Manage your time with Calendars
Calendars is a new iOS release from Readdle. The app named “Calendars” was originally a $6.99 download, but that version has now been rebranded Calendars+, while the new version provides a stripped-down experience for free.
Calendars is, as the name suggests, a calendar app. It works with either Google Calendar or the built-in iOS calendar, and allows for online syncing between devices. If the user elects to use Google Calendar, the app prompts them to sign in to their Google account before they go any further. Once this has been done, the app retrieves data from the online account and populates the app with information from their existing calendars.
From the app’s main screen, the user may view upcoming appointments in list, day, week or month view. Events can be moved around by tapping and holding, then dragging them to their new date and time. New events may be created using the “add” button in the top-right corner of the screen, at which point a summary screen similar to that seen in the default iOS calendar app appears. There are a couple of key differences, though. Firstly, when entering the event’s title, the user can immediately set an alarm for five minutes, 15 minutes, one hour or one day before the event. Secondly, when picking the date and time for the event, the app makes use of a custom interface rather than the standard iOS wheel-based date picker. Thirdly, the user has the option of setting alerts to be sent via SMS message as well as the standard email and alert systems.
The changes to the standard interface elements make the app a lot more efficient in many ways than the default iOS calendar app, but it’s worth noting that this free version of Calendars has somewhat crippled functionality to encourage users to upgrade to the $6.99 Calendars+ app. For example, this version does not allow users to create recurring events or invite attendees — attempting to make use of these features pops up the splash screen for the paid version of the app and explains the features that the premium version offers.
There are five main features missing from Calendars that are present in Calendars+: the ability to add, edit and delete calendars; the ability to create recurring events; the ability to set multiple reminders for a single event; integration with Google Tasks; and the ability to send and receive invites. All of these bar the Google Tasks integration are features that are already present in the built-in iOS calendar app, so this raises the question of whether or not Calendars is really worth the download in its free incarnation.
The answer to that question depends on the user’s needs. If they are looking for a new calendar app to replace the default iOS offering, Calendars provides a good preview of what the full version offers, and will perhaps convince some people to pay up. On the flip side, this free version is not clearly positioned to App Store customers as a limited demo version, when that is clearly what it is. App Store commenters do not appear to have responded too negatively to this, however, with most praising the good interface and small tweaks to functionality from the standard calendar app. As it stands, though, the free version is too limited to be an adequate replacement for the standard iOS app for most users, though it does act as a suitable preview of what Calendars+ has to offer.
You can follow Calendars’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.