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Google Calendar gets smarter and prettier

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As part of the Google's continued push forward with Lollipop, Calendar is getting a major (and long-overdue) upgrade. Obviously that includes a Material Design facelift (which we can only assume will come to the web app eventually), but it also includes a metric ton of new features. The most impressive is its ability to mine your inbox for valuable information and automatically create appointments for you. Rather than suggest an event when you open your flight itinerary in Gmail, the new Google Calendar will just pull in that information -- including your flight number and check-in time. Best of all, those events are automatically updated, say if your flight is delayed or your pottery class is canceled. Assists are an other effort to save you time by suggesting locations, people or even events titles based on your behavior. As an example, Google says if you frequently go running with your friend Peter in Central park, typing "r-u-n" should automatically suggest "Running with Peter in Central Park" complete with a link to the location on the map and contact for Peter.

The last major new feature is more aesthetic than anything else: Schedule View. Basically it's an updated take on the agenda view that those with the most crowded calendars have come to rely on as a crutch. Schedule takes the same entry-by-entry approach but adds maps, photos and illustrations to brighten up the presentation. It all blends quite well with the bright, construction paper-esque layout that Material Design brings to the party.

If you've got a device running Lollipop (meaning if you have a Nexus 9) then the updated calendar should already be available to you. The rest of you Android users will have to be a little more patient as the new calendar rolls out over the next several weeks. Let's hope it doesn't take too long however... we're already getting impatient enough waiting for the Gmail update.

Update: And speak of the devil! Here's the Gmail update we were talking about now. It should be rolling out to all users over the next couple of days.

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