Configuring an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch for Over-The-Air sync with ChaosHost

REQUIREMENTS: You must have a account and an Apple device running iOS 2.0 or newer. Apple added a Reminders app to work with your Tasks in iOS 5 or newer.

While not a requirement, it is also a VERY good idea to have a backup of your data files. Our Time & Chaos and Chaos Intellect programs offer this as a choice on the File menu. You should make a backup now if you have never done so, and making regular backups of your data is recommended!

This new account you will be creating on your iPhone/iPod Touch will NOT impact other accounts you have already made to send and receive email. This new account for ChaosHost will only concern itself with Contacts, Calendar, and Task items.

Please plug your phone into a power supply when doing your initial sync! It is not a requirement, but the very first transfer will be sending enough data that most users will notice considerable battery drain.

1. Enable Sync and configure Time Zone Settings

To successfully transfer your appointment data with correct times, you need to select a default Time Zone for your database on  You will also want to set your iPhone to the same time zone to ensure that all the appointment start and end times come to your device as they should.

On the website:

On your iPhone/iPad/iPod:

Please note that on iPhone/iPad/iPod devices, this Time Zone setting doesn't change your device's clock. It simply ensures that items entered on your device, your PC, or on ChaosHost directly all agree with each other. Our database does not store the time zone of a location where the event will take place. Instead, we take your specified time at its word as the literal time you want it to be scheduled for.  Microsoft likes to have appointments float around when you change time zones which can really make a mess of things!  So, setting the Calendar Time Zone on your phone to match our ChaosHost server selection will simply keep it from leaping around on times, trying to fix what doesn't need to be fixed!

2. Add New Account to your device

exchange account




3. Default Accounts

If you have more than one account on your phone, you might want to setup you new ChaosHost accounts as the defaults, so that new items you add to your phone are automatically sent to as well.

Below your list of accounts, you'll find a few sections for Contacts preferences and Calendar preferences. You'll only find this option if you have more than one account, but each of these sections, if there are indeed multiple accounts, have a setting for the Default Account. Setting your ChaosHost contacts and your ChaosHost Appointments as the defaults of their sections means that when you are viewing all contacts or all calendars mixed together and you click to add a new entry, it is the ChaosHost account that your phone will assume you wish to add that new entry to.

4. Configure "Fetch New Data"

Also on the "Settings" screen is a choice for "Fetch New Data". If the screen were larger to accommodate more text, Apple could have labeled it "Automatically Fetch New Data" which is a more complete description of what this section of your settings deals with.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: For Push, select "OFF" and for Fetch, choose "Manually".

Why do we recommend these settings?

If you do have a good reason for more constant updates, such as others on your team adding new Appointments with alarms that are critical for you to know about without desiring to reopen your calendar application, any of the other Fetch options will do the job. The more often you set it to check, though, the more battery power it will use as it does the work of checking it with our service.

If you do set your phone to "manually" fetch data, keep in mind that only when you open the Contacts, Calendar, or Reminder applications will it try to update your data. You can look for the spinning wheel at the top of your screen to see the sync in progress, as seen by the highlighted section in this screen shot:

iphone updating

Older Apple iOS version tech notes

iOS 5.x (released October 2011): Apple iOS5 added support for synchronizing Tasks from ChaosHost with the Reminders app on your device! Devices running older versions of iOS can only sync Contacts and Calendar appointments.

iOS 4.x (released June 2010): If you have a device running Apple's iOS4, your device can now sync with more than one source, which is great if you need it, BUT keep in mind that you need to be careful about which source is the DEFAULT one in your device settings.  If you add an item to All Contacts or All Calendars, it is the default account that will receive the new data you have added.

iOS 3.x (released summer 2009): If you have version 3.0 of the Apple iPhone OS, Apple devices will ASK first before deleting any existing contact and calendar data, but since it can only sync with one source, it is better to allow them to clean up your phone and remove the old data in Contacts and Calendar before synchronizing with a new source like ChaosHost.

iOS 2.x: WARNING: If you are still using version 2.0 of the Apple iPhone OS, Apple devices WILL DELETE ALL YOUR EXISTING CONTACT AND CALENDAR DATA on the iPhone/iPod when you configure it to sync over the air with any service like ours. This is a feature of the iPhone and is not under our control. Make sure you have made a backup of the data on your device with iTunes, just in case!




This help article applies to ChaosHost, a cloud database service for users of Chaos Intellect, Time & Chaos, and Chaos Free