Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Google Calendar - A helping hand for Mac users

There is a lot of activity surrounding Google Calendar. Google published an API to make it easy for developers to integrate with Calendar. AppleScript is under rated in its usefulness. There are plenty of resources out on the Internet. One less publicized feature under Mac OS X is that you can use Applescript to extend the functionality of applications. Apple's Address Book has a plug-in capability. Brian Toth has produced a Must Have Address Book plug-in for Google Maps users. some months back, before the Entourage iSync plug-in was available I was using Microsoft Entourage for mail and calendaring. I tapped in to the great applescript resources on the Internet and came up with an Address Book plug-in that enabled me to add an event in to Entourage using information from Address Book. I have since jettisoned Entourage and returned to Apple Mail and have adopted Google Calendar. As a Mac user it is very easy to subscribe to an iCal feed from Google Calendar but the sync process is only one way - Down to iCal. This is still useful because I can use iSync to push all my calendars to my phone. The biggest drawback with Google Calendar has been the one-way limitation. I wanted to be able to easily add information to my calendar without having to re-type. I decided to try to merge the Entourage Add Event functionality with Google Calendar. The outcome of my effort is available at the following link EKIVE - Google Calendar Add Utility. With some simple AppleScript I have been able to create an Address Book Plug-in that can pre-populate the Google Add Event page with information from the selected Address Book Entry. When installed in the Plug-ins folder a Control-Click on the Phone Label yields a content menu with the added feature: Create Google Event for {name} It looks something like this: When the Create Google Event is selected Safari is launched and the Add Event page presented. It looks something like this: I am sure that there will be bugs lurking in this utility, but the basic functionality is in place. Users that register will receive a nag and tag free version of this utility and free updates. Installation is manual but simple. Feedback is welcomed to help improve functionality. So Mac and Google users - drop me a comment below and let me know if this add in is useful.

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