Proton launches a privacy-first alternative to Google Calendar for Android

Building on its VPN and secure email service, Proton has launched an encrypted calendar app for Android as part of its mission to create a better internet where privacy is the default.

Proton Calendar first launched on desktop back in 2020 and last year, the company released a beta version of its encrypted mobile calendar app.

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While securing your calendar may not be the first thing that comes to mind in regard to protecting your privacy, it actually contains loads of personal data including who you meet and where you meet. As this information deserves the same level of protection as your email and files, Proton has stepped up to create the most secure calendar around.

Unlike other calendar apps, all of the event details including event names, participants, locations, notes and descriptions in Proton Calendar are fully encrypted to prevent others from gaining access to your schedule.

Proton Calendar for Android

Proton Calendar for Android includes a full set of advanced features and functionalities so it can easily replace Google Calendar or any other calendar app you may currently be using.

With Proton Calendar installed on your Android smartphone, you can easily switch between day, schedule and month view to see your calendar as you like and Proton has also created a widget which you can add to your home screen for a bird’s eye view of your upcoming events.

Proton has even included both a light and dark mode with the option to easily switch between the two as well as the ability to set multiple reminders on your phone and by email to ensure you’re always on time.

For those interested in switching to Proton Calendar, there are two ways to do so. First off, you can import your existing calendar by using Easy Switch from the settings menu of your ProtonMail account. However, you can also import a local calendar file with the .ics file extension directly into Proton Calendar.

Once your events arrive in Proton Calendar, they are automatically encrypted to help keep your data, plans and whereabouts private.

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Proton launches a privacy-first alternative to Google Calendar for Android

Building on its VPN and secure email service, Proton has launched an encrypted calendar app for Android as part of its mission to create a better internet where privacy is the default.

Proton Calendar first launched on desktop back in 2020 and last year, the company released a beta version of its encrypted mobile calendar app.

Share your thoughts on Cybersecurity and get a free copy of the Hacker’s Manual 2022. Help us find how businesses are preparing for the post-Covid world and the implications of these activities on their cybersecurity plans. Enter your email at the end of this survey to get the bookazine, worth $ 10.99/£10.99.

While securing your calendar may not be the first thing that comes to mind in regard to protecting your privacy, it actually contains loads of personal data including who you meet and where you meet. As this information deserves the same level of protection as your email and files, Proton has stepped up to create the most secure calendar around.

Unlike other calendar apps, all of the event details including event names, participants, locations, notes and descriptions in Proton Calendar are fully encrypted to prevent others from gaining access to your schedule.

Proton Calendar for Android

Proton Calendar for Android includes a full set of advanced features and functionalities so it can easily replace Google Calendar or any other calendar app you may currently be using.

With Proton Calendar installed on your Android smartphone, you can easily switch between day, schedule and month view to see your calendar as you like and Proton has also created a widget which you can add to your home screen for a bird’s eye view of your upcoming events.

Proton has even included both a light and dark mode with the option to easily switch between the two as well as the ability to set multiple reminders on your phone and by email to ensure you’re always on time.

For those interested in switching to Proton Calendar, there are two ways to do so. First off, you can import your existing calendar by using Easy Switch from the settings menu of your ProtonMail account. However, you can also import a local calendar file with the .ics file extension directly into Proton Calendar.

Once your events arrive in Proton Calendar, they are automatically encrypted to help keep your data, plans and whereabouts private.

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Google Calendar is turning into an appointment booking system

Booking appointments in Google Calendar just got even easier as Google is now rolling out a new appointment scheduling feature to its calendar app.

First introduced for paid Google Workspace users last June, the company's appointment scheduling feature allows users to share their availability through a booking page.

This booking page can be used by external stakeholders, clients, partners and others to schedule time to meet in-person or over video through Google Meet.

Creating a bookable appointment schedule in Google Calendar is just as easy as setting up a new event or task and on desktop, it can be done by clicking the plus icon. However, you will need a paid Google Workspace Individual account to test out this feature for yourself.

Appointment scheduling vs appointment slot

While Google Calendar's appointment scheduling may sound similar to its existing appointment slot feature, they have entirely different use cases.

The appointment slot feature in Google Calendar is intended for internal use cases where you don't know who needs to meet with you but want to make yourself available. For instance, professors can use it to hold their office hours while an IT department can make itself available for employees experiencing computer issues.

Appointment scheduling on the other hand is suited for external use cases and allows for people outside of your organization, including those who don't have a Google account, to schedule meetings. However, you won't have to worry about double bookings or rescheduling appointments as the feature also supports automatic conflict detection with existing Google Calendar events.

Now that businesses have begun implementing hybrid work policies, this additional flexibility makes it easier to schedule meetings and share your availability in a way that works for everyone.

