Sunday, November 08, 2009

Calendar as marketing tool

You know those free printed calendars we come across this time of the year? Now they're going online. Tylenol has one at, and it's strictly a marketing vehicle. Every week or so there's a coupon to print out. It only shows one month at a time. And of course there's no true sharing with any other calendar service or software, just some ways to spam the calendar to others via email, Facebook and the like.

I hope the next marketer to try this discovers iCal feeds!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Droid calendar search: FAIL (Android too)

I looked at a Motorola Droid this morning, and it shares the same flaw as Google's Android operating system: you can't search through your mobile calendar!

The press coverage of the Droid completely overlooks the native calendar. As usual, calendaring is the immensely practical application that gets no attention. Nevertheless, previous mobile phone platforms -- BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone -- at least let you search the calendar. Why not Droid? Why not Android?

The best my local Verizon store manager could say was, watch for other native calendars to be developed for the Droid.

But how realistic is that? Even if someone else offers an improved native calendar, could it be brought up from the Android home page instead of the default Android calendar?

I couldn't believe the one reviewer who said Droid has "superior in-device search" to the iPhone.

The market does need alternatives to the iPhone, to keep Apple on its toes. Droid isn't that alternative -- not from a calendaring angle.

I don't blame Motorola or Verizon. This is their release of Google's platform. That's what really amazes me about all this. Google is THE SEARCH COMPANY. It has no excuse to NOT offer search of its Android calendar.

Even when Google's providing device access to its cloud-based Google Calendar, Google comes up short. I wrote back on July, even on the iPhone, the Web version of Google Calendar is not searchable, unlike its desktop counterpart. That is still the case today.

A robust native calendar is essential. I've experienced enough recent outages of Google Calendar to remind me that the cloud is best used as a sync point for calendars -- but 24x7 calendaring is best served up right on the phone or other mobile device.