BusyCal 1.6 and the iCloud Transition
This has been a roller-coaster year for users of Apple’s calendaring services. First there was the transition from the old MobileMe calendars, which used Mac OS X Sync Services, to the new MobileMe CalDAV-powered calendars (see “Upgrade to MobileMe Calendar by 5 May 2011,” 3 March 2011). Then there was the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion release, and with it a retooling of the look and feel of the Mac OS X default calendar app, iCal. And now, with the release of iOS 5 and iCloud on 12 October, calendaring for Apple users has changed again.
Third-party calendar developers have had to scramble and scramble again to keep up with all of these changes. BusyMac, creator of the popular BusyCal calendar and to-do list manager, has been running this calendrical Red Queen’s race along with everyone else, and has now released BusyCal 1.6 as a free update to current BusyCal users to bring the product in line with the latest calendaring changes imposed by iCloud (although the update is recommended for BusyCal users whether or not they are ascending to the iCloud).
BusyMac makes it clear that BusyCal 1.6 is not all that is necessary to make the iCloud transition problem-free, and to that end has provided an informative upgrade guide for the iCloud transition. The guide details the important differences between MobileMe and iCloud calendaring, provides a list of migration scenarios (for example, describing how Google calendar users or LAN calendar users might migrate), and then devotes itself to a comprehensive seven-step procedure for upgrading to iCloud with BusyCal.
If you, like many TidBITS staffers, rely upon BusyCal to keep track of your various work, domestic, and shared calendars, and you are about to make the iCloud leap, you should download and install the update and then spend some time reading the upgrade guide carefully before following its instructions. It’s time well spent. BusyCal 1.6 costs $49.99 from the BusyMac Store or the Mac App Store; it’s a 7 MB download.
You forgot to mention the sad fate of BusySync, i.e., BusyMac's sync service for iCal. I have never liked BusyCal and have therefore been a happy BusySync user. BusySync barely made it to 'Lion' and there is no further development in sight. BusyMac could at least offer an attractive upgrade option for BusySync users …
Didn't forget. I was simply writing about BusyCal, not BusySync.
They do have a $20 upgrade.
BusySync simply isn't where BusyMac wants to go, so they've kept it basically functional while not adding any new features for a long time.
Personally, I hate iCal with a passion, so I was very happy to switch from BusySync to BusyCal when it came out. :-)
I bought the BusySync family pack for USD 69.00. BusyMac offers me now a USD 30.00 upgrade to the BusyCal family pack. The BusyCal family pack costs USD 79.99, if I buy the upgrade I pay USD 99.00 …
But you get another, far more full-featured program that's also much more modern. $30 is a completely reasonable price for a family pack upgrade when the single copy upgrade price is $20. And you've had the use of BusySync since you bought it - if you had just purchased I'm sure that BusyMac would give you a refund instead of needing to upgrade.
Adam, you were absolutely right: I switched from BusySync to BusyCal and after some weeks of getting used to it, I am now happy with the software. In retrospect, the pricing of USD 30.00 was fair as well.