Apps & Software

Google Calendar comes to iOS

Google continues its service expansion to iOS with its latest app, Google Calendar.

While it’s been possible for years on iOS to access calendars stored on a Google account through Exchange and later CalDAV, this is the first time Google has brought native access, like it does with Gmail, through an app.

iPhone and iPad users have long turned to third-party alternatives, from Sunrise to Tempo, to get the most from Google’s calendar APIs, but the official app interfaces with Gmail and Maps to dynamically create events.

The app, which sports a hybrid design that blends elements of native iOS fundamentals with Google’s own Material Design tenets, works very similarly to its Android counterpart, which launched alongside Lollipop in November.

When logged into a Google account with an associated Gmail address, Calendar will automatically turn relevant emails into events, which helps speed up the creation of meetings. Of course, such a feature, which involves Google scanning emails for keywords, can be considered intrusive, but it’s on by default.

Assists is a useful feature that, like its name suggests, automatically fills in calendar elements, like locations and names, that are easily searchable. For example, Calendar will suggest contacts or known locations when you type ‘Lunch with John at Vesuvio’.

Google Calendar supports several views, including an at-a-glance Schedule overview that can be drilled down to specific days in a list.

Compared to mainstays like Sunrise or Tempo, or even Outlook, Google Calendar doesn’t have a lot to offer, but it’s a good free choice for those embedded in the Google ecosystem.