Sharing Calendar still a headache…but hey..we have Google!

Sharing calender ought to be simple in todays Internet use, but it is not. Different standards still creates head ache, especially if the ones sharing use different OS and softwares. In my example one use mac os X and iCal (ME!) and another use Windows and Outlook. We haven’t been able to share calendar in an easy way. Today I played around with Google Calendar. It has received great reviews and it has a very convenient user interface. Still, there is no two-way sync between it and iCal, but finally I found a way to at least sync a private calendar one way, and that was through iFreeBusy. It uses a token instead of a password and Google are able to subscribe to it. Another great service is iCalX but it is not possible to subscribe to a private calendar in Google from icalx, only public ones.

Looking how it is to work together in projects and the difficulties that arise when it comes to share documents and calendars I can see how Google has a great advantage over most other solutions and I am both happy and scared to realise it. Happy because it is a free service that is very very good, and it becomes so convenient when the ones you work with use gmail and gcalendar (Google Calendar offically). You can chat within gmail and easily share calendars. You can even work on documents and spreadsheets online with Google. The scary thing is that since they have so great services they will also get many users, and there is always something in my stomach that reacts to this. Letting everything go through just one service provider on the net gives that company a lot of power and responsibility. Maybe I am just overreacting but I feel it is worth thinking about. Just the personlized search made me react. Once logged in at google it doesn’t feel like it would be too difficult to track what sites you visit as long as they have adwords, as most do. Despite being a little negative sometimes maybe, I am so happy that Google do what they do because even if they are not first with their services they make people start using them. Writely for example, I had honestly not heard about it or considered to use it until I heard that Google had bought it.

I used .Mac for a year. It cost about 99 USD so it is expensive, especially for  a student, but it is so beautifully integrated into Mac OS X that I had to try it. I cancelled it a couple of days ago. Haven’t used it at all last six months. And playing around with Google today I see a perfect replacement. With some integration so I can have a two-way sync with gcalendar, sync my documents with writely, and have imap with gmail, I am on 110%. I am still a little skeptical on only having it only, so instead I want a simple sync so you don’t notice any different, using your own laptop or a public computer.

~ by Andreas Sigurdsson on December 26, 2006.

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