Last fall, Google released a redesigned calendar app for Android, and said it was working on bringing it to iOS, as well. That day has come: for the first time, iPhone users have a full-fledged, official Google Calendar app. While Google's calendaring system has always been supported by the default iOS calendar, a host of third-party options have sprung up over the years in an attempt to work better with Google.
The main features Google touts in its redesigned calendar are events, assists, and schedule view. Events can automatically take emails from your Gmail account and turn them into calendar items; if you have an email where you're making plans for dinner at 7:30pm on a particular day and location, Google Calendar can automatically add it for you. Assists basically sounds like auto-fill for your calendar — you'll get suggestions for places, contacts, and so forth as you're making entries to your calendar.
Yet another well-designed iOS app from Google
The final "schedule view" option is pretty straightforward — Google Calendar just shows everything you have on your calendar in a timeline, and it uses Material Design to present attractive cards that give you some context around your upcoming events. For example, I have both a haircut and a dinner out coming up this week; when looking at my schedule view each of those items is visually differentiated by a big, bold graphic that tells me what each activity is. Of course, you can also see more traditional "day" and "3-day" views as well, but the schedule view seems like a pretty solid default option.
There's no iPad version just yet
The new Google Calendar for iPhone is available in the app store now and works with both standard Gmail accounts as well as Google Apps accounts. It's just the latest in a long line of highly functional and well-designed Google apps for iOS — if only Google would just make the Gmail app as good as its Android counterpart. That old app is looking like more and more of an outlier every day. However, there is one big downside — right now, Google Calendar is for iPhone only. If you use both an iPad and an iPhone, you won't have as consistent an experience between devices — you'll need to keep using Apple's calendar or a third-party app on your iPad, at least for now.