Tag Archives | Google Calendar

Multiple Google Account Sign-Ins Tested on Some Lucky Users

Google’s quietly testing the much-needed ability to sign into multiple user accounts within a single browser session, according to the folks at the unofficial Google Operating System blog.

The multiple sign-in feature applies to Google Docs, Calendar, Reader, Code, Sites and Gmail. Other services will default to the account that signed in first, and using multiple accounts will disable offline mode. There’s no indication of when multiple sign-ins will roll out to everyone; a Google representative told Lifehacker that there’s nothing to announce at this time.

Surely I’m not the only one who would love multiple sign-ins for Google services. If you’ve got separate Gmail or Docs accounts for work and personal matters, switching back and forth is a hassle. Aside from manually signing out of one account to access another, your options are to use a private or incognito session in browsers that allow it, open different web browsers for each account or install a Greasemonkey script in Firefox.

And none of those solutions nix the nuisance I’ve been running into lately: My wife and I share an iPad, and every time she checks her e-mail on the device, I’ve got to sign her out once it’s my turn. Switching between browsers is too bothersome, and enabling private browsing in Atomic Web doesn’t allow for multiple log-ins. I hope Google extends multiple sign-ins to its mobile sites, or else I’m still out of luck.


Google Calendar Gets Its Own Labs

Google LabsHas it only been thirteen months since Google introduced Gmail Labs? The warehouse of experimental features has become a defining aspect of Gmail’s personality, letting users pick and choose from dozens of features, including some that are utterly essential (like offline access) and some that are just plain weird (such as Mail Goggles, which aims to help you avoid sending drunken e-mail).

Today, Google Calendar is getting its own Labs. So far, it’s only got five features, and they skew towards the practical, not the wacky. You can display a wallpaper image behind your calendar; attach documents to appointments; view a world clock; jump to any date; see your next appointment; and see busy times for your colleagues.

If Google Calendar gets even a quarter of the Labs features that are in Gmail–the latter has nearly fifty at the moment–it’ll be a cool addition to what’s already one of Google’s cooler services. But a plea, in case anyone at Google is reading this: Please make Google Calendar’s Labs less of an undifferentiated heap than Gmail’s version. (These list of Gmail features you can turn on sits on one endless page, and is in no discernible order.)

Oh, and one piece of related news: Gmail’s Tasks manager, which is so useful that I forgot it was still technically an experiment, is now a standard Gmail feature. It had already migrated into Calendar.

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Google Syncs to New Heights

Google Calendar logoOver the past couple of weeks, Google has been releasing interesting new stuff at such a furious pace that I’m getting short of breath just trying to keep up. It’s now released a new version of its formerly BlackBerry-centric Google Sync service that syncs calendars and contacts between Google’s Web-based services and an iPhone or Windows Mobile-based phone. It’s both a free alternative a large chunk of Apple’s for-pay MobileMe service and an answer to Microsoft’s My Phone, even though that service hasn’t launched yet.

It’s also leaving me with a serious case of deja vu: Google’s new syncing features are practically identical to Nuevasync, a service I’ve been using recently to juggle information between Google and my iPhone. (Both services do their syncing via Microsoft’s Exchange technology.)  Nuevasync’s a small outfit with a solid service, so I immediately began to worry on their behalf, thinking that the 800-pound Google gorilla had just rendered it superfluous.  The company has an optimistic post up about all this, saying that it plans to offer far more features (including task syncing, a feature I’ve been pining for ever since I discovered Apple hadn’t bothered to implement it in MobileMe).

I’m glad to see Google taking calendar syncing seriously, since its browser-based mobile version of Google Calendar is pretty rudimentary. But I’m sticking with Nuevasync for the moment. I’ve wasted enough hours of my life fiddling with persnickety syncing tools (and sometimes losing data to them) that I don’t wanna mess with a setup that seems to be working just fine.

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Google Calendar Gets Offline Access, Too

Google Calendar logoLifehacker is reporting that Google is beginning to roll out offline capabilities for Google Calendar, hot on the heels of last week’s introduction of similar features for Gmail. The Calendar offline tools are apparently only available in the Google Apps version of the service, and not everyone seems to be getting them yet–by which I mean that they haven’t shown up in my Google Apps Calendar. I’ll be happy when they do…

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