Google Calendar Redesign: 3 New Features - InformationWeek

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11/4/2014
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Google Calendar Redesign: 3 New Features

Google's updated Calendar app automatically adds appointment and event details from your email to your schedule and updates them in real time.

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Google launched a redesigned version of its Calendar app Monday, featuring a new layout and capabilities that automatically add appointments from your email and update them with changes in real time.

In the past, users needed to manually add entries to Calendar either via the Web or mobile device, including the time, date, and location. Google says this process was tedious and needed to be streamlined.

"It takes a lot of work to stay on top of your schedule," said Ian Leader, project manager at Google, in a blog post. "You have to manually enter that hotel or dinner reservation, then update it if your plans change. You have to hunt around for addresses and phone numbers, then add them to your events. And if you're on a mobile device, you might just give up on these kinds of tasks entirely."

Take advantage of Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and more. See 10 Great Google Apps Tips.]

The new version of Calendar features three big changes: It simplifies the process of adding event details into your schedule; uses autocomplete to speed up manual schedule additions; and showcases a new design that highlights media such as photos and maps of your destination.

When you book a flight, buy concert tickets, or make hotel reservations, for example, Calendar will pull in information from these confirmation emails and add them to your schedule.

This information might include your flight number and check-in time -- and if your flight is delayed, Google will automatically update your calendar with the newest information, the company said.

But not all plans are made via email, which is why Google added an autocomplete feature that it calls Assists to make it faster to enter events manually. Assists guesses what you're doing or where you're going and suggests titles, people, and places as you type. Google says it will adapt to your preferences over time.

"For example, if you often go running with Peter in Central Park, Calendar can quickly suggest that entire event when you type r-u-n," Leader said.

You'll notice that Calendar looks a lot different, too: The app is completely redesigned, more colorful, features photos and maps of where you're going, and adds illustrations of your other daily events, like dinner and drinks. Google says this new design and focus on images make it easier to see what's going on at a glance.

Google's new Calendar app will work on all Android 4.1+ devices and is available now for those running Android 5.0 Lollipop, the company said. Google is working on a version of the new app for the iPhone.

This is Google's biggest update to Calendar, which launched in beta in 2006 and was officially added to the Google Apps suite in 2009.

Last month, Google launched a new app called Inbox, which aims to reinvent your email inbox. The app organizes your messages into bundles, highlights messages from your family and friends, and lets you control what you want to see now, later, and never, through a series of new actions.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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RobertCaruntu
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RobertCaruntu,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2014 | 8:12:29 AM
Re: Are these features mobile-only?
from what I understood, they kind of said they will, though no official confirmation was made.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/6/2014 | 11:21:07 AM
Re: Are these features mobile-only?
Their mobile-first strategy makes sense, but plenty of people still manage their calendars via desktop. Hopefully we'll see the same upgrade soon.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
11/4/2014 | 6:34:22 PM
Re: Are these features mobile-only?

@Kristin     Ah I missed that - only for mobile ?  Oh Well, one step at a time I guess.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
11/4/2014 | 6:31:02 PM
Google's Calendar Improved ? About Time.

These improvements to Google's Calendar are great news !  As someone who tries to use their Calendar I have been waiting and waiting for them to make improvements.

Finally !  I always wondered why the Calendar module could never catch up to the email offering.  One would think one goes with the other - the years of imbalance just don't make sense.

Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/4/2014 | 10:19:53 AM
Re: Are these features mobile-only?
Just for mobile, though I agree -- I'd like to see a redesigned version for desktop, too. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
11/4/2014 | 10:01:17 AM
Are these features mobile-only?
The web-based version of my calendar doesn't look any different. Sounds like these are features that would be useful on the web, not just on mobile. Are they updating both? Wondering whether my account just hasn't updated yet or this really is a mobile-only transformation.
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