It’s been almost a week since Apple released their new iCal calendaring program, and we’ve had a good chance to take it for a test drive here at the World HQ.
As many have noted, iCal is not a program without rough edges: it’s slower than I would like, and not quite as polished as Apple’s other “iApps” like iTunes and iPhoto.
That said, it is a work of calendaring beauty and power compared to Microsoft Outlook and the Palm Desktop, which is what I’ve been using to manage my datebook for the past five or six years.
The iCal interface is clean and elegant, and it’s dead simple to use right out of the box. But perhaps the nicest feature of iCal is that it’s a very web-literate application: you can publish your calendar to the web (either to Apple’s dotmac service if you have a dotmac account, or to your own WebDav server if you want to handle things yourself), and you can subscribe to other’s calendars that have been so-published.
Here at the World HQ, for example, Catherine and I are each using iCal, and I can see Catherine’s calendar and she mine, so we can easily manage conflicts, wee-Oliver care, etc. It’s nifty.
In this spirit of niftiness, I’ve added a new feature to the City Cinema website: you can now subscribe to the City Cinema schedule. If you click on that link and you’re iCalified, you’ll be prompted by iCal for your subscription details (how often you want to refresh, etc.) and then you’ll see a blorp on your iCal for every film on the cinema schedule.
If you’re not using iCal, but have some other system that understands vCalendar files, you may have some success too.
Let me know any comments or suggestions you might have.