One of the newest additions to ChromeOS is the calendar widget that is situated in the new, split system tray area. It’s a nice addition to the OS and one that I find myself using on a pretty regular basis to simply see dates a few weeks out when needed. There’s a nice integration with my Google Calendar as well, and that’s been mildly helpful, but nowhere near what it could be. Let me explain.
I need all my Google Calendars
As a Google Calendar user, I’m pretty lazy. I have all sorts of shared calendars in my view and I tend to rely on those calendars – not my own – to inform me about my day and my week. Mostly, I’m talking about my wife’s meticulously plotted-out calendar, here. Yeah, I have my own events and my work calendars, but my personal life schedule largely relies on my ability to glance at my phone’s Google Calendar widget and decide whether or not I’m free on a given day, evening, or weekend based on my shared calendar with my wife.
If I remove my work calendar and my wife’s calendar, my personal calendar is embarrassingly barren. Over the years of relying on her to stay on top of our family’s non-work life, I’ve realized she is far better at keeping things in line and I’m best to simply add her calendar to mine and keep an eye on things that pertain to me. It’s been a solid system and one I’m not likely to abandon any time soon.
But with the current implementation of Google Calendar with the new calendar widget on my Chromebook, my usage patterns just aren’t working, and I’d wager this is the case for many of you out there. While you may or may not be beholden to a loved one’s calendar, I’d guess that many of you have added calendars for work-related scheduling to your personal calendars and you likely expect whatever calendar app you use to be able to show you those events.
As it stands right now, the calendar widget in the ChromeOS tray only shows the events tied directly to the main account tied to your Chromebook, and for folks like myself, that’s a problem. While I don’t love being reminded of how much of my life is planned for me, that’s not really the issue. Instead, when glancing down at the calendar on my Chromebook, I don’t get much useful, personal info from it at this point. It really needs the ability for me to see and interact with events that I see on my full-blown Google Calendar to become truly useful.
With the new ‘Glanceables’ widget area on the way to Chromebooks now including a calendar feature, the time is now for Google to get other calendars added to the mix. Shared calendars are one of the absolute pillars of what makes Google Calendar and other online/cloud-based calendars so amazing and useful. Without access to those shared accounts, functionality is lost and it’s just nowhere near as beneficial. Here’s hoping additional calendars are on the way for ChromeOS and that we don’t get stuck with a half-baked feature for too long.