Google just announced Google Calendar. I played around with it a bit. Pretty clean UI and very fast. Will get to it soon. More details in this review from TechCrunch.
Many features make this calendar product stand out:
- Public Calendar Search
- Publish an individual event on your website (with a snippet of HTML code)
- Create public, searchable events
- Support for iCal format
- Ability to receive notifications in email, SMS or as pop-ups
- Import calendar info from Outlook or Yahoo (using iCal or csv format)
- Fairly seemless integration with Gmail
Google has an Event Publisher Guide (a link from the help section of the calendar) on how to create, share calendar entries on your websites. The TechCrunch article mentions RSS syndication but I have not seen any references to that, so far.
This calendar product is the beginning of an interesting trend. How?
– It shows interaction between two applications (Gmail and Google Calendar). The email detects certain patterns (events in this case) and allows you to take action to update a different product. Right now both the products are from Google, but in future this may not be so.
– It brings sharing of data between applications to a new level. There is a better semantic interchange between applications
– It begins a new trend of one web application being the canvas of others. For example, we can imagine another application (todo-list) on the Gmail canvas. Gmail can be augmented to detect todo items and add them to the todo list. There could be a rule in todo-list to add items automatically to calendar.
While Google has done this with Gmail, nothing prevents these interacting applications from being components in a browser. Imagine the Calendar component in the side bar of a Firefox browser and the pattern detection capability a feature of Google Toolbar. You can now add events from web pages to a calendar component instead of doing it just from email. In fact, the goal of Microformats is to enable such interaction between (tagged) content and applications.
As expected there is a lot of coverage of this product: