Google Calendar
April 12, 2006 9:03 PM   Subscribe

 
bad news for 30boxes
posted by muckster at 9:05 PM on April 12, 2006


Meh. There is very little that Google Calendar can do that iCal isn't already capable of.
posted by danb at 9:06 PM on April 12, 2006


Hallelujah!
posted by lenny70 at 9:08 PM on April 12, 2006


I think the big selling point for Google Calendar will be the interface. Granted I haven't used iCal, but Google Calendar is incredibly simple to use and at the same time flexible. I love that I can get SMS alerts too, not that I need them but it is a neat option.
posted by aburd at 9:11 PM on April 12, 2006


Sweeeeeet. I knew as soon as this launched, all the other calendar apps would die. As long as I can add events and dates from Gmail right into it, I'll even stop using iCal (which I could never get to on my laptop when traveling, since I was using my iMac's iCal).

Took them long enough, didn't it?
posted by mathowie at 9:12 PM on April 12, 2006


This just in:

Lots of computers in the world aren't Macs, and can't run iCal.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:13 PM on April 12, 2006


There is very little that Google Calendar can do that iCal isn't already capable of.

Guh. It's web-based (and I don't need to shell out $50 for a .Mac subscription). For people with two computers, this is fucking great.
posted by mathowie at 9:13 PM on April 12, 2006


that was for danb's "meh"
posted by Mikey-San at 9:13 PM on April 12, 2006


Hmm, disappointing. I really thought they would learn from 30boxes that a natural language interface for adding events (e.g. "dental appointment next Friday at 12" actually creates a dental appointment next Friday at 12) is really the killer feature for next-gen calendars.

I do like the "agenda" view and the overall visual design. I'll stick the 30boxes for the near future, though, since I don't really need to search my calendar.
posted by xthlc at 9:15 PM on April 12, 2006


does this kill upcoming.org, too? looks like the sharing will be a big part of it. somehow I haven't figured out how to add calendars yet though.
posted by muckster at 9:15 PM on April 12, 2006


omgkbye
posted by nitsuj at 9:17 PM on April 12, 2006


Your search - groupwise - did not match any answers in our Help Center.

Please edit your search terms and try again.


Not that useful for someone locked into GroupWise--or am I missing something?
posted by LarryC at 9:21 PM on April 12, 2006


Mikey-San: fair enough. There's Sunbird, but that'll take a long time to catch up.

mathowie: Yeah, maybe I'm not just not as into web-based apps as most people. Do that many people e-invite their softball teams to practice or whatever? Doesn't it hurt more than help to have yet another service to subscribe to others' events (poor upcoming.org)? If your phone is capable of receiving messages to remind you of events, synced across several computers, why not just use the planner that's no doubt included on it as well?


On an unrelated note, importing ICS files needs a bit of work w/r/t repeated events. Otherwise it seems to work well.
posted by danb at 9:22 PM on April 12, 2006


xthlc, try QuickAdd
posted by muckster at 9:22 PM on April 12, 2006


But will it sync with my Palm Z22? That's the big question on everyone's mind.
posted by bjork24 at 9:23 PM on April 12, 2006


Guh. It's web-based.

Which make it particularly handy when you are at a place without Internet access.

Also, it doesn't work on Safari. (surprise.)
posted by keswick at 9:25 PM on April 12, 2006


They can't send text reminders to Verizon phones?! Jesus H. Christ. What's that, like 20-30% of the mobile market? And of course they don't have a workaround for their fancy-pantsy little mobile phone detector; at least Yahoo calendar has an "ah, screw it, type in your phone's email address" option.
posted by rkent at 9:26 PM on April 12, 2006


Also, it doesn't work on Safari. (surprise.)

Yeah... what's the point of having iCal support if 80% of iCal users won't be able to use it?
posted by maxreax at 9:26 PM on April 12, 2006


LarryC, this may help.

Unless I am missing something, as long as your Calendar can export to the iCal format it can sync. I'm sure third party apps will be created shortly that will simplify the process for pretty much every calendar type.
posted by aburd at 9:28 PM on April 12, 2006


larryc

I feel your pain. You are going to have to get off of groupwise eventually anyway, though.

