April 12, 2006

Google Calendar

so here i was, dabbling around on my home computer in gmail, when i saw a tiny little ad on the right-hand side of the page that read "Google to launch new calendar service" from some seattle-area newspaper. "interesting," i thought to myself. "probably time to go try this new thing out."

after determining the proper url (http://www.google.com/calendar), i jumped into the application and was immediately underwhelmed. sure the interface looks pretty nice. importing the calendar from a CSV file was easy enough. creating new events seemed easy. editting an existing one was a cinch, for the most part, except for a funky bug where i can't remove an end date/time from an event. sure sure, looks fine. but i feel like, if this is the final beta product (oxymoron, i know), google seems to have missed something here. isn't the whole purpose of having this calendar within a holistic google "suite" of products to NOT need to do all sorts of funky self-integration of stuff? in other words, shouldn't this calendar be so connected to gmail (and more importantly, my contacts) that it's a cinch to use? when i'm inviting people to an event, shouldn't i be able to just click a bunch of my gmail contacts and voila?! i'm kinda shocked it's not all there. scratch that. really shocked. for a moment when i first clicked on the application, i was excited by the little "Google Gmail Calendar More>>" buttons at the top left of the page. i thought that this was indicating some piece of really clean integration in which i could toggle quickly back and forth between the pieces of the "google suite" (which i can only assume writely will join in the future). unfortunately, after i clicked on Gmail, the nice little buttons disappeared completely. apparently the link only goes one-way. you know, the more these google products come out, the more i'm getting the feeling that they aren't built by two guys in a tiny start-up anymore :). feels more like large teams in a large company engineering large products without talking to each other. sounds more like google's getting more large-scale all the time.

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