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This Google Calendar update gives your co-workers nowhere to hide

Tracking down your office team mates and other colleagues should soon be easier thanks to a new update to Google Calendar.

The calendar app for Google Workspace is now able to show a range of status options in Google Chat, giving you extra information on what you or your co-workers are up to.

Previously limited to just showing when someone was out of office, Google Chat is now able to show a number of different statuses, including “in a meeting” or “in focus time”.

Google Calendar statuses

“We hope by surfacing these additional statuses, this will make it easier for your colleagues to identify appropriate times to message you,” the company wrote in its Google Workspace update blog post announcing the change.

Google Chat calendar statuses

(Image credit: Google Workspace)

Admins will also be able to configure specific options for displaying the new status, with the ability to toggle on and off – or completely disable it.

The feature, which will be on by default, has started rolling out now across Android, iOS and web users. It will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers. However, it won't be an option for Google Workspace Individual users or those with personal Google accounts.

The news is the latest update to Google Calendar as the company looks to help employees embracing hybrid working that are splitting their time between the office and home.

Recently, it revealed a tool that means Gmail users will now be able to specify whether they will be attending a meeting either virtually or in-person in their email RSVP.

As mentioned above, Google Calendar also recently launched “Focus time”, where users can block out periods of time where they can avoid meetings and get their heads down for actual work.

Setting such a marker in your Google Calendar will also allow users to automatically decline meetings, meaning no last-minute rush to finish off work.

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Your Microsoft Outlook calendar is going global

Your Outlook calendars could soon be more organized than ever thanks to a new update from Microsoft.

The company has revealed an upgrade to its email service that will allow users to display a second calendar type.

In the official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company notes that users will have “a variety of global calendars” to choose from. This could mean that the likes of the Chinese lunar calendar, Indian calendar and the Islamic calendar will soon be available as options within Outlook, so certain holidays or observances are not missed.

Outlook calendars

The feature is still listed as “in development” for the time being, but Microsoft has included a preview release for March 2022, and a scheduled general release for May 2022, so users should be able to benefit within the next few weeks.

When it does release, the update will be available to all Outlook Web users across the world.

The news is the latest in a series of recent updates announced for Outlook as Microsoft looks to make the service an ideal partner for hybrid working.

This includes the ability to browse and reserve meeting rooms on a work phone, meaning you won't be caught without a space ahead of an important meeting. Previously, Outlook users had to search for available meeting rooms using the desktop app or another alternative system implemented by their company, so this offers a significant upgrade.

A separate update entitled “working hours and location” will allow users to set a notice showing where they are working, whether that be at home, in the office, or anywhere else in particular, giving managers more visibility on where their key employees are.

The company is also planning on adding Microsoft Editor functionality on mobile platforms, signalling an end for embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes on smartphones, as well as adding text predictions to Outlook for Android and iOS.

And in a bid to add a bit more vibrancy to what can be quite a dull platform, another upgrade will soon let users customize the color of the events in their calendar app, letting them not only liven up the view, but also create better distinction and visibility into their working week.

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This Outlook email update will give your calendar a splash of color

Microsoft Outlook users will soon be able to liven up their work calendars with a bit of color thanks to a new update coming to the service.

An upcoming upgrade will soon allow Outlook web users to customize the color of the events in their calendar app, letting them not only liven up the view, but also create better distinction and visibility into their working week.

The official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap notes that users of the email service will be able to select custom colors for their calendar events using hexadecimal values, RBG values, or a color picker control.

Outlook update

The update is currently still in the development phase, but Microsoft has pegged it for a release in February 2022. It will only be available to web users to begin with, but may roll out elsewhere soon.

The move brings Outlook up to speed with some of its biggest rivals, with Google Calendar already allowing users to set a number of different colors for events.

Microsoft has revealed a number of useful updates for Outlook in the last few months as it looks to further assist those embracing the hybrid working lifestyle.

This includes a tool that will help users eliminate mistakes from their messages with the launch of spelling and grammar checks for its Outlook on mobile platform.

Another update will allow workers to set a notice showing where they are working, whether that be at home, in the office, or anywhere else.

Google Calendar received a similar feature in August 2021, allowing users to highlight exactly where they would be working, with the options of home, office, or a specific other location.

Users can also create a weekly working location routine if they plan on going into the office on certain days and working remotely on others, which can be updated at any time if plans change. There was no information as to whether Microsoft's Outlook update will do the same, but we're hopeful it will.

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Google Calendar update will prevent disastrous scheduling mishaps

Keeping your work and personal lives seperate should soon be easier than ever thanks to a new update to Google Calendar on mobile.