As for 'why not use such-and-such tool'. Good question. People will still use their favored organizing tool. But for me, this is a god send, as me and most of my friends are gmail and gtalk users already. This is just another extra feature to a set of web apps that I have open all day, everyday anyway.

What it will really hurt is evite.

Though, I've noticed that for some reason google apps tend not to appeal to a certain broad segment of the population that likes flashy animated gifs, blink tags and embedded music files.
posted by empath at 9:29 PM on April 12, 2006


maxreax: things like Basecamp integration.
posted by empath at 9:30 PM on April 12, 2006


I just added an event "Wally showing up at 12:30" and it added an event from 12:30 until 1:30
posted by WetherMan at 9:31 PM on April 12, 2006


Ah, thanks muckster. Still, "QuickAdd" makes me click on the day the event will be, and it doesn't recognize recurrence (e.g. "Project meeting every Wednesday from 12 to 1" doesn't work). Also, makes me use a mouse and is buried in the interface, so meh.

Very pretty and featureful, but missing that darn %10 that I as a fickle user must have . . .
posted by xthlc at 9:33 PM on April 12, 2006


What I'm missing right now is the tags. I guess the idea is that you keep different calendars for things you'd tag differently? Coming to think of it, I'm not sure the tags ever worked that well for me in 30boxes.
posted by muckster at 9:38 PM on April 12, 2006


Are you kidding me? Cell phone notifications? Event pop-ups? Daily agendas? I am really happy they finally got this together. It's the last app I really need and am unwilling to pay for under any circumstance. I'm assuming it will eventually integrate seemlessly with Gmail, right? Like they snuck in chat?

On the other hand, it does kind of creep me out that a publicly-traded corporation will hold all of my email, chat logs, and calendar appointments--not to mention all of my searches. Google, may you long stay unevil. Please. (Next up, Google Diary.)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:40 PM on April 12, 2006


Well, I've been looking for a good calendaring solution for a long time and the closest I could get was Lightning. I had a look through Googles Calendar, imported my ics's, and I ain't looking back, it's everything a web-based calendar should be! And for having been released for less than 24hours it certainly blows away most of the free stuff out there.

Now if they would just integrate the gmail contacts with google maps, I'd be a happy camper.

And release an app for sync'ing. And an MSN interface for GoogleTalk... and... and...
posted by blue_beetle at 9:47 PM on April 12, 2006


I already ran into something that bugs me, and would have been completely avoidable if it were properly designed:

Go to the Settings page once you're looking at the calendar. Decide that you don't like the current date format, so change it from the drop-down menu. Now, decide that you'd like to also have a look at the Notifications tab, since you like the idea of setting up SMS notifications. Click Notificiations without first clicking Save.

Ha - your changes to the date format are lost, along with any others you made. Conveniently, though, a javascript warning just reminds you of this fact. Wheee.
posted by odinsdream at 9:49 PM on April 12, 2006


It's web-based

Which has it's problems. No net, no calendar, net down, no calendar. Not to mention, for mac users, I doubt it will mix with other mac apps as well.

If it plays well with iCal (and I can use both) and it supports safari, I'm there.
posted by justgary at 9:52 PM on April 12, 2006


Maybe I'm off here, but I still think that all of these google ad-ons are about keeping us logged in so that searches can be correlated to profiles.
If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind using the bonus shopper card when it has your info rather than Joe Blow from 123 Paved Street that's great. If you'd rather your searches be anonymous then maybe you should take a pass?

This from a guy who uses gmail as his primary email account. My bonus shopper card is for Inigo Montoya
posted by djeo at 9:54 PM on April 12, 2006


Now if I could only figure out how to get my calendar to show up on my google.com/ig frontpage....
posted by thecjm at 9:54 PM on April 12, 2006


This may be blasphemy, but what does it do that Yahoo Calendar doesn't already do? Plus Yahoo has a merge Outlook addon that keeps the two in sync. Did I miss that on the Gmail calendar?
posted by ?! at 10:01 PM on April 12, 2006


Welp. Seeing as Plaxo does contacts, calendar, notes and tasks with a sync to Outlook, such that the machine at home an the machine at work, not to mention the PDA, all have the same crap, consider me underwhelmed.
posted by linux at 10:30 PM on April 12, 2006


This may be blasphemy, but what does it do that Yahoo Calendar doesn't already do?

