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  1. Google Calendar on the web gets event set-up UI improvements Google is bringing a few new improvements to Calendar’s event creation pop-up on the web, making it easier to add more information to events right from the pop-up without having to navigate to the full-screen ‘more options’ panel. The enhancements build upon the addition to the UI made last year. The main additions that are making to the feature are related to the guest permissions, attachments, and calendar previews. Users can now choose to let guests view the guest lists, invite other users, or even edit and event right from the permission settings. As for the improvements to the attachments, users can now directly insert attachments next to the meeting description for users to refer to. Lastly, the pop-up will now let users tweak the event color, choose to set the calendar to free or busy for that event, change the visibility of the event, and customize notifications via editable fields in the new event pop-up. The company is also improving the ‘Find a time feature’ by adding an overlay of potential conflicts on the calendar to help users choose the best time for the event. Before this, the calendar would overlay conflicts of just the guests/attendees that have been added. Overall, the improvements are minor but make it easier to manage event specifics right from the UI without having to navigate to the full-screen view. This serves as a time-saving feature for those that rely heavily on the web version of Google Calendar to keep a tab on meetings and events. The improvements are rolling out to all G Suite customers starting today. The company says that the feature will be visible to all users in the next three days. There are no actions to be performed by users or admins to receive the enhancements. Google Calendar on the web gets event set-up UI improvements
  2. Google Calendar's desktop site can work offline again, in some cases Google Calendar lost its offline feature for the second time during the 2018 redesign, but now it's back. Google Calendar If you occasionally need access to your calendar when you’re not connected to the internet, then Google Calendar’s web interface is getting a bit more useful. When Google rolled out a new UI for the app in 2018, that meant removing the ability to access the data in your browser without an internet connection. Now Google’s Workspace Updates blog notes the feature is coming back, however individual users will need to enable it — the instructions are available here. If you don’t see the option yet, check back later, it’s rolling out over the next 15 days or so, or it may have been disabled by your admin. The blog post only mentions access for Workspace accounts (formerly known as G Suite), but the support page doesn’t note any limitation, so we’ll see if it comes to individual free users too. Open Google Calendar. In the top right, click the gear icon and then Settings. On the left, under “General,” click Offline and then Turn on offline calendar. Click Reload now. In the top right of your calendar, an icon shows your Calendar is syncing for offline use . When the sync is complete, your calendar’s status shows Ready for offline . When you’re offline, your calendar’s status shows as Offline . A notice appears: “It looks like you’re offline. Some actions might not work.” Longtime GCal users will note this isn’t the first time we’ve done this dance. When Google phased out Gears in favor of HTML5, it took until late 2011 until offline access was restored. This time the gap was less noticeable since it’s so much easier to stay connected, and access on your phone while online or offline continued to be an option. Still, it’s just one more reminder of how Google’s features can quietly come and go, or move behind a paywall. Source: Google Calendar's desktop site can work offline again, in some cases
  3. Disable auto-invites to combat Google Calendar Spam Google Calendar spam is not a new phenomenon; it has plagued Google Calendar users for years and spam seems to come and go in waves. Recently, users started to report an increase in Google Calendar spam. Spam comes in many forms but the two main categories fall into advertising and outright malicious messages. Google Calendar customers who did not receive spam invites up until now may wonder how that invite got accepted in first place; it is easy to explain: Google Calendar has a feature that automatically adds invitations to Calendar. All an attacker needs to do is send you an invite using the right format and et voila, the invite becomes visible in Google Calendar. What makes this particularly problematic, besides the fact that this feature is opt-out and not opt-in, is that the mobile Google Calendar application does not even have the option to disable this. Here is how you disable auto-invites in Google Calendar Open the Google Calendar application in a browser on a desktop PC. If you try to open the Calendar website on a mobile device you may be redirected to the Calendar application automatically. Open the Settings menu when the website has loaded and select Settings from the context menu (you need to sign-in to your Google account). Select Event Settings from the menu on the left or scroll down to the Event settings section on the page. The setting "Automatically add invitations" needs to be adjusted. It is set to Yes by default which means that invitations are accepted automatically; this is the source of the spam that you receive on Google Calendar. Switch the value of the setting to "No, only show invitations to which I have responded". If you still receive spam after making that change, follow the instructions below: Open the Google Calendar settings again on the desktop. Scroll down to the "View options" section or click on View Options in the sidebar to jump to the section on activation. Uncheck the "show declined events" option; this hides declined events in Calendar automatically. Scroll down to Events from Gmail. Disable "Automatically add events from Gmail to my Calendar". Note that you may need to disable the "show declined events" on the mobile Calendar application as well if you still see those there and use it. Disabling automatic invites could make things a little less comfortable for Google customers who share calendars with others and used to use the auto-invite system in the past. Source: Disable auto-invites to combat Google Calendar Spam (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Google 101: how to add more calendars to your Google Calendar app You can view several calendars simultaneously One of the great advantages of using Google Calendar is that you see many different calendars on the same interface, and you can choose which one you want to see at any time. For example, your Google Calendar can include a personal calendar, a work calendar, the calendars of family members, calendars that show local or international holidays, and one that adds the schedule of your favorite sports team. You view as many calendars at once as you like, or turn them