Going by the number of calendar alternatives in the iTunes App Store, nobody seems to be satisfied with the built-in calendar on the iPhone. Plenty of people have tried to create the best replacements, but we think Week Calendar is best suited for the job as it combines the best features of a desktop calendar with the best parts of the mobile experience.
- View your calendar by day, week, month or year, and still be able to view events on that day regardless of the view
- Batch edit events
- Agenda overview
- Colour-code events based on keywords
- Event icons
- Move events around like you’d move apps on your home screen
- Compatible with all iPhone-supported calendars
- Works in landscape and portrait modes
- Hide hours of the day you don’t need to see
- Custom timezone support
- Share events via email
- Add a location to an event (via GPS or manually)
- Search your calendars
- Better support for the birthdays calendar (displays age as well as birthday)
- Set complex recurring event rules (e.g. last day of the month)
- Supports TextExpander
Like most alternatives, Week Calendar offers multiple views for your events and tasks. Like some of the best competition, it also offers a really great feature set. Where it truly excels, however, is in how easy it is to use such a vast number of features and still see all the information you need directly from any view. You can still see the events of your day quickly even in year view, simply by tapping a date. Moving events around works just like moving apps on your home screen — you tap and hold, then drag it to where you want. Everything is very intuitive, it feels like you’re using iCal or Google Calendar but in a way that’s suited for your iPhone. Basically, it has the elegance of a minimal calendar app while still retaining a very respectable set of features.
There isn’t much to complain about, unless you desperately want features like location-based tasks or a robust task manager in general. Personally, I ran into a bug where I couldn’t use the GPS to add a location to an event because the app would quit each time, but I try to assume bugs like this are the result of the numerous jailbreak hacks I have installed. That may not be the case, but I have a tendency to run into bugs more than others since my iPhone is a testing bed for all sorts of stuff. Really, though, there’s very little to complain about here. Week Calendar is an excellent app and is probably underpriced for what it provides.
ActionFocus ($4.49) and miCal ($1.99) are both feature-rich alternatives with different interfaces you may appreciate. For the most part, the feature set is the same with a few exceptions (e.g. miCal has a neat dashboard view and ActionFocus has an awesome tabbed task manager). Both are more than adequate. Pocket Informant ($5.49 currently, regularly $13.99) is also another feature-rich app with tons of features but bills itself as a task manager. While we don’t find it more appealing than the previously mentioned options — which also cost less — a lot of people do like this app so we wanted to give it a mention.
Organizer for iPhone ($8.49) is a little on the pricey side (at least compared to the other options), but gives you a full organiser. It lets you pin location maps, sound recordings, notes, tasks, photos and more to your dates. Even with all of this extra data, it still syncs with Google Calendar. If you’d prefer a more flexible format for your datebook, this might be a more appropriate option for you.
Calvetica, or Fast Calendar and Tasks ($2.99) and Agenda Calendar ($0.99) are both great options if your main draw is a minimalist aesthetic. That’s not to say they aren’t great — they both have simple, intuitive interfaces that allow you to quickly navigate around all your events. That said, they’re not designed to be the feature-rich behemoths mentioned above. If you don’t need much more than the built-in calendar app provides but would prefer a better interface with additional views and some extra features, both of these apps are completely serviceable and nice to look at.
Finally, it’s just worth mentioning the UNIQLO Calendar (Free) purely for its uniqueness. It costs nothing, syncs with Google Calendar, is very attractive, and plays tilt-shift videos while you navigate. It may not be the most practical option, but it is free and a lot of fun.
Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.