Google Calendar is down (so now you have the perfect excuse) [Updated]

Bad news if you were hoping to know where you were meant to be today, who you should be meeting with, and when, with Google Calendar experiencing widespread outages worldwide. Google acknowledged reports of users unable to access their calendars this morning, confirming that no, it's not just you. What it didn't say was that you're welcome, if you've been looking for an excuse to get out of an unwanted appointment.

Attempts to access Google Calendar through either the browser interface or via apps each end up the same way. The webpage won't load, and nothing will synchronize in the background. If your calendar app of choice has local caching, of course, you should still be able to see what's on the agenda, and get notifications.

However adding new appointments is off the table for the moment, as is inviting new participants to meetings, or indeed responding to invites. Both free Google accounts and paid G Suite accounts are affected.

It's a pointed reminder of just how much impact even one Google service can have on productivity, should it go offline. While email might seem like the most mission-critical of the services that Google offers both to individuals and businesses, the reality is that most people are set up with multiple ways to keep in touch. If Gmail goes down, you can always switch to an instant messaging service, or even just SMS instead.

Few people have a calendar backup, however, and so we're imagining there may be a fair number of people using the "Oh, sorry I missed it, Google Calendar didn't remind me" excuse over the rest of the day.

Google says that it's investigating the reports of downtime, though hasn't commented yet on what has caused the issue. It's not the only embarrassing period of offline services for the company in recent weeks, however. Earlier in the month, Google Cloud issues took down not only services from the company itself, like Gmail, but third-party services like Apple's cloud, Snapchat, and others. At the time, Google blamed "high levels of network congestion in the eastern USA" for the interruption.Update: Google has issued a status update on the Google Calendar outage, confirming that most users are unable to access the service. It also gave an estimated restoration time:

"We expect to resolve the problem affecting a majority of users of Google Calendar at 6/18/19, 10:40 AM. Please note that this time frame is an estimate and may change. The affected users are unable to access Google Calendar."

Update 2: As of 10:13AM (PT), Google says that Calendar should be back online for all users:

"The problem with Google Calendar should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."