Friday, April 14, 2006

Google calendar beta

Just released yesterday: gcal

That's what I've named it, anyway. A C|net article is here.

Cool stuff. It's supposed to integrate with gmail, but the implementation seems incomplete at this point. From within gmail there is no visible connection to gcal, but from within gcal I can send invites to events using my contacts list from my gmail account. I guess it's a beta release, but so is gmail itself, so I don't know what the deal is.

The calendar itself is clean, simple and easy to use. Very much like google maps, you can simply click on a day, type a few details and the engine parses your phrase and makes an appointment. It gives you a lot of control over appearance and functionality, plus your calendar data can be shared with others and output in Apple's iCal format or the more universal XML. It can even import events from other calendaring software such as Outlook.

The calendar supports event scheduling and invites and will send you reminders via email or text message on your cell phone. Your calendar data is searchable and you can manage the sharing privileges of your calendar globally or by event. If made public, your data will show up in the results of anyone's gcal search.

You can add other people's calendars to yours so you can see their appointments or events. Lots of potential here if particular venues or retail stores set up gcals. It'd be cool to be able to overlay particular movie times, concert dates or release schedules for new games or music right on your personal schedule. Looking forward to some cool applications and hacks using the gcal API.

UPDATE, 4/17: Ah, yes, now the mini-menu above the Gmail logo in the top left corner has appeared and opening an email with scheduled events prompts a clickable link in the right margin to add the event to my calendar. Clicking on the "Add to Calendar" link opens up a new small window with the event details prepopulated. You can then add any additional info and save.



Maharet said...

wow, thanks for the info. i recently signed up for gmail and thought i'd probably never use it!!! :)

Kevin said...

maharet: glad you liked it.

Maharet said...

your most welcome. :)