updated 12:49 pm EDT, Fri September 13, 2013
Calendars 5 offers advanced scheduling features
Releasing an app that duplicates features offered by default in iOS is never an easy task -- trying to then sell that app at a premium cost is an even greater challenge. Readdle, which has become well known for its productivity apps, has offered a free calendar app since early September but now is looking to move forward with the release of Calendars 5. Offering a brand new interface, iPad support, natural language event creation, and complete tasks integration, Calendars 5 is a strong contender in the calendar market, the question is if it can live up to its $7 price tag.
As with its predecessor, Calendars 5 includes the ability to sync with Google accounts. This includes syncing calendars, tasks, e-mail addresses, and a user's Google+ identity. However, Calendars 5 now goes beyond this by also including the ability to sync with the local iOS calendar as well as with Apple's Reminders app. Initial event synchronization is quick and painless, while continual background syncs ensure that data remains consists across all of a user's calendars. Moreover, the app also works offline, offering full event creation and editing abilities, and automatically syncing any changes when an Internet connection becomes available.
Event creation is a simple process, but includes several features not found in the default Calendar app. Events can be entered by using natural language such as, "Meet Jon at 2pm," with additional support for specifying a location, adding notes, and choosing contacts to invite. Recurring events can also be set with the standard daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly options, as well as by setting a custom schedule. This could include, "every 2 months on weekdays," "every month by the last day," et cetera. Add full integration with Google Tasks and iOS Reminders to this and suddenly everything needed to plan out a day, week, or month is available in one location. Tasks are just as easy to enter and organize, with full support for breaking down to-dos into customized lists.
Everyone has their own methods for staying organized so inevitably $7 will be more than some are willing to pay. However, those looking for a powerful and complete scheduling tool should be more than satisfied with Readdle's offering. Calendars 5 is dead simple to use, while still filled with a number of advanced features that help it stand out among a flooded market of calendar apps. If the $7 entry fee is too much, customers can currently take advantage of the app's launch promotion which has lowered the price to $5. An official end date for the promo has not been announced, but the price is expected to rise to its full value by the end of the weekend.