Whether you’re a student, business person or have a job of any type, a calendar can be useful to schedule your time and plan out your day. Most iOS users probably rely on the Calendar app because it is built in, but are they missing out on the extra functionality that a third-party calendar can provide? There is also a good chance that they could be missing out on using a better looking calendar!
There are a lot of calendar apps in the App Store. To limit the list, it was decided to have some basic criteria: all major calendar sync services should be supported within the app, including Google, iCloud and Exchange. Let’s check out the contenders after the break.
Calvetica became famous in the App Store by focusing on quick event creation and holds true to that claim as events can be added with just two taps. To add customization to an event will require more work, but adding details to events is easier and quicker than within the standard Calendar app. The layout in Calvetica focuses on a scrolling calendar on the left with a more detailed week view on the right. The view on the right is customizable between full day, agenda and week.
Calvetica stands out from the competition by including a lot of features but not making it feel like the app has feature bloat. I really like the developers and their unique style added to the app. For example, below the week view will be funny or clever statements to add a smile to your day. It’s fast and handles a lot of calendar data very quickly. For a more in-depth look at Calvetica, check out the full review.
Agenda aims to bring minimalism back to the calendar. The main theme is a black and white calendar with dots to depict what events go to each calendar synced through Agenda. The main views included are a year, month, week and individual view. Switching between the views is easy enough thanks to being able to swipe horizontally left and right on the main screen. The app also support themes related to popular technology sites, such as Daring Fireball.
Some features that make Agenda stick out in this crowded market is that like in Calvetica, event creation is really fast. Events can be created in as little as two taps, as well. The goal view, which only works in portrait mode, is a way to setup events milestones for the year. For example, if I wanted to train for a half marathon later this year in November, I would list “half-marathon” in my Agenda Goals calendar in November. My daily training events would lead up to that goal. The status taps are a clever way to have a custom message sent to attendees of the event to update your status for the meeting if you are running late or on time. For more details and features that Agenda offers, check out the full review here.
While features are important in a calendar client, too many can get in the way. Some people might prefer to have more detail shown on their monthly view, such as the weather for the day. That is what makes iPlan stick out from the competition — they add extra little features that enhance the experience ever so slightly. The five-day forecast will show in the monthly view, for example. Also, an inspirational quote is within view at the top of the calendar to give you a boost through the day. IPlan also includes many options to customize the appearance of the app.
IPlan supports multiple views including yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. There is one major problem that I found with iPlan, and that is the Event Entry panel. It uses the standard Calendar app dialogue box which can be very cumbersome. I would really like iPlan to incorporate a quick entry method like Calvetica and Agenda. Other than the standard entry panel, iPlan is a solid choice to view events on your calendar.
Mysterious Trousers is making a double appearance on the roundup with Tempus. It’s the ultimate minimal calendar and was released after many users complained when a major update to Calvetica was pushed out. Tempus brought the Mysterious Trousers team back to their roots with a new code base to make the app even faster.
Tempus also supports quick event creation like in Calvetica by tapping and holding on a day. Pressing the plus button to create an event will allow the user to utilize a more detailed event creation window. Tempus also allows a user to scroll through months by scrolling left and right. If you want your calendar to be minimal and distraction free, Tempus is a good choice to look at.
For fans of the typical Day Timer there are a few apps available to provide that experience in a digital format. Pocket Informant Pro brings together all of the features of a Day-Timer into one app which includes calendar, task, notes and contacts. One unique feature is the different task methods available for use. In the settings there is an option to use the Franklin Convey, Getting Things Done, Standard and Simple Tasks method to complete all of your actions.
Pocket Informant Pro is the one of the two all-in-one solution apps in this roundup. If you are person who likes to integrate your calendar with your task manager as well as with your notes, then this app seems like a perfect fit. If you can get on board with this system then you could possibly take away four apps off your homescreen and just use Pocket Informant Pro.
For people who liked the idea of Pocket Informant Pro but think it has too many options, miCal HD might be a better option. The premise is similar to Pocket Informant Pro by including a calendar, task manager (through in-app purchase), and notes with one app, but there a less customization options and also there is not a way to manage contacts within the app. The calendar resembles a Day Timer, even including rings to give the appearance of having a six-ring calendar binder. Some users might not like the appearance, but I feel it was done with the right amount of skeuomorphism.
There are several features in miCal HD that makes it stand out from the other apps listed. For example, when creating an event there is a feature named Checklist which shows tasks related to the event. These items can be attached to the event so it is easy to see what items need to be done beforehand. Event creation is not as fast as on Calvetica or Agenda, but it does include more features such as Favorites. This includes common words for setting up events on a calendar, which helps you establish common events quicker. If you like the feel of Pocket Informant Pro with all of the necessities and not all of the extras, miCal HD is definitley worth a look.
Awesome Calendar supports a monthly and list view, and also includes the ability to create notes and tasks. That said, these items are hidden behind the list view and may not be easy for users to navigate to or find. The app will also show the current weather in the top left corner. Also in the left corner is a sticker button, which enables the user to put stickers on the calendar so it’s easier to communicate information. For example, I could put the “out” sticker on my vacation days.
Awesome Calendar seems like a great app for people who like to look at the month view of their events and to customize their calendars. If you use a huge month calendar on your desk and cover it with stickers relating to differing events, I think you will love this app.
ICalendar is one of the cheapest options on the list, and that is because it is actually just a calendar. No task or note support is available, but that might be what will draw some users in. The app has several different theme colors in which to help customize the views to your preference. Bold event colors help make it apparent which events are linked to which calendar. The app supports three different calendar views including day, week and month. The event creation window is slightly customized from the default calendar entry pane, and even includes a unique look at start and end times.
The app does not provide a lot of features but does provide a great calendar to view. If you spend a lot of time viewing your calendar throughout the day and not creating events on the iPad, this app might be preferable.
CalPad reminds me of the standard iOS Calendar app but with a task view. I think the main feature that gets me to that thought is the separate months listed horizontally across the bottom. It looks so familiar to the Calendar app. Clearly, it does set itself apart by showing tasks and notes beside the calendar view. CalPad also supports a day, week, month and list view. The list view is also a unique feature in CalPad. While it’s active it shows the active task, notes and events on the left side of the screen. A timer and scheduler is also available for helping keep track of items that you are currently completing.
A unique feature that I did like in the CalPad is busy and free-time calculation. The calculation will be derived by looking at the time scheduled on your calendar and determine how much of it is already booked — this could be a depressing statistic. CalPad brings some unique features to the calendar arena and there is a light version available to check out and see if it can fit your needs before committing to it full time.
Calendars is advertised as a Google Calendar client and the documentation does not specifically say you can use the iOS calendars synced to your device as well. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the events of my calendars all came across just fine. Calendars is developed by Readdle, and the interface looks wonderful. It features task support and several different calendar views including day, week, month and year views.
The app is very fast can handle a lot of data very quickly. Calendars also supports quick event creation by using a customized event creation window. It is not as fast as Calvetica or Agenda, but it is close. The app also supports dragging events if you need to change the time. For people looking for more polish than the stock calendar option with extra features, Calendars is an excellent place to start.
Calendars have been around for a long time and even in the digital age, a calendar proves to be great resource to stay on schedule. The apps included on the roundup are some of my favorites and popular calendar apps on the App Store. My current favorite is Calvetica but I was pleasantly surprised to see the functionality and design of miCal HD and Calendars. Did I leave any of your favorite calendar apps off the list? Let us know in the comments!