The highly anticipated Calendar app 30Boxes
goes live later today; sneaky Neowin users might just be able to get in a
little early using the username
beta and password
assured, the site is much better than their password protection scheme.
30Boxes applies the
magic becoming more and more familiar to online 'applications'. It's quick and snappy make it a pleasure to use. As users
will quickly find out, the process of adding events is simple and well designed. It 'intellegently' parses the information you enter to form a calendar entry, which means adding data is quick and painless. The
design team at 83 degrees, the makers, clearly recognised the fact that for good usability, the
calendar needed to be large and clear- and it is. Stretching the full page,
users can enjoy a bird's eye view on their month ahead. At the moment, there
are three themes (OS X / Flickr / Gmail style), but users will be are able to
change the UI themselves later.
One wouldn't expect there to be much innovation in calendars- yet strangely,
there is! Most of it, neat layout and AJAX aside, comes via the clever user of RSS feeds and tagging. Events
can be tagged - e.g. work, sport, etc - making it easy to search what's going
on. You can also highlight events tagged with a specific phrase. The RSS features make
30Boxes very expansive; you can push data out to other applications - e.g.
subscribe to your Calendar in iCal - or bring data in from other applications.
30Boxes can link up with sites like Flickr, MySpace or LiveJournal. It's
impressive, and seems to work rather well.
Finally, but my no means least, probably the most interesting feature to our
users is the ability to share calendars with other users. By adding 'buddies',
you can share information and invite people to events listed in your calendar.
The team seem to have thought a lot about how the most successful applications
on the web have got that way - and they've done it well. Their developer API and
efforts to allow 3rd parties to skin calendars easily makes
30Boxes quite an
exciting new launch.
The one problem we've found is this: we're
not quit sure how 30Boxes is going to make money, an important component to
long term survival. We'd expect, in the long term, either some form of subscription (ala Flickr)
or perhaps no 'pay-for' model at all- simply hold out on venture capital and wait
to get bought (and we're pretty sure they will be) by one of the big boys – be it
Google / Yahoo, Microsoft or other.
30Boxes goes live later today. From limited testing in Firefox and IE7 Beta 2 preview, it seems to be reasonably bug free. However, remember that it is still in beta, and will no doubt receive
rather a lot of traffic- so be patient. But enjoy!
View: 30Boxes ( username / password =