Power users don’t like the stock Calendar app on the iPhone, which is always a good sign as it means it’s usually nice and easy for the rest of us to use. A week or so ago I saw a red mist and decided, for reasons unknown to even myself, that I had to have a better Calendar. Generally it has been fine for my needs for most of the time as the only thing that has annoyed me slightly has been the inability to just swipe between days in the Day View. Odd that, I have always thought as a device that prides itself on its useability, touchscreen and the like doesn’t let you take full advantage of it in certain apps.
I tried a few. Agendus, which I used briefly on Palm and abandoned early on, was purchased and lasted less than a day. It was just like it’s Palm counterpart….buggy. It would constantly crash and just didn’t look the part. Powerful, no doubt, but with hideous looking light greeny/beige style headers. It does offer Tasks and Contacts management within it too which may be an advantage for many. The fonts used in the Calendar are odd as they look washed out and the “add an event” button is too near to the “arrow” button to take you to the next day/week/month. I kept hitting the former instead of the latter which quickly became irritating.
I then tried Calvetica which also turned out to be a mistake. The default font is far too small, you can’t swipe between days and the general all round lack of options was surprising. The major selling point of it seems to be the ability to add appointments quickly, you can tap on the time bar in Day View and add an entry quickly. Despite turning on the option to not have a default alarm reminder for meetings it still insists on putting a greyed out alarm clock next to the entry. Why? I kept hitting it by mistake and bringing up the setting to add an alarm reminder.
Calvetica, screen pic above, though is simple and shows a bit of promise.The developer, in my view, just needs to add a bigger font option and allow for swiping between days and I’d use it ahead of the default Calendar app no problemo. The way it allows you to easily add and move entries is commendable. It’s relatively cheap too at £1.79 but that price reflects it’s reduced functionality compared to the other two. One thing that I do like is that you can set what hours are shown so don’t have to scroll through a day starting at 0.00 hours like you do in Pocket Informant.
Next up was Pocket Informant. This app is a powerhouse but I don’t need it. It reminds me of Windows Mobile and that’s not a good thing, there are too many settings which a lot of people will like of course and good for them but for me I found it a bit confusing. It does however have the holy grail feature, swipeability between days in all views and a built in task manager. The only problem being that adding a task takes too long, they impose on you a “priority” for each app and the look and feel of it is like it was hastily tagged on after they did all the development work for the Calendar bit. More importantly, the to do app I have used for a while, ToDo, is immeasurably better for tasks and to not use it proved painful. The Calendar part though is probably the best in the business if you need all that power use stuff and has a very nice Today style view.
The upshot of all this is that I have gone back to the stock Calendar app and have teamed it up again withe ToDo but I will keep watching Calvetica as it is continually being improved/enhanced and updated. Rather annoying I guess as I forked out over £14 to get the three bits of software.