Google Calendar Wants To Date You

    April 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Months of waiting and leaked screenshots have finally led to the official launch, in beta, of the Google Calendar product. Google Calendar has occupied the minds of Googlites everywhere, dutifully blogging away whenever a whiff of GCal rumors wafted into the blogosphere.

Google Calendar Wants To Date You
Make A Date With The Google Calendar

How will Google Calendar change the way you schedule your personal or business life? Are you ready to go online with your events, or does the traditional “scribble on the back of a receipt” approach still work for you? Pencil us in for your opinions at WebProWorld.

"I'm really dating myself now."
"It's not as though anyone else would."
-- an old joke, but not nearly as bad as "Two guys walked into a bar; the third one ducked."

So it wasn’t much of a surprise to see a pair of posts from ZDNet blogger Garett Rogers about Google finally launching its calendar site.

After logging in with a Google Account and creating an event for this afternoon, we took the grand tour of Google Calendar. Or at least as much as we could see from the various settings and overview pages Google provided.

Basic preferences allow users to set time zones, date and time formats, calendar views, and declined event and invitation placement in one’s calendar. Users can create multiple calendars, share the ones they have, or delete ones they no longer need.

Notifications from Google Calendar to its users can be delivered by email or by SMS when mobile notifications are enabled. People who want to enable mobile notification can do so from the Notifications tab; just enter a mobile number and the carrier, then enter the verification code received on the phone to finish the process.

Users with existing calendars in iCal or Microsoft Outlook can import them into Google Calendar through a simple select and upload process. Those can be imported to any of the calendars the user has created.

Additional users can be assigned rights to calendars. Specific people designated by the user may access those calendars with permission to change events, manage sharing, or simply see event details or free/busy information.

Google probably created this feature to support their Gmail for Domains clients; with Gmail for Domains, Google hosts Gmail accounts for a specific business or institution. Users in groups or organizations tend to desire not only calendars, but sometimes multiple permissions for managing a particular calendar.

Other guests can be invited to an event, and permission for those guests to invite others may be granted as well.

Event creation can be done through a simple process of clicking a desired time within a date, entering some details, and saving it. If that’s too complicated, Google also provides the Quick Add feature.

Quick Add takes a natural language approach similar to that used by other calendar services like 30 Boxes. Clicking Quick Add brings up a single box, where the user can enter, “Doctor’s appointment 9am Friday,” click the + sign on the box, and see the event tossed into the correct date and timeframe on the calendar.

Once entered, events can be edited or deleted as needed. Events can be duplicated, or set to repeat for events like tedious weekly meetings with an overpaid, backstabbing network manager as a purely random example.

The Google Calendar works well in Firefox 1.5 and Internet Explorer 6. Its Ajax interface operates quickly, and the controls seem intuitive enough for new users to quickly grasp.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.