At this point in my life, a solid 70% of everything I've ever said resides on Google's servers somewhere. If the company were to ever close its doors, those words would be lost to history. But that's about to change. Google's rolling out the ability to easily download a copy of your Gmail and Calendar data, so you can migrate it to another service when the unthinkable - or the inevitable - happens.
Do you need a good calendar app? Do you need a good calendar app that's freakin' beautiful? Then check out Any.DO's Cal, a top iOS iCal alternative that just made the jump to Android. Cal features all the stuff you need in a typical calendar app and then some, and wraps it all up in a functional, minimal, readable interface that focuses on content. It's a free download in the Play Store.
A small but very much helpful update was announced for the Google Calendar app today: sync of notification dismissals across multiple devices. And yes, this is a staged rollout, so you will have to wait patiently for the updated app to actually become available. Hopefully it won't take long.
That's really the only change, aside from the standard bug fixes. This new cross-device sync will not dismiss notifications for skinned calendar apps on devices like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One, of course, so you may just want to disable notifications for such apps and use Google Calendar exclusively at this point, because this is too convenient a feature to pass up.
Google has made a small change to the Google Calendar API that nonetheless could make a huge difference for developers and users. The Calendar API now supports push notifications - alerts sent directly to devices and apps instead of waiting for a client-side sync, a la Gmail - for updates that are practically instantaneous. The official app has had this for a while, but now third-party developers have access to this functionality, meaning that push notifications for subscribed Google Calendars can be sent to any app that supports the general Gcal API.
The Google Calendar Android app received an update this afternoon, introducing a brand-new interface for certain steps during event creation, as well as the option to custom color-code days / your entire calendar. The new interfaces for these features are actually quite pretty, focusing on a circle-based design aesthetic that is more reminiscent of the Android 4.2 clock app in some ways.
These aren't actually huge features in terms of functionality, but they should definitely give you an idea where the Calendar app is headed in future iterations.
Google's Calendar app for Android just received an update, to version 201212060 (we're guessing the version numbers are date codes or something). The update adds a few new things.
First, you can now call a number or go to a location for an event directly from the notification for that event, as shown in the screenshots below. We figure this is just another example of Google's apps catching up with Android's rich notifications, introduced in 4.1.
Google has just released the official Google Calendar app on the Play Store, to the joy of, well, probably everyone who isn't using a Nexus phone or a custom ROM. This is the same app you'll find in stock Android, packaged up and ready for individual consumption. This also means Google will be able to update the Calendar app directly from the Play Store, instead of in Android releases as part of the Google Apps package.
Sports team calendars have been a long-time feature of Google Calendar. The ability to sync those calendars to mobile, however, has been absent equally as long. Until now, that is.
If you sync any sports calendars with your GCal, you now have the option to also sync those up on mobile. They should show up under the "calendars to display" menu - if not, make sure to refresh your calendars and check again.
Search has always been a big part of Android, and for many things, Google's built-in solution works fine. If you're looking for a better way to search through your data in the cloud, look no further than CloudMagic. The app does take a bit of setup, but once you're in, CloudMagic assists you in digging through your data in a very compelling way.
Setting Up CloudMagic
CloudMagic does not just exist on your phone.
You could continue to add events to your Google Calendar the old fashioned way, or you could use this super cool (and fun!) method of SMSing things to your GCal.
The process is so easy a caveman could do it, so follow along and you'll be one step closer to speaking (almost) directly to your calendar:
- Add GEvent (48368) to your contacts, name it “Magic Calendar”
- Click and hold the Search button to bring up Google Voice Search and say, “Text to Magic Calendar, Pick up kids 2pm at the Cliffs in Valhalla, New York” (or, you know, whatever event you want to schedule)
- Wait a bit… you should receive a confirmation text and it should show up on your Google Calendar
- Bring up event in your favorite calendar app or widget… click on the link for the location
- Click on bubble to check out Places and to get turn-by-turn directions from your free Google Navigation
- Extra credit – do the step #2 voice search hands-free using VLingo InCar
And that's it.