Initial thoughts of Google Calendar

Logo-googlecalendarI’ve been using Google Calendar for a coupla days now, and am impressed. It’s easy and intuitive to use, and has the usual ajaxified interface we’ve all come to know and love from Google. As expected, it hasn’t changed much from the leaked CL2 Google Calendar screenshots on Techcrunch last month.

With the excellent Stopdesign collaborating with Google, it’s not hard to see why this project has turned out so well.  The company has also worked with Google before, on the Blogger.com redesign, which was also a huge step forward from it’s predecessor.  It’s also nice to see Google implement good web functionality such as RSS integration, easy publishing of calendars, easy sharing of calendars, and a decent API.

Screen-gcal-monthLike Dare’s experience, I haven’t really used calendaring much in my personal life.  It’s handy for work, to keep track of meetings, deadlines, etc, but outside of the office, it’s of little importance to me.  But, I have to agree with Charlene Li in that Google Calendar creates a platform for “Time” applications. The API is going to be the real key in making this a success.

It’s going to be fantastic when Outlook can integrate directly with this, which according to Google Calendar’s project manager Carl Sjogreen will be coming “soon”.  However, given that Google said they were working on multiple account support for GMail notifier a year ago, and nothing has happened yet, it’s anyone’s guess as to how soon we can really expect to see Outlook support.  Having said that, Outlook integration with GMail is a lot more visible than multiple account support for GMail Notifier, so I imagine this will take priority.

As applications are built on this, it’s going to be a lot more useful.  No doubt, it’s going to integrate strongly with Gmail somehow, but I’m really looking forward to the day when, say, my Sky TV planner integrates directly with my Google Calendar, so I can keep track of what TV shows I want to watch (or record).  No doubt, we’ll also be able to integrate things like Basecamp and Backpack into this too, which will be very helpful.  This could turn out to be the calendar of calendars.

When GMail launched, a couple of friends refused to move from Hotmail because they used the calendar functionality, which GMail didn’t have.  Maybe they’ll finally make the move now.

There’s more about Google Calendar on the The Google Blog.

Update: From Microsoft Watch, Microsoft Readies Multi-Pronged Calendar Assault, which speaks briefly about Microsoft’s calendar application in the pipeline.  However, having been using Windows Live Mail Beta for a few months now, it’s a sore disappointment, and if this is Microsoft’s answer to Google Calendar, they have nothing to worry about.

[tags]Google, Calendar, CL2, Gmail, Time, Outlook[/tags]

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