off temporarily if your calendar is too crowded, or if you need to concentrate on a particular schedule. If you’re new to Google Calendar, this is a quick guide to adding and using multiple calendars. Be aware that most of the tweaks listed here are only available via the web interface; any that you can do via the mobile app will be noted. Choose which calendars to show When you first sign on to Google Calendar, you are already supplied with several calendars, which you can see on the left side of the page, sorted into two categories. Under “My calendars,” you’ll find your personal calendar, one called “Birthdays” that pulls events from the people listed in your Google Contacts, Reminders, and Tasks. Under “Other calendars,” you’ll start with a holiday calendar for your country. Note that each calendar is assigned a color (shown by the checkbox on the left of each calendar’s label). If you hover the cursor over the label, you’ll see a menu icon (three dots) on the right; click it, and you can change the color for that calendar. Don’t want to see the entries for any specific calendar? Just uncheck the box, and check it to see it again. You can see as many or as few calendars at a time as you want. On the mobile app, you can access your various calendars by tapping on the three parallel line menu bar in the upper-left corner. The pull-out menu will first show your presentation choices (day, week, month, etc.), and then it will show the calendars with colored checkboxes; uncheck any you don’t want to see. If you want to change the color of a checkbox on your mobile device, it’s a little more complicated. Tap on the menu bar in the upper-left corner Scroll down to “Settings” (it’s got a gear icon) Tap on the calendar you want to change You’ll see the color that you’re currently using. Tap on that. Select your new color from the pop-up list Creating a new calendar Let’s say you’re trying to save money by not eating out, and you’ve decided one way to do that is to plan your meals for the week. You can create a separate calendar called “Meals” where you specify what you’ve planned for dinner each day. Here’s how to create a new calendar: Next to “Other calendars” on the left, select the plus sign Click on “Create new calendar” Type in the name of your new calendar and add a description (if you want to). Make sure the time zone is correct. Click on “Create calendar” Your new calendar will now be active, and you’ll find it in the “My calendars” category. If you want to change the assigned color, hover your cursor over the calendar name, click on the three-dot Options menu, and choose a color. Don’t need that calendar anymore? You have a number of options: If you just want to temporarily not see it on the calendar, uncheck its box If you want to remove it from your list, use the Options menu to select “Hide from list.” (If you want it back again, click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner, select “Settings,” and scroll down until you see “Settings for my calendars” on the left. Any calendars that you’ve hidden will have a symbol with a crossed-out eye next to it. Just click on the eye to unhide the calendar.) If you want to completely delete it, go to the Settings page and find “Settings for my calendars.” Click on the name of the calendar, select “Remove calendar,” and then look in the center of the page for “Delete.” Adding additional Google calendars You can also add calendars from other sources using your browser. (You can’t do it on a mobile app.) You can add other people’s Google Calendars (assuming they give you permission), add other calendars available via Google, and add calendars using the iCal format. First, let’s say you want to add a friend’s Google Calendar. Select the plus sign next to “Other calendars” and choose “Subscribe to calendar” Where it says “Add calendar,” type in your friend’s Gmail address It’s likely that you’ll get a pop-up message that you don’t have access to that calendar. In that case, use the form to request access from your friend. Your friend will get a request email with a link, which will allow you to either just see the events, make changes to them, or actually manage them. When they approve the share, you will get an email telling you that you now have access to the calendar, with a link that will add the calendar to yours. Again, this only works if your friend has a Google Calendar as well. If not, you’ll have to import the calendar via the iCalendar format (see below). If you want to check out the public calendars that Google has available: Select the plus sign and choose “Browse calendars of interest” or go to the Settings page and choose “Browse calendars of interest” from the left-hand menu. You’ll find a rather limited list of calendars you can add: religious and regional holidays, sports, and phases of the moon. You can also add the birthdays of people who are in your Contacts list. Look at the “My calendars” heading on the left side of your Google Calendar for a calendar called Birthdays. If you don’t see it: Go to the Settings page Under “Settings for my calendar” on the left side, you’ll see an eye icon with a line through it. Click on that. Now, you’ll see the “Birthdays” calendar under the “My calendars” heading in your Google Calendar Using iCalendar You’re not limited to calendars that are provided by Google or used by someone who has a Google Calendar. You can add a variety of interesting calendars via iCalendar (often referred to as iCal or .ics), a long-standing format for storing calendar information. The simplest way to find iCal calendars is to get them from sites such as WebCal.fi and iCalShare. If you use the IFTTT app, you can access a number of calendar add-ons there. You can also import a non-Google calendar from an individual — as long as they’ve exported their calendar in a usable format such as CSV or iCal. Click on the gear icon to go to Settings Select “Import & export” from the left-hand menu Under the center “Import” category, select the file you want to import. If you manage more than one Google Calendar, you can select which calendar you want to import the info into. Note that this won’t sync the two calendars — it will only import the existing data from one calendar to another — so it’s only useful for a one-time import (say, if you’re importing static info, such as your work holiday schedule). Syncing your Google Calendar with others, like Apple Calendar or Outlook, is a whole other topic. Source: Google 101: how to add more calendars to your Google Calendar app (The Verge)
  5. Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google Calendar app users were unable to access their schedules on Tuesday as the app faced technical issues globally. "We are aware of the issues and working on a fix," Google replied here, in response to a tweet. Earlier in the day, DownDetector.com, which monitors outages, showed a number of users saw the “Not Found” “Error 404” message when they tried to access the app. Other apps appeared to be unaffected by the outage. Source
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