The company has revealed it will be adding account profile pictures in the top corner of Google Calendar on mobile, whether you're on Android or iOS. 

This should mean that users are able to quickly and easily spot  which account you’re currently using and easily toggle between accounts – and hopefully not spam your work calendar with birthday parties and hospital appointments.

Google Calendar accounts

In a blog post announcing the update, Google said the change should also make it easier to work out which account you're using when creating an event – and you can switch easily by clicking the profile picture displayed, much like in other Google apps.

It adds that users will still be able to see events for all accounts you’re logged into in your calendar, as well as still seeing events in any other calendar account you may have added.

Your active account will always be listed at the top of the accounts in the overflow menu, hopefully minimizing any possible confusion.

Google calendar switch between accounts

(Image credit: Google)

The update is rolling out now to iOS and Android users, with all Google Workspace customers, G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts able to download.

The news is the latest update to Google Calendar as the company looks to help employees embracing hybrid working that are splitting their time between the office and home.

Recently, it revealed a tool that means Gmail users will now be able to specify whether they will be attending a meeting either virtually or in-person in their email RSVP.

The news comes shortly after the launch of a new “Focus time” feature in Google Calendar that will allow users to block out periods of time where they can avoid meetings and get their heads down for actual work.

Setting such a marker in your Google Calendar will also allow users to automatically decline meetings, meaning no last-minute rush to finish off work.

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Google Calendar update will stop people clogging your day with needless meetings

Google is rolling out improvements for its calendar app that should help people better manage their busy schedules.

As described in a blog post, Google Calendar users will soon benefit from the ability to prevent unwanted invitations from being added to their calendar.

Under the updated system, users can choose for meetings and other events to be added to their calendar only after they have responded to the email invitation. The effect, says Google, is a less cluttered calendar interface and less time spent on administration.

The new Google Calendar feature should go live for all Workspace users (both business and personal) within the next two weeks.

Google Calendar invitations

Since the transition to remote and hybrid working, many more meetings have taken place over video conferencing and VoIP services. Managers have also been encouraged to check in more frequently with employees, in the absence of a quick chat or coffee break at the office.

All of this means a larger volume of meetings and more unwieldy calendars, which is somewhat of a nightmare for anyone who already spent more than their fair share of time in meetings before the pandemic.

With this latest update, however, Google Workspace users will be able to manage their calendars more effectively with less manual effort, as well as highlighting the events and meetings most important to them.

Of course, the ability to divert invitations doesn’t address endemic problems with meetings culture in this new world of hybrid working, but it will at least go some way to alleviating the symptoms.

To activate or deactivate the new feature, use the following pathway in the Google Calendar web app: Settings > Event settings > Add invitations to my calendar.

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Is Google Calendar down?

Is Google Calendar down? The widely-use calendar service provided by Google, and synced with many of our work and personal email accounts, appears to be having trouble keeping it together.

A number of TechRadar staff are seeing Google Calendar dip in and out of live service, with a '500' error code coming up instead of our usual view of events, meetings, reminders, and more meetings.

More on this as the story develops…

It looks like a global problem

Google Calendar appears to be down for TechRadar's UK staff, flitting in and out of service. We have word that the service is experiencing issues worldwide, from contacts in India and Spain too.

Reported cases are rising

Downdetector is reporting a surge in user-generated reports of Google Calendar issues since 9am GMT (1am PST / 4am EST). Only 16 reports in the view so far, but 0-16 in the space of 20 minutes shows something is picking up.

Users are taking to social media

People are cottoning on to the service being down, though the official Google Calendar Twitter account has yet to post anything about the issues.

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Be free, workers!

Some are taking the outage on a lighter note, such as Twitter user @jerelleaj, who celebrates that they must “have nothing planned for today”. Performance review? What performance review?

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Partial functionality?

You may find that you can enter the Google Calendar, and only see a few events out of your usually-packed schedule. I'm able to see my own events, and things I've confirmed attendance to – stored locally – but my work calendar of everything else going on in the company is absent. Sorry boss.

I was able to use a Google Calendar event to jump into a Google Meet video call, so you may be able to briefly gain access for an important meeting if you keep trying. We tend to switch between half-filled screen and full-on error message every time we refresh the page, though.

Reports continue to pour in

Downdetector is now reporting a whopping 2,960 issues – and the real number is likely to be far beyond that, given that the site relies on user-generated complaints.

Users commenting on the website say that Calendar is “down for Romania as well”, “Not working in Czech Republic”, “Unable to sync in India”, and “Down in Denmark.” France and Greece appear to be affected too – is anyone left out?

A Google in denial

No official word from Google yet, and the Google Workspace Status Dashboard shows Google Calendar as working perfectly fine. Read the room, Google.

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