Google Calendar > iCal?

Of course by now you’ve heard about Google Calendar, and its use of the open source iCal standard XML format for calendar data.  It’s an interesting offering, to be sure, and is particularly useful for Windows users.  But there are two main reasons why Google Calendar will not replace iCal, despite what some goofballs in the Mac community are saying.

1. Do you really want Google to know where you’re going to be, and when?  Or their subsidiaries and partners that “process information in their behalf”?  Or how about if Google gets bought or merges with another company?  Your data goes with it, but will the new entity keep the same privacy policy?  I would use Google’s Calendar like I do GMail: never for anything important, personal, or related to business.

2. Event notification, reminders, and actions.  I guess this is part of iCal that many people either don’t know how to use, or don’t know exists.  Google Calendar can notify your mobile phone, email you, or pop up a browser window if you have a Google web app open.  iCal can do all of the above, as well as send operating system level events, popups with alarms, open files,  and the biggie: run scripts.  iCal isn’t only good for notifying you that something’s going to happen—it’s a powerful OS scheduling utility.  You can use it to run scheduled maintenance, daily cleanup and sorting of your Desktop or downloads folder, or just one-off program events, like a Wiretap recording of a radio show that doesn’t have free podcasts (I’m looking at you, Cartalk!).

There are plenty of other reasons and features, such as organizing your calendars into groups, to-do lists, powerful printing, voice control, address book integration, a large library of premade event calendars, Spotlight integration, ...*ahem*.  But these are the two that I think are the most important. wink

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Yeah but who really cares if iCal can do anything. I mean it is all about personal preference. Your observations are just talking head banter. People are going to use what suits them best. No matter what you think. Not eveyone needs to schedule an ipod wire tap. How geeky. And if you had just scrolled down to the link you provided, you would have read that the majority of comments were from people in favor of dumping iCal for Google calendar. One guy even dumped Safari in favor of a browser that supported it. So if you want to use iCal, go ahead, no one will try to stop you. The link’s comments were just someone’s personal observation as to why they were using Google Calendar instead. You turned it into ‘some goofballs’. You really are a sad zealot. So much so you can’t even stand to see others enjoying something other than your dumb beloved iCal. What a loser. You are polarizing things for no good reason. Oh, and something unflamed you can respond to Darwin. Just how safe is that email you sent through the ‘Virginia’ servers? Or how about that email to your Bluetooth phone, that can be tracked and read. Hmmm. You must run your shit like the NSA. you make the internet suck…

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