Pat Egen’s Weblog

Ramblings, chats, thoughts, ideas

Calendaring on mobile devices

with one comment

Today,  I’m sitting in a conference room  at Microsoft attending a calendaring and scheduling event (http://www.calconnect.org/calconnect14.shtml).  I attend these events three times a year.

The session I am in now is talking about calendars on mobile devices.  The issue being addressed is the fact that many mobile devices do not support features, you, as a phone user, would like to have.  Examples are the ability to search for open slots on other peoples calendars.  Other examples are managing timezones where the calendar app is smart enough to know I am setting up a meeting in one timezone but attendees are in other timezones and will need to see times that are relevant to them.  There were other examples as well, but it all boiled down to devices supporting vcalendar, a ten year old specification, instead of supporting iCalendar, the newer one.

I started thinking about whether or not people actually care.  Do you want to schedule an appointment on your phone? And invite people using the same phone?  And search for free time on people’s calendar using a phone instead of a web brower or a computer?  My original thinking was no, because the calendar applications are so limited.  But now there are very smart phones in the wild and why can’t it happen.  Hm.

Taking it to the next level, on my Treo, I should be able to click on a contact in my address book and click a button that sets up an appointment on my calendar and, oh, gosh, sends an email to that person inviting them to a meeting.  Oh, since we’re dreaming here, how about a button that says “check to see if this person has an opening next week.”  Yea, I know.  I believe in the Easter Bunny too.  But why can’t this happen.  If it could, maybe then people would want to use their phone to do sophisticated calendaring operations.

The challenge is convincing the network operators like Verizon and AT&T that this is a good thing.  That it might actually increase their revenues with data traffic.  That it might make their clients happy campers. 

The session I am sitting in is pondering how do we convince the operators that this is a good thing.  The device manufacturers have told us we have to convince the Verizon’s of the world to make a change to an environment that will support enhanced calendar operations.

But this leads me back to my original quandry.  Is it what people really want?

If you think it is, let me know.  Post a comment.  And thanks for doing that.

Ciao from Redmond.

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Written by pregen

February 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

    Eric Lee

    February 5, 2009 at 9:34 pm


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