Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tips: How to open Webcal links using Google Calendar in Chrome

Google Chrome has recently added support for protocol handlers to let you associate Gmail with mailto: links and Google Calendar with webcal: links. Therefore, if you visit Google Calendar using Google Chrome, you can see an infobar that prompts you to "allow Google Calendar to open all web calendar links”. This infobar from Google Calendar requests your permission to associate the webcal: protocol with the application.

According to Wikipedia, "Webcal is an unofficial Uniform Resource Identifier scheme for accessing iCalendar files. Webcal was initiated for use with the Apple iCal application and has become a common de facto standard for accessing iCalendar formatted files via WebDAV. It is not an official URI scheme, such as http and ftp, as registered with IANA. The Webcal protocol prefix is used to trigger an external protocol handler which is passed the URL of the .ics file rather than being passed the downloaded contents of the file, in much the same way feed is sometimes used to trigger external RSS readers. The idea is that with this protocol prefix the target file should be subscribed to rather than imported into the calendar application as would happen with a simple download."

Let’s have an example f webcal: link that allows us to subscribe to a calendar that includes the US holidays.
If you wish to edit the protocol handlers in Google Chrome, you can open a new tab and paste chrome://settings/handlers (you can also go to Options, select Under the hood, click Content settings and then click Manage handlers) in the address bar.

You can find the same feature even in Firefox as it has more powerful features as it supports most of the filetypes. The main thing you’ve to remember is that, you can associate them only with the native apps and not with the Web apps. However, this is still quite easy.

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