What is the Events Feed Feature?
The Events Feed feature allows you to pull in events from an external calendar such as a Google Calendar, using an iCal feed. Along with this feature, you also have the option of using the Events Manual feature which allows you to add events manually to your app. If you would like to learn more about that feature, you can do so here.
What are some use cases of Events Feed?
Some use cases of this feature include:
- Internal/Employee Apps: Keep your employees up to date with company events, schedules, and deadlines.
- School Apps: Keep your parents and students informed about class schedules, school holidays, events, and meetings.
- Community Apps: Keep your community members informed about special events, meetings, and initiatives.
- Church Apps: Engage your congregation by keeping them up to date with services, classes, Bible studies, outreach activities, and home groups.
What is the Events Feed’s primary function and what are the steps to accomplish it?
The Events Feed's primary focus is to streamline adding events into your app by pulling them from the iCal feed of your pre-existing calendar. Next we’ll go over how to set up the feature.
How to add your iCal feed and sync your events
Before you can start displaying events in your app, you’ll need to get the iCal feed of your pre-existing calendar so that its events can be pulled into your app. Here’s how to obtain the iCal feed of your calendar and how to add it to your app.
Step 1: Locate your iCal feed (also called an .ics file)
iCalendar (also known as iCal or .ics) is a global standard for exchanging calendar information and data, and what it does is it enables applications to synchronize date and time data with other calendar applications. Each program is slightly different as to how you access your iCal feed/URL. Below are some of the most common ones and step-by-step screenshots on how to locate the iCal URL.
Once you are in your Google Calendar, locate and click the settings cog wheel on the top right corner of the screen and click settings.
Underneath "Settings For My Calendars" on the left hand side, click on your calendar that you plan to use. Then click "Integrate Calendar."
Locate the "Secret address in iCal Format." Here, you will find the URL for your calendar.
Log into your iCloud account and navigate to your iCloud Calendar. Once there, click on the beacon icon to the right of the calendar you wish you use.
This will bring up a "Calendar Sharing" menu. Here, you will see a setting for "Public Calendar." Select this setting to populate the iCal URL.
Once you've obtained the URL for the calendar you wish to synchronize, you'll want to keep it on hand, as we'll be utilizing this URL in the upcoming steps.
Step 2: Check that your iCal feed is valid
As we mentioned, iCal is an industry standard calendar feed and because of this, the vast majority of calendars will provide you with one. If you're having trouble with your iCal feed, it’s best to run it through an iCal feed validator like this one to make sure you are using a valid feed.
Step 3: Enter your iCal feed into the Events Feed feature in the App Dashboard
Once you have validated your iCal feed, copy and paste your iCal feed into the “Enter iCal Feed” field then click “Validate”.
Congratulations! You’ve now successfully synced your iCal feed to your app! Your calendar’s events should automatically be pulled into your app’s calendar from now on. Next, let’s go over how users can add events from your app’s calendar to their mobile device’s calendar.
How your users can add events to their calendars
While the Events Feed feature pulls in events from your calendar and displays them in your app, the best way for users to be reminded of upcoming events is to add them to their personal calendars. They can add events to their calendars in one of two ways:
Method 1: Swipe right on an event and click the Calendar icon
When a user sees an event listed under the calendar that they’d like to add to their personal calendar, they can swipe right on the event, then tap on the calendar icon to add that event to their personal calendar.
Method 2: Go into an event and click “Add to Calendar”
Alternatively, if they’d like to learn more about an event, they can tap on it to see additional information about that event, as well as add it to their personal calendar by tapping on “Add to Calendar”.
Note: In the design tab, you can add images that can be used as a background image or header image.
What are some Pro Tips you should know about to take your app to the next level?
Having worked with apps for years, we’ve learned a thing or two. So, to both help your app stand out and accomplish your primary goals, here are some tips you should consider.
Pro Tip 1: Make sure you’re using a publicly accessible calendar
In order for the Events Feed feature to pull in the events from your calendar, you will need to be sure that the iCal feed is publicly accessible. Otherwise, your calendar will block its data from being pushed out and, therefore, this feature will not be able to sync it.
Pro Tip 2: Use Folders to create categorized calendars
Using Folders is a great way to showcase multiple calendars in your app. For example, you can have your Holiday Schedule, Deadlines, and Department Meetings as separate calendars making it easy for your users to find the types of events they want.
In addition to this article, we recommend checking out the following related articles so that you have a better insight into how to use the system to its fullest advantage:
Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help :)