Why doesn’t Google have an iPhone Calendar app?
Without figures to hand on Google Calendar adoption (they are notoriously difficult to get accurately) but the explosion in the use of Google Apps and the corresponding dive in the usage of MS Outlook (20% swing, according to some sources) suggests that it is fast becoming the de-facto calendar. That, and Apple’s proprietary iPhone calendar. Although I’m not the first to notice, it does begs the question, why doesn’t Google produce a native iPhone app for their calendar? Okay, the HTML5 web version works ok but it can’t be easily linked to incoming requested nor does it work without a live internet connection … and a diary is a great example of a product that needs to be an app.
It’s fast becoming the norm for booking and appointment systems to send a small ICS file with the booking confirmation. This little file is a small set of standardised device instructions that allows the receiving device to add the booking correctly to whichever local calendar system is being used. With an iPhone that normally ends up being the default Apple Cloud-based calendar but it shouldn’t need to be.
If you are a little geeky you can setup multiple calendars on your iPhone and view/edit your Google Calendar directly but that requires some knowledge and a little setup. Google will (probably) tell you that despite having dedicated apps for Google Earth, Mail, Search, Translate, Navigation, Plus, Local and Trending Items (currents) there is no sign of a dedicated calendar app. Shame.
If you want to setup Google on your iPhone then here are a couple of useful links that will help you.
- Official Google Calendar iPhone Sync; note that this can sync everything from email to calendars to contacts.
- Step-by-step screen shots of the process from Michael Hyatt
- A list on Mahalo of lots of tutorials