Probably not much, but google seems to have more fanboys than yahoo.
posted by justgary at 10:36 PM on April 12, 2006


and I don't need to shell out $50 for a .Mac subscription

icalx solves this problem actually, at least as far as being able to read your calendar from anyplace and syncing to other calendars of family etc. I like icalshare for subscribing to other calendars with stuff like holidays.
posted by jessamyn at 10:49 PM on April 12, 2006


.
posted by Eideteker at 10:59 PM on April 12, 2006


Maybe I'm off here, but I still think that all of these google ad-ons are about keeping us logged in so that searches can be correlated to profiles.
If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind using the bonus shopper card when it has your info rather than Joe Blow from 123 Paved Street that's great. If you'd rather your searches be anonymous then maybe you should take a pass?


Anonymity on the internet is an illusion. They have your IP, and you have their cookie - those are the only two things they need to figure out and track what you're searching for.

There is no such thing as an anonymous search...
posted by SweetJesus at 11:02 PM on April 12, 2006


Yeah. Both Yahoo Calendar and Plaxo will sync my laptop and web calendars (both in outlook), and keep them online. Without a similar sync feature, Google calendar's not for me, either.
posted by ManInSuit at 11:03 PM on April 12, 2006


Tried to use it with Opera and she sploded.
posted by Occams Hammer at 11:04 PM on April 12, 2006


First try the servers were being hit pretty hard: Calendar is unavailable right now, please try again in a few moments. This lasted only moments, but worth noticing. I resisted Google/hosted and will probably only use this as a backup--like my Gmail address

_sirmissalot_: Next up, Google Diary
posted by rxreed at 11:09 PM on April 12, 2006


Calendar is unavailable right now, please try again in a few moments

[...]

Calendar is unavailable right now, please try again in a few moments


Google hates me. But that's OK, 'cause I'm a little leery of them, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:10 PM on April 12, 2006


April 2008: 92% of world have adapted to Google Calendar. The world's population become so organized, getting so much more work done, that job efficiency goes into some exponential nirvanaland and everyone under the age of 26 get the boot. Except for those in France.

I'll take my scraps of post it notes that fall off the wall and slide behind my desk, forever to be lost, over this any day.

Now if I could only remember when I was supposed to pick up my Mother-in-law from the airport.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 11:15 PM on April 12, 2006


I'll even stop using iCal (which I could never get to on my laptop when traveling, since I was using my iMac's iCal).

Matt, I use iCal and I have two macs, a Treo (palm) and my iPod all synched with the touch of a button using iSync. When I need to, I can publish calendars to the web using phpicalendar and a 60 second ftp session. (But those aren't synched.)

Not sure I need Google Calendars yet, but I'd like to try it if they get it working on Safari.
posted by evoo at 11:45 PM on April 12, 2006


Meanwhile, what the fuck?

OK, I'm back to the Google-hatin'. That didn't take long.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:45 PM on April 12, 2006


Stav, and I mean this kindly, but what the fuck are you talking about? Clicky your linky.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:51 PM on April 12, 2006


The link is http://www.google.com/davincicode/. It forwards to (*checks the redirect URL*).... well, holy shit.

Apologies. Fifteen minutes ago, it forwarded to here.

I loathe marketing, so I had a brain fart. Apparently the redirector has been taken down, though, just since I posted that. Weird.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:01 AM on April 13, 2006


More info here. I didn't just dream it, apparently. Andy saw it too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:09 AM on April 13, 2006


Ah, now it makes slightly more sense. I like to picture you in such a frothy rage over the blatant marketing that you can't type the link in correctly, cursing Google to the gods as you do so, howling in a paroxysom of anti-capitalist fury.

(You do realize that this site is kept running in large part by Google marketing $$$, right?)

