Developers Get Access to iCal Database

iCal iconArs Technica is reporting on (what I think is) a pretty exciting event for OS X software development. Apple has provided software developers with access to the Calendar Store, the system that manages the database of events, todos, and alarms in OS X. This type of access has been possible for the Address Book since 10.2. For instance, you can associate a screen name in Adium with an Address Book entry, and information is populated automatically. Now that same type of interaction can happen between third-party applications and the Calendar database.

I am going to guess that this is going to have an immediately HUGE effect on GTD type applications. The Mac has already seen this market of software grow very quickly. Now these systems will be able to tie into the same database, a database that is also integrated into first-party Apple apps like iCal and Mail.

The area I’m very excited about is calendar synchronization. There are a few tools out already that synchronize online calendars with iCal. Spanning Sync and Plaxo will both sync Google Calendar to iCal, however these require periodic updates and dealing with duplicates can get messy and scary if you make the wrong move in resolving a conflict. Now, I hope we will see instant two-way synchronization that works completely behind the scenes. The Calendar Store access allows applications listen for changes in the Calendar database, and act on them immediately, so I believe that duplicates and other issues related to periodic syncing can be minimized, or in an app to app situation, completely eliminated.

One of the primary reasons I switched my day-to-day computer from Windows to Mac was for the cleanly integrated PIM applications, and I’m ecstatic to see continued and increasing support to make things work together even better.

Via: Ars Technica

Chris Owens