Calendars Review: iCal for Google Calendar on the iPhone

Calendars-7

Calendars Rating: ★★★½☆

The best way to describe Calendars for iPhone and iPod Touch is that is it iCal for Google services. Aesthetically it is less garish than iCal. Which is a good thing. The colors used for the GUI tend to be less bright, and more pastel in shade. Functionality is almost the same as iCal. And graphically there is a little more glitz.

Calendars by Readdle is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and compatible with the iPad.

Review

Calendars fires up quickly, and offers a visual appearance which is more refined than iCal. It is very obviously modelled on a real world ring bound flip-over calendar. And all the rings and perforations in the pages are drawn as part of the GUI in a pleasing, and subtle way.

This attention to detail with the overall look made me wonder why the developers didn’t use Apple’s page flip animation for changing pages. That would have been a nice touch. Perhaps in an update?

Navigation from page to page is done by tapping right and left arrows at the top of pages, and again I wondered why Readdle didn’t get a little more creative here and allow us to swipe pages so that they flipped or rolled up and over.

Having said all that the functionality is quick, responsive and just fine in daily use.

To work with Google Calendars all you have to do is put in your account details and the app will sync with your online calendar automatically after you edit or create events, and on request. You can do partial updates and also full syncs. The latter taking a little longer.

You can add attendees to appointments, and also request SMS, email and on device alerts to remind you of upcoming appointments. The SMS alert only works if there is a number on file in your Google account.

Entering reminders, and appointments is simple, and employs the usual tumblers that we are accustomed to on the iPhone / iPod Touch.

Moving events around in Calendars is easy, and this is one of the nicer features. You can of course edit them manually using tumblers. But it is also possible to slide them around using drag and drop. In practise I found this worked most of the time quite intelligently. But occasionally when appointments overlapped I could get myself into a mess. But any confusion was soon sorted out with some more dragging and dropping.

When you change things the app will sync with Google if it has a network connection. This will sometimes cause the odd stutter in updates to the screen, or delays to information being updated. But nothing terrible.

Calendar is certainly a competent app. And I am the last one to argue that developers should be dropping their app prices. $6.99 is only the cost of a meal from McDonalds, after all. But when you can buy software like Apple’s iMovie for iPhone for $4.99, and there are other Calendar apps out there for less I think Readdle need to add some more pizazz to this app, or perhaps drop the price a dollar or two.

Still Calendar does what it says on the box. And quite well too. So certainly take a look if you are in the market for a Calendar app for your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Pros

  • Looks Great.
  • Switching from iCal to Calendars, and MobileMe to Google is seamless from a GUI perspective for users.
  • Drag and Drop is fun.

Cons

  • There are cheaper apps that have the same functionality.
  • Some syncing stutters.
  • Events that cross over from one day to another get truncated visually.
  • Pages don’t flip over using Apple’s iPhone OS provided animations.

Price: $6.99 (iTunes Store)
Category: Productivity
Updated: Jun 23, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0.2
1.0.2 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Size: 3.6 MB
Language: English
Seller: Igor Zhadanov
© 2010 Readdle Inc.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

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Stephen NorthcottCalendars Review: iCal for Google Calendar on the iPhone