End of the line for Google Calendar SMS alerts

GoogleApps_Jun5_CIn the age of the smartphone, the once vital SMS notifications from Google Calendar were a vital component of the service. They gave us an all-important reminder about upcoming meetings that we might have forgotten about; of particular use when away from the desktop computer that at the time was still the technology mainstay. But now we can access sleek notifications through a range of devices, including smartphones and tablets, even when offline – so Google is throwing in the towel on SMS alerts. Here’s what you need to know.

Google says that, in 2015, SMS notifications of upcoming diary engagements are no longer needed. It’s true that you no longer even need an internet connection on your phone or tablet in order to receive alerts.

With Google’s announcement, if you currently use SMS notifications then you’ll instead see pop-up notifications on your mobile or desktop device. These only function on mobile devices if you have a calendar app installed – either Google Calendar or a rival app native to your device – and on desktop devices if you have the web version of Google Calendar running in your browser.

If you’re not already a smartphone user, the transition is less simple – and now might be the time to make the move to a smartphone. The alternative is to manually switch your SMS notifications out for email alerts within the settings for individual events, both recurring ones and those that you create going forward. But bear in mind that, without an internet-connected smartphone, you won’t have access to email notifications of event alterations while you’re on the move.

If you are using a corporate Google account designed for education, government or business, you’re safe – for now, support continues for SMS notifications for users of these services. But if you rely on a personal account to power your Google Calendar scheduling, you’ll need to adapt to the change in time for the June 27 switchover.

Want to learn more about using Calendar and other Google apps to streamline your personal and business lives? Give us a call and see how we can help.

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