After using Calendars 5 for the past few days I have to say, I am impressed. The latest app from Readdle, Calendars 5 is a powerful productivity and planning tool with a heavy dose of iOS7 design. It looks good, it feels good, and it plays well with all your favorite services.
Calendars 5 is a dream come true when it comes to information syncing and consolidation. It accomplish everything you've come to expect from calendar apps such as event scheduling, multi-calendar support, various views, and detailed event settings. But on top of that, it also supports a pretty sophisticated task management system. You can create repeating tasks with due dates, reminders, and notes. Task can be sorted into different lists with various priority levels and can be viewed based on due date or sorted by any other completion status you'd like. To seal the deal, your calendars and task lists can be synced with Google calendars or Apple's calendars and reminders apps. This means that Calendars 5 supports Siri as well as web view via iCloud.com. As a Windows user, I couldn't be happier.
The functionality of Calendars 5 strikes a wonderful balance. Complex information can be translated into the app easily with natural speech input. For example, I can type "Meet Jim for coffee tomorrow at noon" and the resulting event will read "Meet Jim for coffee" with the date and time set for tomorrow at noon. For those used to other calendar apps, this may seem like pennies to the dollar but it saves a lot of time and results in needing to navigate through far less menus. Other features like offline support, are just as natural to use. Nothing needs to be toggled and no settings need to be adjusted to access complex functionality. However, more intense users can dig into the settings to optimize the defaults for just about anything you want to do.
The aesthetic of the app is perfectly in line with Apple's new iOS7 design standards. The majority of the user interface is white with gray finish and brightly colored accents. Most actions are fluidly animated and satisfying. Swiping between months, creating new events, and scrolling your to do list are all as visually refined as they are smooth. Calendars and task lists can be color coded, making it easy to scan for important events. Whatever color coding you use dictates the color of events on every view, the color of check boxes on lists, and the color of upcoming event text. The design theory used in Calendars 5 beautifully delivers lots of information with little text or on screen clutter. My only fear when it comes to the aesthetic of Calendars 5 is that it may be too familiar to those using the calendar app pre-loaded on iOS7. When viewing screen-shots, it may be hard for new users to notice the differences that make Calendars 5 worth your time and money.
Calendars 5 is a truly fantastic personal time management tool. Tasks cant be tuned to the levels of high end management software and events cant be packed with as much information as some other calendars may let you. But, it does these things to simplify the experience for the better. In the case of Calendars 5, less is more. Train yourself to look for visual cues instead of long explanations and this app may just be the change in your work flow you've been looking for.