Upgrade Your Schedule: 5 of the Best Replacements for Your Smartphone’s CalendarBy Khurram Aziz
If your mobile device’s default calendar app is proving limiting, it might be time to invest in an upgrade. Fortunately, there are hundreds of apps out there that can offer more features and better usability. Even more fortunately: we’ve done the hard work for you.
We scoured the web for the best apps across all operating systems and picked the best based on usability, features, cross-platform compatibility and price. Here they are — the five best calendar apps designed to make your 2014 the most productive year you’ve ever had.
Tempo Smart Calendar (Free, iOS)
Tempo Smart Calendar is available for iOS devices and boasts features that will intelligently find and organize all your appointments. Some of these features include giving you the ability to dial into conference calls, automatic notifications to anyone listed in your calendar, contact updates, location information with driving times and the automatic scheduling of birthday gifts for all your loved ones. Best of all, Temp Smart Calendar is completely free.
It does still have some drawbacks which include the long waiting times just to download the application, functions that are included in Tempo Smart Calendar but are not fully supported, and the inability to register more than two email accounts with the app. What’s more, the app doesn’t have Android support.
But despite these flaws, the bottom line is that Tempo Smart Calendar is an intuitive app that has the commitment from its developers to add even more features in the near future.
EasilyDo Smart Assistant (Free, iOS and Android)
EasilyDo Smart Assistant does everything Tempo Smart Calendar does, but compared to its rival, it’s a much more complete offering. Importantly, it works for both iOS and Android devices and is free to download.
The app comes with a host of bells and whistles and allows you to sync contacts across various platforms, with notifications for upcoming birthdays, important events, and appointments, as well as the ability to check the traffic where you are and notify you of bad weather. These features become even more powerful with the ability to link them to your Facebook and Twitter account as well as all your emails.
Like most of the apps in this list, it will proactively tell you where you need to be, but its power extends way beyond that. It fully integrates with your smartphone device and even allows you to download relevant apps from the iTunes library from its own interface.
EasilyDo Smart Assistant will raise privacy concerns for some individuals, however, since it has the ability to access your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Evernote, and many more accounts. But access is granted only if you approve, and can easily be revoked. Overall, this handy little app is extremely powerful and could become the personal assistant you won’t want to let go.
Sunrise Calendar (Free, iOS)
If you’re looking for a fun, beautiful and colorful interface for your calendar app, then you can’t go wrong with Sunrise Calendar. It looks absolutely gorgeous, with a “flat” user-interface now familiar to most iOS 7 users.
It allows you to link all your accounts, including Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn, and Google Calendar, and adds a colorful twist to all of these. But what makes Sunrise Calendar different from the others is that its emphasis is on providing information visually, such as photos for your contacts and cute icons denoting weather conditions.
The drawbacks are that Sunrise Calendar does not support natural language, such as the ability to add events by just telling your phone, for example, “appointment on Sunday at 3pm”. There’s also no version for Android, but they have recently released an iPad version. Nevertheless, it’s gorgeous to look at, as well as use, and, as a bonus, can handle iCloud event sharing, which few other apps can do.
Pocket Informant (iOS: free with a $14.99 “Premium” in-app purchase, Android: $9.99)
With a slightly sinister name (seriously, which marketing guru decided to call it “informant”?, Pocket Informant is a beast. Given the hefty price to purchase (or, on iOS, to unlock the full version), it certainly should be. But what makes the price justifiable is that this app goes beyond simple appointment scheduling and is, in essence, a fully featured note taking app.
You can, at the touch of a button, save voice notes, backup notes to cloud, sync with Google and Evernote, see multiple calendar views, as well as enhance its look and functionality with a range of themes. Handling multiple appointments in a day is a breeze with this app, and it will proactively warn you if there are any conflicts, even letting you know if you’re likely to miss an appointment because your current location is hours away from where you need to be.
Still, the price will put many people off and the interface lacks a certain amount of detail, making it less intuitive to use than some of the others. But overall, this app is extremely robust when it comes to managing your calendar, notes, and tasks.
Chronos Calendar ($1.99, Windows Phone)
For the growing number of Windows Phone users, Chronos Calendar stands out as the best calendar app currently available on that platform. It can sync with all your calendars and appointments using your Microsoft account or Google account, and comes with a five-day free trial if you’re unsure whether the very reasonable $1.99 is worth spending.
It also has support for several languages, including Portuguese and simplified Chinese, and will add all the cultural events from many different countries into the calendar at your request. In fact, according to the developers, it has built-in holiday and special day information for over 50 cultures and countries in total.
It does lack the ability to add recurring events in the internal calendar which means you’ll likely use external calendars that synchronize with Chronos, more than you would with other apps. Apart from that, this is a powerful app that is informative and fully customizable with live tiles, a user friendly interface, and multiple calendar synching.
What is Your Favorite Calendar App?
Whether you’re after an attractive design or a more fully-featured app, this list should have enough to keep you on schedule. These were our favorites, but what about you? Which calendar app are you using to organise your life? Let us know in the comments.