Despite its unassuming name and interface, Business Calendar is — by a good margin — our favourite calendar app on Android. What we love most about it is its flexibility and ease of use.
- Smooth scrolling calendar
- Zoom into multi-day (1-14 days) views with a tap and drag
- Choose between a graphical view (with coloured boxes) or a text view (with the names of your actual events)
- Month, agenda, day and event views
- Quickly fade certain calendars in and out with one tap shortcuts along the bottom
- Search through events
- Customisable widgets for month, week, day and agenda views
- Tap a day to see a quick popup of that day's events
- Many options for recurring events
- Drag and drop in multi-day view to copy events (Pro only)
- Link contacts to an event (Pro only)
- Plugins to support Google Tasks and Toodledo (Pro only)
- Change font sizes (Pro only)
- 11 widget themes (Pro only)
- Select individual calendars for each widget (Pro only)
Where It Excels
Business Calendar is not the most advanced calendar on the Play Store, but it's close — and its incredible interface is worth losing one or two features to the competition. Instead of having views for "week", "4-day", "month" and so on, you start with a month view and can tap and drag on a certain set of days to shrink the view to those days. It's really well done. Tapping on a specific day smoothly brings up a small pop-up of that day's events, and you can swipe to an agenda view if you'd rather see your month that way. Every time I tap a day, I'm shocked at how nicely everything works in this app.
It also lets you select certain "shortcut" calendars to put along the bottom row. This lets you show and hide them with one tap, which is great for those one or two calendars you don't always want listed. The pro version can drag and drop events, which is really awesome if, say, you have the same event three days in a row and don't want to recreate it three times. Its widgets are also very pretty and functional. Basically, it's powerful and insanely easy to use, and much easier to navigate than virtually any other calendar out there.
Where It Falls Short
Alone, it doesn't have a lot of cons, save for maybe some more advanced features when it comes to creating repeating events (though it still does a pretty good job of that too). Compared to other calendar apps, though, it does lack in some features such as task list support, or integration with other apps like Google Maps. However, besides a few missing features that few other calendars have, its ease of use makes it unlike every other calendar app we've used.
Jorte (free) is a close second. Its biggest strength compared to Business Calendar is the ability to show your tasks list under your calendar, and show your day's agenda under the month view when you click on it. It's a really nice way to see everything at once. It only syncs with Google Tasks, but if you're a Google Tasks user, it's pretty solid. It has a multitude of different views, and can also integrate with apps like Google Maps — if you add a location to your event, you can tap on that location to see it in the Maps app. Jorte is by far the most popular calendar app on the Market, and with good reason: it's free, has some nice features and integrates with other apps, but it just doesn't hold up to Business Calendar's ease of use in our opinion.
aCalendar (free, $3.99 Pro) is a popular app, with some nice features to go along with it. Its day and week view include small month views on the same page, which is handy, and it can even grab birthdays for your contacts and remind you of them. Its month view also shows the name of individual events rather than just a coloured dot, which is nice — but tapping a day to expand doesn't work as well as in Jorte or Business Calendar It's a solid competitor if you're looking for something different.
Cal (free), from the makers of Any.do, is a free option that is far prettier than its competitors — but unfortunately, it's a little confusing too. You navigate between day and month view with a vertical swipe, though the app doesn't tell you that, and its month view isn't very informative (since it doesn't show your calendar's colours or even individual events). It's very pretty, and it integrates with the Any.DO task manager nicely, but if you rely on your calendar a lot, it isn't our first choice.
Calengoo ($5.99) is a good (albeit expensive) app for those that just want a quick glance at their calendar. Its views are very readable and its easy to jump back and forth betweent hem using tabs across the top. It also has an advanced "repeating events" system, so it's good if you add a lot of events from your phone.
Many of you are probably still using the stock Google Calendar app. It isn't a bad app, per se — it doesn't make you run for the hills looking for an alternative — but we promise you, once you try any of the above options, you won't go back. Google Calendar works well enough, but the interface is a little clunkier, and all your settings are very basic compared to the alternatives. If you ever use your calendar on your phone, we can't recommend taking a look at the alternatives above. You'll be glad you did.
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