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Google Calendar First Impressions

Here are my first impressions after using the new Google Calendar (gCal) for a few days now.

Pros:

  • Integration with Gmail and automatic recognition of incoming email titles as possible events to add into gCal.
  • The Quick Add feature is a quick, smart, and intelligent way to add events into gCal.
  • Import iCal, vCal, Outlook calendar file formats into gCal.
  • Ability to share your calendar in either RSS or webcal format.

Cons:

  • You can share your calendars via the web, but there is no easy way to download a file that is ready to import into Outlook or some other calendar application that doesn’t support subsciption to remote calendars. There is a workaround if you use Mozilla Sunbird, which involves subscribing to the remote Google calendar, then selecting all the events in that calendar, and finally choosing Export Selected Events from the File menu. That is too much work for me. Why not just have the file readily downloadable in the same screen as the Calendar Details?
  • Extremely slow when accessing public webcal / iCal feeds.
  • No to-do lists (Come on now… how hard would that have been to add?)
  • No support for Safari browser on the Mac, and the IE 7.0 beta.

Wish List:

  • See the Cons section.
  • We need a public API, so other web apps or offline applications can take advantage of adding/syncing events to/from gCal.
  • I want some sort of ability to add customized RSS feeds into gCal.  This could be useful for integrating del.icio.us bookmarks, or TaDaLists, weather feeds, TV show listing feeds, etc.

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