Calgoo Apps

Two big calendar releases within 24-hours…first Sunbird/Lightning and now this! Calgoo is out of the testing stages and has moved on to their first major version, and unexpectedly turned to paid software ($25 per year). The newest version sports a variety of changes ranging from a refreshing new look to performance enhancements. Here’s a more detailed list for you:

  • Complete Facelift
  • Improved Calendar Support – Calgoo now synchronizes Outlook, Google and iCal calendars and allows you to synchronize Outlook and Google Calendars via Calgoo. Support for stand-alone Calgoo calendars has also been added.
  • Outlook Contacts Synchronization – You now can easily import and export entire contact lists from Outlook. Calgoo is able to automatically determine modified contacts to synchronize, and where there are conflicts, will prompt you to decide which of the conflicting contacts to keep.
  • Printing – Calgoo now has a print feature based on the Agenda View. You can now get a list of your events, customizible based on your Agenda View settings, print it, and bring it on the road! The printout is monochrome printer friendly.
  • Simplified Find
  • New Database Engine – Calgoo has migrated its entire database backbone to Apache Derby DB.
  • Overall performance improvement – Calgoo is now much faster across the board: screen updates, navigation, transactions (query, save, edit, delete), calendar download, synchronization…

The new database means that it’s not possible for you to upgrade your current version of Calgoo, because it will not retain your old data. Of course if all your calendars are stored on online via Google that shouldn’t be a big deal.

The name of the application has also changed slightly, and is now called Calgoo Apps. I’m guessing that’s because it no longer manages solely your calendar…it does both tasks and contacts as well. A more simplified version called Calgoo Calendar will be coming in July 2007, which will be completely free and have almost all of the same features. The only real difference is that you will have to manually sync the calendar with Outlook instead of having it done automatically.

The colors available for your calendars have improved dramatically, because I thought they were, well, a little hideous before. That might be a little harsh but it was pretty difficult to read some of the text on the background colors that they had previously chosen. They still have some of the bad ones available in the color selection, but overall they are much more vibrant and readable:

Calgoo Apps
Click to Enlarge

I’m not 100% sure if the jump to shareware had the best timing, because I don’t feel as though there were a ton of feature improvements to constitute paying for the software. One thing that still frustrates me while using it is not being able to click and drag to create an event. You can quickly create an event by double-clicking anywhere in the calendar field, and then you can resize it, but you can’t click on the starting time and drag to the end time. Even the online Google calendar is able to do this as well as Mozilla’s Sunbird calendar.

As far as memory usage goes it is still not that great. Calgoo Apps uses Java as its backend so it is a little more bloated than it would otherwise be, and on my machine it starts up consuming 90MB of my RAM where I would prefer around 50MB. One of the good things about it being Java-based is that it is available on multiple platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Of course this program is extremely unique in that it can synchronize your Outlook calendar with Google Calendar in both directions. You can hop online to the Google Calendar if you’re on the road and need to add an appointment. Then when you return to the office Calgoo will automatically update your Outlook calendar so that it is perfectly in sync.

As much as I would like to compare this to the new Mozilla Sunbird I don’t think that is really possible. Sunbird does offer syncing with Google Calendar via an extension, but Calgoo has always done a better job of synchronizing. I think the interface of Sunbird is more elegant, but Calgoo has made a lot of great strides in making their program better. If your primary goal for having a desktop calendar is to synchronize with Google I would choose Calgoo, but hold out for the free version if automatic Outlook synchronization isn’t important to you.

Compare the different versions of Calgoo
Calgoo Apps 1.0 Homepage
Calgoo Calendar Homepage