Google finally released a Google Calendar app for iPhone today. While it doesn’t go above and beyond a standard set of smart calendar features, it does fill in the final gap of your Google-dependent digital life.
Google’s iOS Calendar app takes its styling cues from its Android counterpart. The interface follows Google’s Material Design guidelines, opening into a simple, blocky list of your upcoming events. Each event is color-coded based on what calendar it belongs to, and events with additional information attached to them (a location, flight details, etc.) also show up in this view. An event like “Trip to New York” shows a Google Maps image or a photograph of New York as its background; something like “Dinner with Douglas” sports a background illustration of plates and cutlery. This breaks up the monotony of the listed view of your week, and highlights the different types of events you have coming up.
At the top of the app, you can also open up a month-view to select which date to jump to; individual upcoming events aren’t shown here. Or by tapping a three dot options icon in the upper right, you can also switch to a day view or three-day view of upcoming events. There you can also search your calendar for a keyword, and it’ll pull up recent and upcoming events that match. You can use Google Calendar with any and all calendars you already have in place on your iPhone.
You can add events to your calendar using the plus icon in the upper right, specifying a location and contacts that are also participating, among other options like setting alert notifications and selecting which calendar the event is for. This is much the same as you’d do on the web, but with better auto-filling for locations and people (something Google calls “assists”). It was simple and intuitive to create a calendar event for drinks with a coworker, using Google’s assist in finding my coworker’s name in my contacts, and autofilling the name of the bar we’ll be going to.
Gmail users get extra functionality here, as well: The app can create calendar events automatically from Gmail. This can be handy for hotel and plane reservations, or just saving you some time once you’ve coordinated meeting details with a client or colleague. I’ve seen Gmail and Google Calendar do this automatically on the desktop; however, in my tests using just the mobile versions of both services today, Google Calendar did not automatically add an event for dinner tonight, or an event for an upcoming evening networking event. Perhaps I didn’t use the right keywords, or it was waiting for greater mutual confirmation that these were, indeed, events that needed to be added to my calendar. Either way, integration doesn’t seem quite seamless yet.
You can grab the free app today from the App Store.