5 supports both CalDAV and CardDAV. If you installed CalDAV-Sync, though, you’ll need a separate app for CardDAV. Fortunately, the same developer makes another app for Android called CardDAV sync.
Setting these up for CardDAV is very similar to setting up CalDAV. You’ll need your username, password, and likely the CardDAV URL for your server. This should be available in your settings or in the documentation provided by the company operating your server.
Once you have your information entered into the app of your choice, you need to select how often it syncs. Contacts often aren’t as frequently updated as calendar info, so you may want to choose a less frequent update schedule compared to your CalDAV updates.
The above options aren’t the only way to sync CalDAV and CardDAV on Android. That said, they are two of the most popular options. If one of the options listed in this article doesn’t work for you, try the other. If neither works (which would be strange), then maybe consider another option.
As mentioned above, CalDAV and CardDAV aren’t the only non-Google options for contacts and calendar data. Microsoft and other services offer Exchange for calendars and contacts, and this is true if you have an Outlook.com email account as well. If you’re wondering how to sync these on your phone, take a look at our guide showing you how to sync Microsoft Outlook on Android devices.
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