Apple Introduces iCal 📅

The original iCal icon from 2002

July 17, 2002

Steve Jobs introduces Apple’s now ubiquitous calendaring software, originally named iCal, for Macintosh computers. At the time, it was an innovative advancement in calendaring software for the Mac, allowing internet sharing of calendar data and letting users manage multiple calendars. It also took advantage of the then-new Apple iSync technology to sync their calendars to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, PalmOS devices, and the Apple iPod so users could access their calendars on the go.

iCal became a mainstay for Mac users but it achieved mainstream usage starting with the release of the iPhone in 2007. Since the operating system of the iPhone (called iPhone OS at the time, later renamed iOS is 2010) is at its core identical to the Mac OS X operating system, much of the software that runs on the Mac OS can easily be ported to the iPhone, iCal included. Apple, however, called the iOS version simply “Calendar”. Apple renamed iCal on the Mac OS to match the iOS name in 2012 with the release of Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

Originally released as free standalone download, iCal was not actually available until September of that year and then bundled as part of the Mac OS in the next year. However the date of July 17th has become very important in technology history because it was used as the basis of World Emoji Day, started in 2014. This date was chosen because the emoji that Apple created to represent a calendar has always shown the date July 17th, in recognition of the date that the original iCal software was introduced.