Actually that's just speculation on my part, but I bet I'm right.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:16 AM on April 13, 2006


I just poked around around that Davinci Code thing. Very weird. Any site that says "No purchase necessary" at the bottom should probably be avoided.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:22 AM on April 13, 2006


Seems to have sploded again. At least, I can't get to it. With all the downtime that GMail has been experiencing over the last few months, I really hope that GCal is on different servers.
posted by antifuse at 2:22 AM on April 13, 2006


"Calendar is unavailable right now, please try again in a few moments"

Eh ... maybe they need to add a few boxen to the Google farm.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:28 AM on April 13, 2006


... and maybe check their error messages for comma splices.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:31 AM on April 13, 2006


Seems to be a bit buggy still. I mailed invites 1 hour ago that still haven't arrived and my holiday subscription isn't showing. But it seems very cool, and I'm probably going to leave 30boxes for this...

No change in the Gmail interface yet though. Does anyone see any change there?
posted by bering at 2:57 AM on April 13, 2006


No change in Gmail yet that I can ascertain, but I'm one of those weird UK "googlemail.com" people.

But I'm with the others - without the ability to sync with work and PDA calendars I can't see myself using this yet.

I await the inevitable 3rd party apps with baited breath: IntelliSyncGoogle please!
posted by LondonYank at 4:27 AM on April 13, 2006


Guh. It's web-based (and I don't need to shell out $50 for a .Mac subscription).

Guh. It's called WebDAV. :)

Joking aside, you don't need a .Mac account. I share calendars between Thunderbird on Linux and iCal on my MBP. However, not everyone has access to, or can be bothered to set up, WebDAV and it's Google so I imagine this will be really successful.
posted by bouncebounce at 4:31 AM on April 13, 2006


"Calendar is unavailable right now, please try again in a few moments"

WHAT?!? Google hasn't just shown signs of strain, has it?

I'll wrap up warm and look for low altitude free range bacon...
posted by twine42 at 4:47 AM on April 13, 2006


This seems a good a place as any to ask a really daft question, I haven't really bothered using anything but paper calenders, but my office mates wants me to use iCal too. Here's the kicker, we want to share the calender between on, on macs connected to each otherr on a home network - not the entire intarweb. You know, so I can write "staff meeting friday 6" and all the other calenders sync to that. Is that even possible?
For now the public calender in the kitchen announcing "staff meeting friday" will have to do.
posted by dabitch at 4:59 AM on April 13, 2006


It's about time.

(no pun intended)
posted by furtive at 5:00 AM on April 13, 2006


oh dear. between us on macs connected to each other...
posted by dabitch at 5:01 AM on April 13, 2006


Server Error
The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.
Please try again in 30 seconds.


Sell that GOOG stock now!
posted by darren at 5:21 AM on April 13, 2006


Have you people been living in underground caves during pretty much every single one of Google's post-Gmail product launches? They're always swarmed with traffic on day one. Reader, Analytics, Pages, and now Calendar. They "show signs of strain" because they dedicate small amounts of power and/or bandwidth to them. It's got to be deliberate, since not only did they throw out the great crescendo-release pattern of Gmail, but they've failed to learn from the instantaneous explosion of their other launches.
posted by Plutor at 5:46 AM on April 13, 2006


I'm surprised there's so little sync. It can apparently import from an iCal calendar shared on WebDAV, but I couldn't get that to work. Even if it did, it's just import -- it won't update from that.

Just now I've got iCal at home, PHPiCalendar to view from the web, and it's all synced to my mobile phone so I can make and check appts from anywhere. Using Google's offering would mean restricting all that to anywhere there's a new version of Firefox … and that's *it*. No ta.
posted by bonaldi at 6:04 AM on April 13, 2006


> Server Error
> The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.
> Please try again in 30 seconds.

No problem, just put a reminder in my calendar.
posted by NewBornHippy at 6:15 AM on April 13, 2006


Meh. There is very little that Google Calendar can do that iCal isn't already capable of.

That must be why iCal beats them in football nearly half the time.
posted by jon_kill at 6:25 AM on April 13, 2006


Pretty neat. Once it gets integrated into GMail, it wil be swell.

