Google updates Calendar with closer tie-in with Gmail

Google has rolled out a new version of its Calendar app, connecting it more closely with Gmail and designing it to work more like a personal assistant.

Google has rolled out a new version of its Calendar app, connecting it more closely with Gmail and designing it to work more like a personal assistant.

"It takes a lot of work to stay on top of your schedule," wrote Ian Leader, a Google product manager in a blog post. "You have to manually enter that hotel or dinner reservation, then update it if your plans change. You have to hunt around for addresses and phone numbers, then add them to your events. And if you're on a mobile device, you might just give up on these kinds of tasks entirely."

Calendars, he added, should do a better job, especially on mobile devices, and that is what they focused on. Google said the update is its biggest to the Calendar app since it was launched. The app came out in beta in 2006 and was officially launched in 2009.

Google Calendar is a free time-management application.

One of the main updates to Calendar is a closer tie-in with Gmail, Google's free, cloud-based email service.

"Every time you book a flight, buy concert tickets, or make a hotel reservation, odds are you get an email with dates, times and other important details," Leader wrote. "But who has the time (or patience) to copy and paste all this into their calendar? In the new Calendar app these kinds of emails become events automatically, complete with things like flight numbers and check-in times."

He added that Calendar events from emails should stay updated in real time even if, for example, an email arrives stating that a flight has been delayed.

Since not all calendar items arrive in emails, the new version of Calendar will take note of your typical appointments and make suggestions as you begin typing.

For instance, if you usually go to yoga class with your friend Renee and you begin typing in y-o-g, then Calendar will suggest filling in the rest with Yoga with Renee, along with the date, time and place.

The new version of Calendar, available today, is designed to work on all Android 4.1+ devices. The app can be downloaded from Google Play.

Google said a version for the iPhone is in the works but did not give a release date.

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