More on making Apple Calendar and Google Calendar play nice
Last week Pointers covered scratching an itch that had come up for us: the need for certain people to see our calendars despite their being on Google and our being on Apple Calendar. The short version is that you can do it but it's a bit fiddly and involved a workaround. It turns out, though, that we need a longer version because all that worked fine when these people were in our group company Google Calendar. Now the people who needs to see it the most are not: they're remote workers and what they really require is to have our calendar appear alongside their own.
Walk, don't run to this update
Sometimes, Apple's automatic updating of apps is handy because there are versions you know you ought to have, but you'll get around to it later, or when they add something big. Google Calendar 1.1.0 for iPhone is not a big update. It's a good one, but it's not compelling. It's also still on iPhone alone, not iPad, which is a curious omission.
Amazon Echo can read appointments stored in Google Calendar
Alexa, the virtual assistant that forms part of the Amazon Echo network-connected speaker, has been upgraded to allow it to read Google Calendar events. Android Central reports Alexa can now be linked to the user's Calendar and will respond to queries about it, such as "Alexa, what's on my calendar?" and "When is my next event?" So far, it appears Alexa can only read appointments, not add new items, but this could be included in a future update of the device.
At last it's on iOS – though it could be better
Be grateful for -- well, if not exactly small things, then things that could be bigger than they are. Google Calendar has finally landed on iOS, and if you use this calendar online, you should be running off to download this new app right now. For everyone else, it has promise. The key, killer feature of Google Calendar for iOS is that it is Google Calendar and it is on iOS: its very presence on the platform is a great thing. Beyond that, it is a good-looking app and it's quick to set up with your Google account.
Google Calendar coming to iOS with Material Design language
Google appears to be preparing to bring its Google Calendar app for iOS as a standalone app in the near future, featuring the Material Design language makeover the Android version got in November. Leaked screenshots (below) show that the app will emphasize shortcuts to Gmail, Maps and Photos, and offer side-by-side monthly and day overviews. In addition to integrated notification settings, the app also offers integrations with other Google services.
Sunrise Calendar adds push for Google Calendar, search function
Free calendaring app Sunrise Calendar has received an update, capable of syncing schedule information from Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange. Featuring timezone support, background sync and Facebook date integration, Sunrise aims to function as a consolidated day planner. Sunrise Calendar v2.5 includes a new search function, allowing for past or future events search by title, location and attendees.
Weekly, monthly views let users change app's scope
Sunrise has released a major update of Sunrise Calendar, its popular iOS app. The title lets people merge iCloud, Facebook, and Google Calendar events into a single feed, as well as get notifications, weather forecasts, LinkedIn profiles, and Google Maps directions. Version 2.1 is the first to include a native iPad interface, and takes advantage of the extra screen space through new Week and Month views. The Week view is also accessible to iPhone users.
Archives of e-mails, messages, appointments downloadable from Google
Google has finally allowed Gmail and Google Calendar users to download a copy of all data on the services. E-mails and messages from Gmail, along with appointments and other notices within Google Calendar, can now be requested and pulled from Google servers by users, providing an offline backup of their data as well as allowing it to be imported into other apps and services.
Main, Gmail searches pull results from other Google apps
Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The most significant change is in the Windows release, where a native notification center for apps and extensions has been turned on. These can include not only text and images, but optional actions such as making a phone call or sending email. Notifications can appear even when Chrome is closed. Google is promising Mac notifications "soon."
Calendar, Google Sync, Issue Tracker losing features
Google's continuing effort to narrow the focus of its services continues apace, as the search giant revealed today that it would be removing less popular features from its Google Calendar product and doing away with a number of other services. On January 14, 2013, Google will remove the ability to create reservable times through Appointment slots in Calendar. The company will also be discontinuing Smart Rescheduler and Add gadget by URL.
New search feature in beta, shows other Google products
Google announced today an expansion of the search capabilities built into Gmail and its standard search, giving users more access to other Google products. The feature is now in field trial mode, but Gmail and Google users will soon be able to view relevant files from Google Drive and Google Calendar entries alongside Gmail items when they search from within the email application. The field trial is currently only available for @gmail.com addresses, and only accessible in English.
Should sync contacts to apps like iOS Contacts
Google has announced that Gmail and Google Calendar are now capable of contact sync via CardDAV. CardDAV is an open format, and should make it easier to sync Google contacts to third-party clients, such as the native Contacts app in iOS. Previously people sometimes had to go through harder workarounds, such as Exchange.
Apple said to be aware of trouble
People are still finding themselves unable to access iCloud calendars through Google Calendar, complaints indicate. Users should be able to share iCloud calendars through a URL; trying to open the link with Google Calendar's "Add by URL" function, however, currently generates an error message: "Could not fetch the url because robots.txt prevents us from crawling the url." Apple has allegedly been aware of the problem since at least October 17th.
New layouts now available to preview
Google has introduced redesigned interfaces for its web-based Gmail and Calendar utilities. The revamped layouts, which are currently available for users to preview, offer a modernized appearance with functional improvements alongside aesthetic tweaks. The Gmail interface brings a red, black and white color scheme, closely resembling the new Google Plus presentation.
Calendars manages Google Calendar data
eBay has announced the acquisition of RedLaser, the barcode scanning app for the iPhone. The company plans to integrate the technology into its own apps, including eBay Marketplace, eBay Selling, StubHub and Shopping.com. Users will be able to quickly create eBay listings by accessing pricing trends and product details for items in the company's catalog. An independent version of RedLaser should remain in the App Store as a free download.
SyncEm supports Google
Derman Enterprises released an update to its sync software, Sync'Em 1.33. The latest version adds support for basic Google calendar events and contact fields, while handling of FileAs/FileAsMapping fields in Exchange has been improved. The company also revamped the user interface and fixed several syncing bugs.
Google Calendar & iCal
Google's web-based Calendar application should now support iCal integration, the company has announced. The feature comes by way of support for the CalDAV protocol, which in turn allows access to a calendar via WebDAV. Users of the Google app should now be able to edit a calendar in iCal and have it sync with their online schedule, as well as vice versa. Changes are applied whenever iCal is able to go online, or a person signs into Calendar.