We tried it out. It has a bunch of things you’d expect. You can create events, open them up to friends to look at, or participate in (by inviting them with an email). You chose whether to make your calendar and events publicly accessible for searching. Check it out. It is all Web-based, of course. You don’t need a Gmail account to use it. We find it very useful, but part of us wonders whether it will be vulnerable to the same bugs as Gmail (with occasional server shut downs, etc). And it feels blocky in parts, and the toggle at the top-left hand corner between Gmail, Google’s main page and calendar could be slicker, but that is our first impression, and we’ll see what it feels like after more tinkering.
Update. A few other features:
–When the service is linked to Google’s Gmail accounts, which are separate, it will scan incoming emails for potential events and, if desired, automatically add them to the calendar.
–Everything is RSS-able, meaning you can let others subscribe to your calendar additions/changes, or subscribe to your friends’ calendars — all depending, of course, on whether you want to let others see your additions.
–You can set up multiple calendars. You can do a private one, and one for work, or maybe even one for your kids. Sound confusing? Well, you can check a box, and have them all appear as one calendar when you need to.
–Google has been built to be compatible with other calendar programs. Charlene Li, of Forrester, has a good review here, and says, for example that Google is partnering with another calendar program, Trumba, to enabled “one-click” addition of events to your calendar, and Google Calendar has been opened so that others can build new applications on top, just like with Google Maps:
(Trumba already works with calendar products from Yahoo!, Outlook, MSN Hotmail, and Apple). Also promised are synching capabilities to mobile phones. Carl also said that an API was in the works, which would enable developers to create new products on top of Google Calendar.
–Finally, a summary of other Google Calendar details, bugs, kinks in this post here by TDavid, who also has a list of links by other bloggers at the end of his post.