Now, for reasons I explain elsewhere, I am buying an iPhone. If you read my top 10 list of reasons, you won't see "calendar sharing" as one of them. Yes, Apple is improving the iPhone calendar, allowing users to initiate meeting requests from the phone itself. But seeing someone else's calendar still requires a third-party Web service, and if like us you want to keep a local copy of the calendar (not on Google Gears), you'll need Apple iCal or Microsoft Outlook on a Mac or PC respectively.
Here's the weepy part: for iPhone users, contact sharing is now as simple as the old Palm PDA beaming was, thanks to Bump Technologies:
Bump is free, so it will probably be ubiquitous on iPhones.
But the makers of Bump cannot add calendar sharing to the service because, unlike what is possible with iPhone contacts, Apple has not published the APIs to allow such sharing when it comes to calendars. Here's the official statement from David Lieb, co-founder and president of Bump Technologies, responding to an email from me:
"We'd love to support calendar event sharing with Bump, but, at least right now with OS 2.2.1, Apple doesn't give apps access to calendar events. We could create a web interface and hack our way around it, but we like to keep things simple and intuitive for our users. Perhaps things will change in future Apple OS releases. As we port Bump to other platforms, this is definitely something we'll want to support."
As I reported earlier here, the iPhone OS 3.0 -- which Bump and all developers are under NDA and cannot disclose details about -- does not include the calendar APIs. Which is a damn shame.
Maybe a groundswell of demand for calendar bumping will follow the widespread adoption of Bump for contact sharing.
May it be so!