Google Calendar – Teh First Week

So it’s been a week of Google Calendar Goodness.

Let me summarise herein the highs and lows of my experience thus far.

The Good:

* The interface. It’s just pretty. Lightweight, clean, simple, uncluttered. It works like I expect a calendaring app to work.

* The “Quick Entry” feature is pretty intuitive

* It exports my calendars in ical format; which imports into my iCal.app, which exports via iSync to my phone. Beautiful.

* It’s nicely integrated with gmail; eg, if the automagic filters detect an event being described in an email, it offers to add that event to your calendar

* Every event you invite other people to becomes a little webpage where they can accept/decline, invite other people or view the guest list (both of those are configurable – the former is off by default), mention that they’re attending “+X guests”.. the emails sent out are a nice simple HTML format, with accept/decline/tentative links.

* The emails also have an iCal format attachment for easy interoperability with other calendaring apps

The bad:

* Well, it can all be summarised by saying that it don’t quite work.

* The nice HTML email – my friends using some web-based email clients, as well as mail.app on the mac, don’t see the HTML by default – they just get an empty email with two attachments – a .html and a .ics

* The .ics – my friend using a web-based client clicked on the .ics. It opened in some flavor of outlook, he clicked accept. I got an email informing me that he’d accepted. However, despite an error message saying that he’d already accepted and the acceptance had been recorded in my calendar, it’s not actually recorded in my calendar.

* The same happened to my friend with mail.app – I got notified he’d accepted, but despite the error message, the acceptance didn’t get back into the calendar.

* The automagic filters automagically break; every single email I’ve seen them fire on hasn’t actually described an event, so there’s been nothing to add to the calendar. Conversely, the emails I’ve sent to test the filters haven’t actually been able to make them trigger

* Although the transition from gCal->iCal is easy, there’s no way to make the reverse journey. I could publish my iCal calendars online, and subscribe to them in gCal – but again, there’s no way for any changes I might make to an event in gCal to get back into iCal. I’m effectively stuck with two sets of events – one set that I can edit on my phone/iCal, and another that can only be edited in gCal.

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