Why are appointments from google calendar shown as „private appointments“?

Recently i got some emails and bad marketplace ratings for my app Week View since appointments from google calendar show up as „private appointments“ after the last update.

I have been investigating this problem and it turned out this this has nothing to do with Week View or any other calendar app. This problem was introduced in the GDR2 update of windows phone where the synchronization with google calendar has changed.

You can find more about this problem in the web for example at: http://www.ijsmblog.com/2013/08/microsoft-gdr2-update-for-windows-phone.html

The GDR2 update – which Nokia is bundling with its Amber update for Lumia phones – includes a change of method for Google sync. Instead of using its own ActiveSync method for syncing contacts and calendars, Microsoft has been forced to use the CalDAV and CardDAV systems preferred by Google.

An interresting thread can also be found at a microsoft developer forum: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/wpapps/en-US/b61b302d-94a3-4725-a3ba-a1ed49dde557/after-gdr2-appointmentssearchasync-doesnt-return-google-calendar-events

Another limitations of the windows phone programing interface is: It does not return details for private appointments. This makes no sense in my opinion since the private appointments are shown in the windows phone built in calendar – why not return them for all calendar apps?

Please vote for the feature at: http://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/110705-dev-platform/suggestions/2325913-remove-appointment-isprivate-limitation

So finally appointments from google calendar are returned as „private appointments“ and no details for private appointments are returned by the windows phone programing interface the result is: No details for google appointments are returned by the programing interface for windows phone. 🙁


So what can be done to fix this and get your google appointments back in Week View?

Week View already uses direct access to you windows live calendar, if you sign in to windows live inside the app and allow it to do so. With this „direct access“ Week View is able to bypass many limitations of the windows phone programing interface.

Using this workaround, Week View can return details for private/google calendar appointments. For this to work, you need to subscribe to your google calendar inside your windows live calendar.

At first, please go to the web interface of your windows live calendar and select „Import“


On the next screen, select „Subscribe“


Now open another tab in your browser and go to the web-view of your google calendar.
Here go to settings – calendar and select your google calendar.

You need to get the private address or „private url“ of your google calendar – click on „ICAL“.


This shows a dialog, where you can select and copy the private url of your google calendar. It‘ something like https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/….calendar.google.com/private-…/basic.ics

Copy this address and paste it to the field „Calendar URL“ in the other tab, where your windows live calendar is opened.


Finally click on „Subscribe“.

This subscribes to your google calendar from your windows live calendar.

Your google calendar appointments are now shown inside your windows live calendar and this allows Week View to read appointments from your google calendar by reading them from your winwos live calendar. 🙂

I tested this myself and it worked and I also got feedback from other users that it works. I know that this is a bit more complicated than it should be and 2 companies like MS and google should be able to define a common appointment format or use an existing one (!) for data exchange but at the moment we have to live with this.

6 Gedanken über “Why are appointments from google calendar shown as „private appointments“?

    1. admin Beitrags Autor

      unfortnately private appointments from exchange are returned without details by the WP programing interface.
      „Public“ appoinntments are returned with all data but „private“ are not and at the moment there is no workaround for this problem.
      I hope myself that MS will change this in the next update of the phone OS.
      Please vote for this feature at: http://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/110705-dev-platform/suggestions/2325913-remove-appointment-isprivate-limitation


  1. Patrick

    Dear Hannes,

    is it possible to integrate a direct connection to a google account into the calendar app until MS will change their minds and provide more options in their interface?
    This will be done by vsysCalendar WP8 and it works very well obviously.

    Thanks, Patrick

    1. admin Beitrags Autor

      Hi Patrick,

      this is possible of course. At the moment Week View uses the Windows Live SDK to directly access the windows live calendar, when signed in to windows live inside the app. Signing in to the google calendar „directly“ requires to use the google calendar API. This is on my todo-list for future updates but it’s not something that can be done in a few days. 😉 Meanwhile i can only suggest to subscribe to the google calendar in windows live as described in my blog entry.


  2. Hubert

    Hi Hannes,

    Although I like your Week View calendar a lot, but mentioned issue holding me back from buying it.
    Could you please elaborate why CHRONOS calendar has no such limitations and is showing all my calendars (1 phone, 1 business EAS, 2 google – owned, 1 google – shared) perfectly with great way to customize every calendar (with different background and/or font colors) for better overview.
    Also while in Settings > Replacements you can change icon color and symbol but when tapping most-left ‚color button‘ you are in symbol selection and by tapping ’symbol tapping‘ you are in color selection – should be opposite, don’t you think :).
    Unfortunately due to described above limitations to sync correctly all calendars, this pretty neat function is currently useless 🙁

    Wish you good luck with further app development.


    1. admin Beitrags Autor

      Hi Hubert,

      Week View shows all appointments that are returned by the windows phone programing interface, so your phone and exchange appointments should be visible.
      Appointments from google calendar are returned too but to get their details, you need to apply the workaround I suggested. (the reason is described in the blog article).
      Chronos calendar uses the google api to directly access google calendar – the same thing that week view does with the windows live sdk to directly access the live calendar.
      At the moement, week view does not use the google calendar api so it cannot directly access google calendar.
      This is on my todo-list but does not have the highest priority since there is a workaround (subscribe your google calendar to windows live) and windows live is the native windows/windows phone calenadar, so it has my priority.
      Please contact my by my support email adress (shown in the app) to discuss details, if you like to do so. 🙂

      nice greetings,