April 13, 2006
Today, Google announced Google Calendar, a free, web-based calendar service that enables users to access, manage and share all of their important appointments and special occasions in one place. Once users sign in at www.google.com/calendar with their Google Account, they can begin adding events and invitations to their calendar effortlessly, sharing events with their friends and family, and searching across the web for events they might enjoy.
In line with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, Google Calendar helps users organize and access information related to how they spend their time.
Key features include:
* Ease of use: Users can easily add events just by clicking where an event belongs and typing a brief snippet that describes this new event. The natural language recognition feature (called Quick Add) enables users to make entries without filling out cumbersome forms. If users have a Gmail account, they may see an "Add to Calendar" link appear alongside a message that mentions an event, whereby they can add this event to Google Calendar with just one click.
* One central location for calendar information: Users can see the calendars of their friends, contacts and activity groups alongside their own schedules, making planning much easier. For example, they can view their personal calendar along with their family’s calendar, and major U.S. holidays. Additionally, users can import calendars from other applications that support the iCal and CSV formats, and also search for public calendars on the web.
* Sharing and publishing: Users have control over how much calendar information they share. They can keep their calendars private, share calendars with a small group of people, or make their calendars publicly available and searchable on the web. Event planning is a snap with the ability to send invitations and reminders using Google Calendar. Also, webmasters can add Google Calendar event reminder buttons to their pages, enabling their visitors to quickly add copies of events to Google Calendar.
* Staying connected: Users can set up automatic event reminders sent by email or text messages to their mobile phones to help them remember appointments. For Gmail users, Google Calendar connects to their Gmail contacts list, making it even easier to invite friends and family to events.
* Open calendar format: Google Calendar was developed using the open iCal and XML standards, enabling other calendar applications to interact directly with Google Calendar.
Google Calendar is currently available in beta at www.google.com/calendar in English only, and we’re exploring opportunities to globalize the product in the coming months. We’re actively monitoring the growth of Google Calendar to ensure a high quality experience for our users, and we’re looking forward to receiving feedback.