Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar Released

Google Calendar is finally live. It's another slick AJAX offering from Google, presenting a clean and uncluttered interface.

It's a pretty good package, which emphasizes the collaborative nature of most people's diaries. Perfect for social groups, families and businesses to schedule events, I predict Google Calendar will have an impact on businesses and event planning as people being to utilize it as an avenue for event promotion, as we can all be assured it won't be long before 'Events' start popping up in the SERP results.

The app provides the standard features you'd expect from a Web 2.0 calendar app with drag and drop event creation and modification and multiple calendars with dynamic overlays. As it's a Google offering the 'Search My Calendars' feature is as fast and comprehensive as you'd expect, and the 'Quick Add' feature that interprets a sentence into a full event entry by decoding the 'when' and 'where' is impressive.

There's a healthy dose of the social web with this release. All your calendars are shareable, with each event as well as each calendar having the option of being a private or public event, so you can share calendars with friend's, family, or clients. In addition to that, you can invite specific guests to an event, and each event features a 'discussion forum' perfect for organizing the event and talking about it afterwards.
Each calendar is available as an iCal and XML feed for integration with existing desktop calendar apps, and I dare say it won't be long before people you see these feeds pop up on web sites.

Notably missing from the new release is a todo list and a day journal -- both of which I'd love to see in later releases. Also absent at this stage is an interactive API, though the iCal and XML feeds take us half the way there.

It's not the killer web-app many may have been expecting, but it is a solid release that captures the essentially collaborative nature of calendaring very well. It's continued success will depend on reliability, uptake, and further development of the feature set.

At this early stage I give it the thumbs up, and hope the calendar team keep up the good work.

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