Posted on April 12, 2006 at 11:39 PM
Just a few hours ago, Google Calendar launched, ending months of rampant speculation over when the search giant would actually release their long awaited calendar app to the world. After only playing with it for a short amount of time I am blown away by how quick and easy the interface is to use.
One feature in particular which I find amazing is the Quick add feature. Simply press the Quick add link in Google Calendar and you are presented with a box like this:
Enter in your information:
Then hit the plus sign to add the event to your calendar. Google automatically understands what day and time your appointment is scheduled by what you type in the box and then adds the entry to the appropriate date.
I could go on for quite sometime about every feature but to get a feel for how it really works you should experience it for yourself. Here are a few things I've noticed while briefly using Google Calendar:
- Slick user interface, responds faster than any desktop app I've ever used.
- Easy to import your calendar from your current calendar program like Outlook or Yahoo! Calendar.
- Event reminders delivered to you via email, pop-up message, or SMS.
- Add an event from Google Calendar to your website.
- The quick Add feature (as noted above) is fantastic.
- Flexible sharing between friends and colleagues. You choose who can see your calendar and what information is viewable.
- The Google calendar API lets users create custom web apps that interface with Google calendar.
- The ability to create multiple calendars for different aspects of your life. (home, work, school, etc...)
Cons (remember, this software is still Beta)
- No synching yet available with mobile devices or with other calendar programs (iCal, Outlook)
- A few glitches with things like repeating calendar entries and other minor GUI bugs need to be smoothed out.
- Ability to print your calendar to PDF from within Google Calendar is nice, but sometimes dates and times are in the wrong location or cut-off
- No direct link (so far) to your calendar from Gmail.
Though everything for the most part works well I am somewhat disappointed that Gmail hasn't been heavily integrated into Google calendar. But hey, it's only been a few hours. In the coming days and weeks look for the ability to drag emails from your inbox into calendar entries and the ability for Gmail to scan your incoming email for event info which will automagically add that event into your calendar. I also suspect a module will be created to add Google Calendar entries into your custom Google Homepage.
Google calendar is only a few hours old and is already being lauded as a hit. It has a fast, easy to use interface and they make it simple to import calendar data from other calendar applications. My bet is that as soon as Google makes available to companies the feature to use Gmail to host your company's email gone will be the days of spending thousands of dollars a year to host your own in-house email, which takes servers, costly software licensing and spam protection. Sure, some will worry about possible privacy issues, as Google scans all email in order to place their google ads. But when you're running a small company and money is tight, the advantage of using Google's email, calendar, and instant messaging platforms to keep your employees connected might look pretty tempting.
Also, take a look at the Google Calendar tour as it provides some helpful information which introduce you to a majority of the features.
This blog is going out on a limb and predicting Google's stock to rise about $30 by the time the closing bell sounds tomorrow.
Ed. Note: Want to give it a try and don't have a Gmail invite? Send me an email and I will gladly hook you up.