Hello! It’s been a while since my last entry as I’ve been vacation in
Anyway, lots of exciting things have happened over the last few weeks while I was away and the one that I think scores the highest on my hype-count was the official launch of Google Calendar on April 13th, followed quickly by the release of the Google Caledar API about 1 week later.
I first heard about the then-codenamed “CL2” application on Episode 1 of TalkCrunch (the podcast for TechCrunch) in an interesting discussion of how Google Calendar (gCal) compares with similar products like Zvents and 30boxes. In fact, I believe there were rumors that Yahoo acquired Upcoming.org in OCT’2005 because they were anticipating the launch of gCal at the Web 2.0 conference last year. Now, that podcast was released on March 15th and just as I was beginning to wonder if there was any truth to it, Google launches the app as soon as I leave the country for vaca!
Anyway, Google says that the Calendar is “…a tool that simplifies keeping track of events, special occasions, and appointments—whether they’re on your own agenda or on the calendars of contacts who opt to share their schedules with you.” Here are some of the highlights of the app:
- Quickly and easily add events
- Integration with Gmail (e.g. one click adding of events from email messages)
- Share-able calendars (with public or specified users)
- Search and compare tool (e.g. for comparing two different calendars)
- Built-in invitations via email (think “eVite”)
- Event reminders via email or text messaging (cool!)
- Support for Outlook and iCal, so you can synchronize your calendars
I think this will be a great product for people who travel a lot. I like the idea of being able to check your work calendar and compare it with your personal calendar while on the road, especially since it can be a real pain (and real s-l-o-w) to have to VPN-in just to look at your Outlook calendar.
Otherwise, you can simply keep calendars for every segment of your life and have them accessible and searchable everywhere you go! In fact, Google OS and Google Blogoscoped have some interesting public calendars that you can add to your own account for reference and here’s an innovative idea for using gCal in a medical practice. I’ve personally signed up for an account and will experiment with it over the coming weeks—it seems pretty nifty so far.
- A great round-up by 23rd World as well as Gmail integration info
- Review by Michael Arrington from TechCrunch
- CNET review by Elinor Mills
- Another good overview by Solution Watch, with lots of images
- A good discussion on gCal application and comparison with other products
- Great tips from Stopdesign for using gCal
- Nice source of gCal updates from Lifehacker