Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Musings on Palm and Google

The Palm Foleo, announced today, and Google Gears, being announced tomorrow, both have impacts on the calendar landscape. The Foleo offers a "large screen" cell phone experience, but the initial product doesn't bring cell phones' calendars to the large screen unless they're Web-based. Google Gears will, in time, make Google Calendar truly an "always-on" app by allowing easy offline access.

Palm missed an opportunity to lure back some customers lost to other calendars, or even paper, since using a calendar on a typical cell phone is cumbersome at best, and adoption of Web-based calendars over cell phones is just beginning.

Google still has yet to address growing privacy concerns. For instance, when will Google Calendar users be able to store encrypted calendars? Simply storing them with a secure HTTP connection (https) would be an improvement, wouldn't it?

Google missed an opportunity to address this, but since taking Web applications offline represents such a large step from the state of the art, the world will forgive Google for now.

None of which has much to do with improving calendar interoperability. Generally, I avoid commenting on calendar tech in itself here. But I've been thinking of tweaking the mission of Calendar Swamp from plain "interoperability" to "security and interoperability." Let me know if you support the idea, or if you consider it mission creep.


Gavin Knight said...

google calendar is available thru https at

most google services follow this convention, ie[service]

Tyler said...

I think the Palm Foleo is a non-starter that may help spell the end of Palm.

On the other hand, I am starting to think the idea of a "master calendar" (which could be Google) might just be the way to go. I am facing the long view of probably switching away Palm OS eventually, and am trying to think outside the box here. It is available most anytime you use the web, your PC could sync programs in the background while online, most phones have over-the-air capability...

It also means all the developers & manufacturers can concentrate on syncing with 1 thing, the Google server, and not worry about compatibility with 1000 other devices.

Google Cal does need to upgrade still, I will need tasks/reminders as well as appointments to really use it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if "Security" is really that big of a topic for most of us. I think that moving beyond calendar interoperability, to more calendar tech is good, but I don't know if interoperability & security are a wide enough focus. Either stay really narrow, or go broader.

Mostly keep on posting great stuff, and I don't care what the focus is!

Tim said...

interop and security are two complementary topics, and I think they will work well together as topics. We need to be able to manage multiple calendars (my employer for example is not going to use Google Calendar) and we want transfer of our calendar info to and from these calendars to be secured (would you want a salesman to know exactly when to call you at work?)