Screenshot_2014-10-20-23-07-50

Google Calendar Got A Material Facelift And It Looks Great

October 21, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Google and the trend towards Material Design has been big the last couple of days, especially since the latest (and likely last) developer previews of the Android 5.0 Lollipop system were released on Friday morning of last week.  What other apps might have been Material reDesigned?  Remember the Google Calendar app that we saw a little bit of in April of this year, all those months ago?  Well, we have another look at what looks to be the final, release version of the app.  It’s clad in Material Design, and it’s my favorite redesigning yet.  Here’s what it looks like, in a couple different instances.

 

The new Material look of the Calendar app is rather (and pardon my rainbow of classes) pretty.  It’s simple, and that’s what Kit Kat, Lollipop, and Material Design are aiming for.  The modes, since they’re drastically different from the previous iterations of the app, are as follows.  There’s the first and ‘default view’ which is called Schedule, which shows you an event-by-event listing, with days and day of the week separating the days, with a little picture separating the months.  That mode is locked in portrait, at least on the phone version of the app.

Next is the Day view, which shows an hour-by-hour visual breakdown with the events and blocks of time you have allotted to them along that axis.  The current day is highlighted in a calm blue, with a current time of day being marked by a blue line crossing the whole list of events (which also exists in the Schedule view).  This mode, too, is locked into portrait mode on the phone.

Then there’s the Week view.  This mode shows the whole week, so it is is pretty much the same as it is in the current version.  It shows the whole week, Sunday to Saturday, with events and time blocks shown across a vertically-scrollable timesheet.  There is sadly no pinch-zoom scaling as in the current version, but it seems a minor removal, really.

Next is the actual interface, as well as the hamburger menu.  The menu is off to the left, as usual, and it shows a key of the colors (the generic ones, not the ones that you might have customized like me) so you can see the colors designated to each of your accounts’ as well as birthdays and holidays (according to the synchronized accounts’ contact information and Google’s location data on you).  The setting let you customize these default colors, as well as the location/region to monitor for holidays (and the option to add religious holidays, which is nice).  And the last thing they include is, if you get an invitation to an event or happening through your Gmail, it syncs to that account’s portion of the calendar.

That brings us to the next big thing that’s coming in the new calendar app: Gmail integration.  Android’s future and success lie in Google’s moves toward integration and interconnection of their various services.  We see how Google Now can currently pull any number of things from your Gmail and display updates regarding it, but now we see Google’s Calendar doing the same, with completely optional Gmail event syncing.  That’s the nice part about these: optionality.

Obviously, your calendar sync when you log in (but you can actually turn that off in the settings menu under ‘accounts’), but you get the choice to sync birthdays, or event from your Gmail inbox, or holidays of any sort.  This is a good sign and a smart move by Google, especially for those that don’t live and breathe Google services.  Choice is important for a lot of people that just use Android as a phone, contact list, messenger, Internet browser, and camera.  Are you looking forward to the  new Material Designed calendar app, having seen the improvements it has in store?  Which feature are you most glad that Google included, or removed?  Let us know down below.