Last week, Google launched the beta of Google Calendar, an online calendaring and scheduling application that interlinks with other Google services, like their customizable homepage and Gmail. This brings them one step forward on their (apparent) plan to completely conquer the internet. It’s very Microsoft-ish of them. :)
Having a Google account, I was happy to discover I could log into Google Calendar and play around. It’s very... calendar-ish, I suppose. I’ve used Sunbird before, and I’ve seen iCal, and there’s some obvious similarities. You have multiple calendar/month/week views. You can schedule events and if they repeat. In some views, you can drag events, stretch events, lots of fresh, fancy Web 2.0 functionality you’ve come to expect from Google applications.
They’ve added a couple other features that are nice. A reminder feature allows an email to be sent out to, um, remind you of an upcoming event. You can invite people to the event, allowing them to confirm. When adding details, the location is linked to Google’s mapping app (depending on your level of detail when describing the location). You can open the calendar to groups or to the public. And, for those with calendars already, you can import and/or share calendars.
Some of the interface is wonky, though. I felt I was stumbling around for a while finding what everything was. And I’m still confused as to what is shared and what is public and what is not. With some more experimentation, I’m sure it will all become obvious. Plus, everything still has that plain Google look. I now it make’s it load nice and fast, but would it kill Google to pretty it up a bit? Maybe an option that you could turn on in the Settings?
Another addition is the Google app links in light blue in the top left hand corner, a subtle reminder that you can organize and live your entire online life through Google. So, if you’re using Gmail, there’s a good chance that you’ll at least take a look at Google Calendar...
This application has been rumoured and speculated on for a while now. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the idea; they let rumours and gossip speculate on what the next online app from Google will be, and whatever gets the most buzz for the longest time is what they actually work on. Or buy outright.
The devious, genius bastards! :)