What are Meeting Invitations

Meeting invitations (aka, meeting requests) are special e-mails which contain an iCalendar attachment with a method of REQUEST. The invitation can be accepted, tentatively accepted, or decline. Accepted or tentatively accepted entries are automatically entered into your calendar.

How do they work?

It depends on the source. In NuevaSync there are two main sources of invitations: those that come from Google Calendar and those that come from all other sources, which we call external invitations.

Google Calendar Invitations

Whenever you are syncing Google Calendar, an invitation that comes from Google Calendar is treated specially. Google will usually have already placed a copy of the event in your default calendar, but without any information on whether you plan to attend. We will locate that event in your calendar and update your status. If you decline, the event at Google will be removed from your calendar and the organizer will be informed that you cannot attend.

External Invitations

These are invitations from other phones, or from desktop clients like Outlook or Thunderbird. It is unlikely that this event exists in your calendar already (though we do check, just in case), so when you respond we will create the event in your calendar for you. In someways this is the most exciting feature, because it means someone using Thunderbird can invite you to a meeting, you can accept it on your phone and have the meeting automatically entered into your calendar both on the phone and synced to Google, all with a single click.

What happens when I accept?

The event is entered into your calendar (if it doesn't already exist) and your status is updated to 'attending'. An e-mail is dispatched to the organizer informing him that you are attending. Depending on the organizer's e-mail program, he may not actually see the message, but it can be used automatically to update his copy of the event with your status. The invitation message in your inbox is then removed from the e-mail server, since it has been processed. Depending on the device, you may still go back later in your calendar and change your status to 'maybe' or decline the invitation. Apple devices make this particularly easy.

What happens when I tentatively accept?

Exactly the same as if you accept, except that your status is entered as 'maybe' attending rather than definitely attending.

What happens when I decline?

The event is not entered into your calendar, or is removed if it already exists. Declining an event is final. You cannot go back and accept it again later.

How do I create an invitation?

iPhone

While editing the event, click 'Invitees' and then choose the people you'd like to invite from your contact list. (The phone will only let you invite someone in your contacts.)

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Google Calendar

Just add guests to your event (type their e-mail address in the box on the right). When you save the event and are prompted to send an invitation choose 'Send.'

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GMail

In GMail, you can create an invitation right from the composition screen. Just click 'invite' below the 'Subject' line and you can enter all the information.

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Thunderbird

In Thunderbird, when you are entering the event details click the 'Invite Attendees' button at the top. Then just enter the e-mail addresses of all the people you would like to invite.

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Outlook

In Outlook, click 'Invite Attendees' in the upper left. The window will add a 'To:' field where you can add all the people you would like to invite. If you need more advanced invitation options, click 'Scheduling' instead.

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FAQ

I tried to invite someone on my phone, but it wouldn't let me type his e-mail address. Why?

Most phones only allow you to send invitations to people in your contact list. It is rather annoying to have to do; but try adding the recipient as a contact and then invite them again.

I was invited to a meeting in a shared Google calendar, why do I have two copies of it?

In Google Calendar, meeting invitations always show up in the default calendar. This happens even if you are not syncing your phone at all. If you are invited to a meeting in a shared calendar, you'll see one copy in the shared calendar and one copy in the default calendar. The copy in the default calendar is 'yours' and you can make private changes to it, such as adding personal notes, which do not affect the shared version and are not visible to other people sharing the calendar.

I received an invite from someone using Windows Mobile, but it just looks like a regular e-mail message. Why?

Windows Mobile sometimes uses a proprietary format to send invitations rather than iCalendar. We don't yet support this format, so meetings organized on a Windows Mobile phone will be synchronized as e-mail messages rather than as meeting invitations. We are working on adding support for this format.