We've amassed some of the most popular, polished Android calendar apps that Google Play has to offer.
For a lot of us, Android’s native calendar does the job - we can plonk in appointments, invite attendees, build different calendars, and have instant access to our schedule with home screen widgets. There are some mighty ambitious third-party apps that try to improve upon the built-in experience, though. In no particular order, here are a few that are worth taking a look at.
Pocket Informant is among the more fully-matured and premium calendar apps available for Android. Transitions are smooth, the feature set is rich, and full task management is included. Set-up is basically non-existant; you open the app, and it automatically pulls in everything from your system’s account sync, which is great. If I had to get one calendar app for Android, it would be Pocket Informant.
At first, CalenGoo seems a bit too bare-bones to be great, but after using it for awhile, it becomes clear that it’s just a part of a no-nonsense, pragmatic look. The flashiest feature CalenGoo offers is the ability to drag and drop appointments to different times throughout a day, but otherwise, you have the full complement of calendar and task functions.
Cozi is built for busy families that need to share their schedules and make sure everybody is working in tandem. Events and tasks are both supported, while the adults can set permissions on what the kids can and can’t edit. The Cozi calendar exists separately from your system’s Google Calendar, which actually works out alright if you want to keep your personal and work appointments separated from the shared calendar. Tools for shopping lists, a daily journal, and to-do lists are all included, which are handy for every member of the family.
Business Calendar is a sharply designed app with quick access to multiple calendars in an easy-to-navigate Holo interface. A slider along the bottom allows users to smoothly expand a week’s agenda into view, while multiple days can be quickly selected with a swipe for closer viewing from the month view. Home screen widgets are highly configurable both in form and function. Pinch-to-zoom and drag-and-drop gestures are both supported, making overall navigation very smooth. In fact, among all of the calendar apps I’ve played with, I found Business Calendar to be the most Holo-compliant and often provided the smoothest performance. The only real downside here is that there isn’t much in the way of task management.
Touch Calendar is a gesture-friendly calendar that lets users easily zoom in and out between month, week, and daily views. Besides the multitouch gesture support, the Holo-style theme is very easy to navigate, plus the wide variety of themes and home screen widgets keeps things fresh.
Rabotan ToDo Calendar is a great holo-themed calendar with a heavy angle towards task management. Users can assign tasks to others via e-mail or SMS, create task hierarchies, categorize tasks, change task status, and filter tasks from view based on certain criteria. Every event in your Google Calendar can be translated into this format, though you unfortunately have to manually upload them again to keep everything in sync.
DigiCal is very much like the stock Android calendar with a few extras thrown on top. For one, there’s tight Google Now integration, so you’ll know when you need to head out to your next appointment. That said, the app also ties in with Google Maps so you can quickly find your way to your next meeting. An action bar along the top allows users to easily copy events, and an agenda view lets you quickly cut out the dead space and see only what’s already on your schedule.
For those that are perfectly happy with the native calendar but are looking for a more robust home screen widget, the aptly-named Agenda Widget may be worth checking out. It can pull in tasks from CalenGoo and Pocket Informant, scour your contact list for birthdays and anniversaries, and includes a healthy assortment of themes. The widget is fully resizeable, which is a nice change considering many of the other calendar apps fill up the widget menu with those of various static sizes.
Another high-quality widget-only option is Pure Grid’s calendar widget. It plays nice with a lot of other third-party applications, as well as the stock apps included on Android. After your first attempt to drop a Pure Grid widget into your home screen, you’re presented with a dizzying array of options, ranging from display and color, to which apps to launch, which calendars to show, timeline options, and task management. Pure Grid Calendar widget is a great way to go if you need something that’s highly configurable.
In addition to supporting Google Calendars as you’d expect, Jorte has its own cloud service, if for whatever reason you’re looking for an alternative. There’s a big focus on tasks here, so you can just as soon add tasks complete with reminders as easily as you can add appoints and meetings. There are a lot of nice UI elements here, including different color themes, purchasable icons, and a wide variety of calendar and menu views. There’s a wide array of home screen widgets available for all sorts of sizes, too.
Gemini is a sharply designed calendar app with the usual suite of calendar features, and the ability to paste in new appointments from your address book, or insert events by voice thanks to a handy home screen widget. Event locations link out to Google Maps seamlessly. A clean UI makes Gemini a solid contender for a calendar app.
aCalendar is an interesting twist on the usual calendar formula, in that it relies on vertical and horizontal swipes to move up and down your timeline and between views, This sets things up as an interesting kind of grid, which you don’t get from a lot of calendar apps. The home screen widget doesn’t follow this navigation scheme, but the weekly calendar view still sharp and unique. The premium version donates proceeds to saving an endangered species of tapir in Ecuador, if charity is your thing.
Agenda Calendar is a stark, simple calendar app with everything you need for day-to-day scheduling. The clean, pared-down layout will make sure you stay focused on what’s coming up next. There’s no home screen widget just yet, which may be a deal-breaker for some, but the app itself is so smooth you may just be willing to wait for the next patch.
It's hard to say that any of these are definitively better than the stock Android Calendar experience, but it's nice to know that there are a lot of options available for those with jam-packed schedules. Which app do you use to line up your busy day?
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