After speculation late last year about its imminent release, Google have finally released their beta Calendar offering. Google Calendar allows users to access, manage, and share their appointments in one place.
Whilst the online calendar offering is not a new concept, as Yahoo! and MSN have supplied calendars with their accounts for some time, the provision of a calendar that addresses the needs of modern users has been a long time coming. So is Google Calendar the answer? It sure is a giant leap in the right direction.
Here are some of the features that Google Calendar offers:
Calendar Sharing: Google calendar allows you to set up calendars with contents that can be shared with specific people or be totally open access. This is great for people whom have schedules that influence their businesses ie. Doctors, trades people etc.
Invitations: Similar to the Outlook Meeting function, users can set up events and send invites out to attendees. Attendees can respond even if they don’t use Google Calendar.
Gmail Integration: As with all good calendar offerings, Google calendar integrates with Gmail accounts. Whilst the integration at this stage is very limited, just a link button within Gmail, speculation that integration will be enhanced should see this as a valuable feature.
Search: For all those people with busy schedules, there is the obligatory search function so that appointments and events can be easily located.
Mobile Access: Google Calendar offers mobile alerts and reminders so you never forget an appointment whilst on the road.
Event Publishing: For businesses that run events and workshops, Google Calendar, through some simple HTML allows you to add a button to your website, allowing users to easily add events to their own Google Calendars.
After first trials of the new calendar, I was suitably impressed. The simple and intuitive interface complimented with the features mentioned above, does leave the competition trailing.
And if you are a current Outlook or iCal user, and think moving over to Google Calendar will be too difficult, worry not, as Google set up the new calendar to accept appointment imports from these offerings. Being organized online has never been easier…