Google Calendar is spiffier, smarter and boasts a bit of magic


Google Calendar is taking on an much more active role, harvesting important events from emails and scouring phone books to flesh out those day planner entries.

The new Google Calendar app was released to sweeten the launch of the first two devices to run on Android Lollipop, the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.

Google says the new app will be available on Android 4.1 and up in the coming weeks. The Android maker says it also plans to release an iOS version of the new Calendar app.

The refreshed version of the Calendar app works "automagically," according to Google. The search engine company says it designed the new calendar to be more of a personal assistant than previous versions of the app.

"It takes a lot of work to stay on top of your schedule, after all," says Google. "You have to manually enter that hotel or dinner reservation, then update it if your plans change. You have to hunt around for addresses and phone numbers, then add them to your events. And if you're on a mobile device, you might just give up on these kinds of tasks entirely."

The new Calendar app takes the copying and pasting out of creating events. If a user books a flight or rents a car, the Calendar app harvests data like date and location from the confirmation email that's sent out once a reservation has been placed.

The Calendar app will even update information in real time, if an email comes through detailing a change in schedule. And if data is missing from a Calendar event, the new app's Assist feature helps users fill in the blanks.

"You often have to piece together phone numbers, addresses and attendees from lots of different sources, then add them to your calendar manually," says Google. "With Assists, Calendar can suggest titles, people and places as you type, as well as adapt to your preferences over time. For example, if you often go running with Peter in Central Park, Calendar can quickly suggest that entire event when you type 'r-u-n.' "

Rounding out the refresh, the Calendar app has received a visual upgrade that meshes with the clean, modern look of Android Lollipop. The new Schedule view details events with photos, maps and illustrations of activities.

For many Android fans, Calendar may be the first taste of what Android Lollipop will be like. There are plenty of reasons to upgrade from KitKat to Lollipop, but it will take some time before the Google's latest mobile OS receives an official release from hardware manufacturers.

Check out the new Calendar app below:

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