I do have a mac, and I do use iCal, but I can't see my calendar from work on a PC so it's not that great. I'll use this for the same reason I use a web-based email.
posted by smackfu at 6:26 AM on April 13, 2006


(But the scrollbars on the Agenda view are a joke.)
posted by smackfu at 6:28 AM on April 13, 2006


remind for EVAR!
posted by [@I][:+:][@I] at 6:35 AM on April 13, 2006


Yeah, yeah. Google calendar. Just wait until the hive starts calendaring things for you.

1:30 pm - Pick up dog from vet

2:30 pm - Drop off rent check

4:15 pm - Report to Centgoogcom for bioscan

5:00 pm - Make dinner reservations at San Chez
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:23 AM on April 13, 2006


I love this, but I'm still going to keep scrawling illegibly in my nifty moleskine appointment book. Now I'll just have a backup on the web.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:27 AM on April 13, 2006


So I can't figure out how to make a calendar public without the need for XML readers. Like, can I make a calendar that anyone can check out at a fixed web address, like calendar.google.com/goatdog or something?
posted by goatdog at 7:47 AM on April 13, 2006


I've been using icalx for some time, using it to publish a group calendar. I recommend it. It both acts as a hub to let other iCal users subscribe to the calendar and shows the calendar over the web.

I also just switched to a web host that supports webdav, and discovered that I can publish my private calendars to that. Works like a charm.

The google thing is neat, but I like iCal, I like some of the things I can do with it (like attach scripts to events), and it seems to have the whole sharing thing covered.
posted by adamrice at 7:49 AM on April 13, 2006


This is one of those threads where I feel like I live on a different planet than everybody else. Why do so many people need a calendar? I have a good sense of when I need to do what - on my social schedule. Its either scribbled or remembered.

As for work, I do need a scheduling calendar. But I keep that strictly at work. Before I go home I see what appointments I have the next day so I am prepared...and thats it!

I understand maybe this thread is not for me but I admit to being really puzzled by the "Just what I needed! Now I can sync all my calendars and my PDA!!!" crowd.
posted by vacapinta at 8:05 AM on April 13, 2006


vacapinta, I don't know what you do for a job, but for me the joy of having a calendar that I can sync up with other calendars is twofold. 1) my boyfriend and I can maintain a joint calendar and I can know whether he has something planned for a specific evening just by looking at the calendar. We're both pretty busy so this allows us to be able to at least get a rough idea of when the other person is free. 2) I have a very loose job/work dividing line. When I had a fixed-hours day job I would definitely do exactly what you did. But at some point I started doing a lot of combined odd jobs, things with deadlines that weren't my main job and then found a calendar to be a good way of keeping track of a lot of other things that normally went by the wayside like birthdays, meteor showers and six-months-off dentist appointments.
posted by jessamyn at 8:18 AM on April 13, 2006


So I can apparently look at my GoogleCal using Sunbird, but it's read-only. Nice, but why can't I set it up as read/write, so that I can add events offline and then sync when I'm next online? That would be cool. Perhaps someone will make this possible, the same way that Google made POP3 possible for Gmail.

Now get that frickin' IMAP running, you lazy innovative bastards! I had to set up my own server just to have archived email, and I am not about to set up phpIcal again just for this...
posted by caution live frogs at 8:40 AM on April 13, 2006


I tried accessing it via my BlackBerry and got to the login page, but when i tried logging in it didn't seem to work, constantly refreshing and not getting anywhere.
posted by pithy comment at 8:53 AM on April 13, 2006


Vacapinta. I'm a freelance web and print developer. The people I team up with can see when I'm scheduled so they'll know if I'm available for a gig, or a meeting.
posted by juiceCake at 9:05 AM on April 13, 2006


This is a great thing, all the other web calendars I tried seemed kind of chintzy. The lack of Verizon carrier support for SMS notifications really cooks my grits though.
posted by prostyle at 9:28 AM on April 13, 2006


I've been playing with iCal since I got a Mac a few months ago and now I'm tempted to use this new Google thingumy for its webbiness, but they both seem to have a similar quirk that really bugs me. Quite often I want to mark an instant or an occurence in a calendar, but neither seems to explicitly allow for that. I can have an event that lasts some period of time (meeting from 9:00 am to 11:00am), or I can have an "all day" event, but I can't say "interesting thing happens at 5:37 pm on Thursday". I can say an event lasts from [time1] to [time2, where time2 = time1], but that always seems annoyingly contrived. Or am I being thick and missing something obvious? The default timescale for events in iCal seems to be one hour, if you don't say otherwise.
posted by normy at 9:44 AM on April 13, 2006


This just in:

Lots of computers in the world aren't Macs, and can't run iCal.


