Requested Fixes for Mac: Addressbook & iCal

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Maybe I’m crazy, but I think things could be better. I chose apple because it is better, but two apps which they are probably not planning on changing definately need some work. If you have more ideas, please comment.

Please fix iCal

quick entry

Okay, i use ical all the time and i’ve gotten to the point where I just put all the information about a meeting or something in the name of the event because I hate dealing with the interface. As a result i have events that are named things like “JR show at viper room 10pm”. The actual event details listed in ical are whatever the defaults are.

We need a quick entry field to plop down all the info and it saves the event correctly. Like when i type “Meeting with Janis Markly at 11am friday at coffee bean larchmont . bring projector” ical should look up janis markly in my addressbook, set the correct time and date, search for “coffee bean larchmont” and give me options, then add this entire blurb to the notes for the event and ask me to confirm that it figured everything out right. This is what computers do. They churn info. Google calendar already does some of this stuff. The tech is here. I want it.

At the very least, fix how clock times are entered!

doesn’t match iphone

iCal can sync with iPhone’s calendar pretty easily in a lot of ways, but there’s a problem with urls and location.

Location will show up on the iphone, but when you tap it (if it’s an address) it will not activate as a link, so you can’t map it that way. You’ll need to cut and paste it to maps. You can, however add an address as a note and that will become a map link. There is no mapping feature from the desktop ical.

URL is the only way to put a clickable link in your ical event. Too bad it doesn’t show up in your iphone AT ALL. To have a url that shows up in your iphone, you need to put it in the notes of the event. That url will be clickable in iphone but not on desktop.

Basically, you have to put urls in both the url field and the notes field of all new events and only put the location in the notes because it does absolutely no good in the location field.

better location fields

I think they should make the location fields work and they should make them better. The location should have 4 fields. Location Name, Location Address, Location City, Location Country. This would be more to fill out, but it should be automated. Having this stuff will help with precise mapping and will reduce mistakes.

continuous grid

Okay, this is really stupid. The broadest view in ical is monthly. You don’t plan events by month, you plan them by day. eg: if I set up a date for the first Monday in December, I have to click the tiny arrow button (i hate tiny buttons) to skip ahead. Why not scroll down? We’re obviously not afraid of losing the sanctity of month divisions, because there is a day from last month and 4 days from next month showing on my Nov’10 grid. Make a continuous grid! It’s not that hard. You’ll have to do some loading and unloading ajax style and maybe make a new scrollbar, but c’mon we live in the future!

Continuous Grid Example.

Address Book

quick entry

Just like iCal needs it, Address Book really needs it. Usually contact info is written pretty neatly somewhere and would be easy for a computer to interpret. Should be, click a plus button and a single field pops open where you can simply paste in some text. Then, address book could show you where it thinks the stuff goes and put it together accurately. If connected to the internet, it could test mailing addresses. pretty simple. You could also type all the stuff out really fast in that box and address book would figure it out. nicer than weird tabbing or clicking on each field.

auto from email

I don’t know what this feature is called, but it’s supposed to pull contact info from a message and figure out how it fits in your address book. It sucks pretty bad. It doesn’t enter the country ever, it adds every phone number as “work” and it adds my own contact info.

If i send an email to someone asking for their info, they’ll reply with my quoted text (including my own contact info). I think my mac should be smart enough to find that contact info (like my email address) is already in my address book and discard it or at least ask me if it should be duplicated. It doesn’t.

using the info

I wish mail would learn that I use my Mom’s email address more than i use Mo Mandel’s so I could type mom and it would be the first result.

Also, I wish that there were 3 buttons visible and easy to single click in every contact. “Send Email” “Share Contact” and “Map it” I know the features are there, but why not make them easily available like in the iphone?

defaults and autofill

It would take some playing with to figure out the right way to do it, but there should at least be a default city and state and country. This could be figured out by the user’s location or whatever. It’s a pain to have to enter this every time. I use text expander to enter the Los Angeles faster, but it’s still stupid.

If someone works for the same company as someone else, it should be easy enough for address book to offer to autofill in that person’s work address.

Both of them

Shortcut keys to edit. How about if you stick to CMD+E to edit, CMD+S to save? Seems simple. iCal is CMD+E to edit and CMD+E to save. AddressBook is CMD+L to edit and CMD+S to save. Stupid.

Copying and pasting is a bitch. Currently, i have to edit either the event or the contact in order to make the text selectable for copy and paste.

Sometimes i feel like i’m working to appease these two apps and I think of all the people in the world running through the same sand. I hope someone fixes this stuff so they work for us.

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