Tuesday, July 14

Labs and text messaging with the Google Calendar

Greetings. IN part, I read earlier on the official Gmail Blog that Labs features are being added to the Google Calendar. I've stated before on this blog that many of the Labs features are what I consider fluff, such as a background image or putting colored labels on different emails. However, there are a couple of features that jumped out at me and actually looked helpful. Now you can access some of these on the Google Calendar. As features go, these are experimental things and may or may not work. It's like Google is testing the feature before they go live as it were on the application itself. The two things I saw and quickly enabled in my Google Calendar Labs settings were: jump to date and view next appointment. The Google Calendar could stand for some accessibility improvements as it is, but after some browsing around, it's not too hard to figure out what's what. After I saved my settings and was taken back to the Google Calendar page, I was pleased with the results. Apparently, a heading is placed on the Next Appointment area, which is good. And, the jump to date area is a series of combo boxes where you can choose the month, day and year of the date you want to go to, be it in the past or the future. In other words, at first glance, it looks pretty accessible and usable by a blind guy who is using screen reading technology. Now, if Google would only carry over some of the Labs features from Gmail, or as stated before on this space, combine the Basic HTML with the Standard interface without losing any accessibility, then all would be right wiht the world. So thanks to the Google Calendar people for adding some Labs features to their application. I look forward to more.

Text messaging: If you go into your Google account settings area, you can now add the ability to have Google send a text message to your cell phone with a password reset code/reminder if you forget your password. Of course, this assumes you can access and read text messages on your phone. However, in this day and age of more cell phones being accessible with all of the software and different types of phones out there, this is a good move. Also, in the Google Calendar, you can check your calendar via text message, or even schedule via text message. Read more in the Google Calendar Help area for how this works. Good on you Google Calendar people!

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