This just in: Ical is actually a specification used by other applications and pre-dates the mac client. I believe it's XML. If only it were supported by the palm. Grrr.
posted by craniac at 9:54 AM on April 13, 2006


Once upon a time ago, when iCal was first released, I wrote a procedure up on how to use ical files with a palm. It's a bit kludgy but might be useful.
posted by smackfu at 9:58 AM on April 13, 2006


remind for EVAR!

Turntables, you're not the only one kickin' it old school. But this Google Calendar thing might be a good excuse for someone to write an ical export script for Remind, so we can dump our reminders to the web in a somewhat prettier format than rem2html.
posted by Galvatron at 11:22 AM on April 13, 2006


Craniac-

It's called SyncML.
posted by id at 12:37 PM on April 13, 2006


For those of you using Outlook, the visual studio runtime from Microsoft, in addition with remoteCalendars from SourceForge, will allow you to view the iCal format in Outlook.

For example, you can add the iCal for Canadian Holidays to Outlook or GCal, or both.

Use this with public GCal links for events or other people's free/busy time, or with your own private GCal links to see your GCal details in Outlook at work/home etc.
posted by tiamat at 12:51 PM on April 13, 2006


normy, I've noticed the same thing. I think it's just programmer/interface designer laziness, and at this point, sheer inertia. They could make it so that you could put in zero-duration events, but they probably figure that it's not useful enough of a feature for them to put in the effort (which honestly could be a lot if they want to display zero-length events differently from nonzero-length events).

Also, there are probably a bunch of tiny little calculator minds that insist that any physical event must take a finite amount of time to complete. Based on that logic, all they really need to do is provide very fine resolution so you can specify that "Turn on my computer" will have a duration of 736 milliseconds.
posted by breath at 1:59 PM on April 13, 2006


Watch out: for some reason, importing an Outlook.csv into Google Calendar shifts all of the appointments three hours into the future of the actual scheduled time (note: I'm in NYC GMT -5.00) This bug has been documented over at the Slashdot thread.
posted by moxyberry at 2:14 PM on April 13, 2006


Not seeing yet why it's better than 30Boxes. I'll keep tinkering though.

And, Jessamyn nailed it on why web-based is so key, for lots of households. More than one adult, coordinating work/home/social/hobby schedules with the other, is hard enough.

Add a busy kid or two in the mix, and life isn't for living any longer... it's for straining to remember who's supposed to pick up from school, where the recital is, when the week-long conference is, how long the in-laws are staying, and when Aunt Jen's birthday is.
posted by pineapple at 2:36 PM on April 13, 2006


Yeah. 30boxes has been a lifesaver for my spread-out, planning-impaired family. The first web 2.0 service I've "sold" to the non-geeks.
posted by selfnoise at 2:53 PM on April 13, 2006


I think the only feature they should really add is to-do lists/agendas for the Getting Things Done types.

Not everything in life can and should be scheduled, but it would be nice to have a set of to-do lists where I can do things 'when convenient'
posted by empath at 3:29 PM on April 13, 2006


Consider me among the underwhelmed. It's not bad, it's just not out-of-the-ballpark good. 30Boxes and even Backpack allow me to schedule reminders weeks or months out, but so far I've only found reminders one week in advance here.

It will doubtless be "just good enough" to garner gazillions of users, and thus there will be a heavy social pull toward Google for shared calendaring, but hopefully open standards will allow a lot more interactivity.
posted by dhartung at 4:04 PM on April 13, 2006


Fkn finally! I must have tried a dozen web calendars before settling on Calendar Hub, which I still think is a great service. But I was really hoping for the release of Google Calendar, and now it's finally here. *cries tears of joy*

I look forward to seeing how it integrates with Gmail, although I don't have anything on my schedule until Thursday...
posted by etoile at 12:46 PM on April 17, 2006


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