Agenda Calendar for iPhone and iPad review

Agenda for iPhone and iPad review

Agenda is a beautiful alternative to the iPhone and iPad's built-in Calendar app by the great folks at App Savvy. In addition to performing the normal tasks you'd expect any good calendar app to do, Agenda also lets you confirm appointments via text message or email from directly within the app. Similarly, you can inform necessary parties if you're going to be late.

Agenda is universal app for the iPhone and iPad and is directly connected to your iPhone and iPad's built-in Calendar. This means if you add an event with Calendar, it will also show up in Agenda, and vice versa. This also means that if you're using iCloud to sync to your Mac's Calendar, everything will be synced up on there as well.

For this review, I will be alternating between iPad and iPhone screenshots. Both versions have the same functionality, just slightly different UI's.

There are 5 different views available in Agenda for the iPhone: yearly, semiannually, monthly, weekly (This is actually only about 4 days at a time displayed as a scrollable list. Rotating to landscape will display one full week at a time.), daily, and individual appointments. To switch views, you simply swipe left or right.

The iPad version does not have the yearly view (which I think should be eliminated from the iPhone as well, as it's not very interesting), and condenses the weekly and daily views into one screen. Each individual appointment on the iPad also doesn't get it's own screen, instead it's a little popup.

In Agenda, events are indicated by a colored dot -- the colors are the same colors you have chosen for your calendars in Calendar or iCloud.

To add an event, simply tap the plus sign. You can then add the event's name, select which calendar to add the event to by tapping the calendar icon, swipe through the month calendar to choose a date, enter in the start and end times of the event or mark as "All Day", add up to two alerts, indicate if it's a repeating event, add a location, select contacts to associate to the event, and add notes. If you select contacts, they will automatically be added to the notes field so that you tap their phone number to place a call. Addresses you add to the notes field also become tappable so that you can see the address in Google maps. This is true in both Agenda and Calendar.

However, one of the big advantages of Agenda is that if you added contacts, Agenda makes is very easy to contact them via text message or email from directly within the app. When viewing an event you'll see two big icons on the bottom, one for email and another for messaging. Tapping one will give you options to confirm, let your contacts know that you have arrived or are running late, or you can choose Other if you want to send a message for any other reason. When you make a selection, Agenda will automatically create an email or text message addressed to the associated contacts and a pre-created message. You can customize what these messages say in the app's settings.

One of the things that annoys me most about Apple's Calendar for iPhone and iPad is that I can't set a custom repeat for Tuesday and Thursday, for example. As an instructor, I have these types of repeated events I must regularly schedule, so I always had to use Calendar on my Mac to create these events. Not any more! With Agenda, I can add custom repeat options to my events.

In addition to Agenda's default theme, it also includes 11 other awesome themes and eight different alert sounds.

The good

  • At a glance layout & twelve gorgeous themes
  • Fast event creation w/custom repeat options
  • “Go To” picker to fly to a date of choice
  • Swipes & gestures to quickly change views
  • Set the default view
  • Set defaults for event duration & alerts
  • Eight event alert sounds
  • Tappable phone numbers, locations, etc.
  • “Status taps” to send an email or SMS
  • Copy event in the event view
  • Share event via email in the event view
  • Send events to Due
  • Unique "Goal View" for tracking goals
  • Add today’s date to the badge

The bad

  • Swiping between views doesn't keep your "place". For example, if you scrolled down to the month of July in month view, then swiped to weekly view, you wouldn't be looking at a week in July if you were previously viewing a week in May. You have to tap on a week or day to set your place.

The bottom line

I never thought I'd be swayed away from Apple's built-in Calendar, but App Savvy has done it with Agenda. Beautiful app. Apple should be taking notes.

$0.99 - Download Now

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

Agenda Calendar for iPhone and iPad review

34 Comments

Lots of negative reviews about this app not sync'ing with Google Calendars until you open the native calendar app. Was this your experience also? Seems to be the main problem identified and is a deal breaker for anyone who relies on Google Calendar.

I have a regular GMaill Google Calendar and a Google Apps Google Calendar and haven't noticed such an issue. I'll try to cause it and report back.

This app isn't bad if you only use it on the iPhone. But on the iPad, this thing is bad... And the combination of how it works on one device versus the other is a mess.
On the iPad, the interface poorly designed. The day view is excellent. I find the others to be ugly and annoying. Months are bashed up against each other, which sounds good but in practice, I hate it. And left/right swipes don't exist, which makes switching from one view to another annoying, especially if you're used to using this app on an iPhone.
It's because of apps like this that I wish the App Store had a 24 hour return policy. For me, this was money wasted.
If I could turn off the week view and have left/right swipes to take me from one view to the next, as I can on the iPhone... and if the month view wasn't so poorly done... I might like this app.
That being said, I'm not a fan of Calvetica either. The more I've tried calendar replacement apps, the more I realize Apple's calendar app isn't that bad.

That's a step in the right direction, but still, some aspects of the app need work, and the fact that it took so long to fix such an obvious error as that suggests it'll take ages to impliment other needed changes.
The app needs the ability to turn off some of the views. You don't like the year view. You should be able to turn that off. I loathe the week view. I should be able to turn that off. The app tries too hard to do too much. It needs the ability to cut some of the cruft out.
On the iPhone, the daily view needs the ability to customize what is seen there. For example, I want to see anything I've added in the event notes field. Sure, I could swipe to the left to get that view for a particular event, but I don't want to swipe to check. If I've added a note, just show it to me that day. A feature like that would make this a better calendar for the iPhone for me.
This app is getting better, but if I could have my money back, I'd take it.
For iPhone only, this app isn't bad.
For iPhone and iPad, I still don't recommend it.
If it were free, I'd say "Sure, why not check it out."
But even for just a dollar, I don't recommend this one.

By the way... I actually like the year view on the iPhone version of Agenda. It's an easy way to switch back a few years with just a few swipes.

My problem with the apps is that they don't link to my MBP. iCal links everything -- MBP, iPad, & iPhone -- through iCloud.

Um. Did you read the review? I specifically said that this app syncs with iCloud and stays in sync with built-in Calendar, including Mac calendar.
"Agenda is universal app for the iPhone and iPad and is directly connected to your iPhone and iPad's built-in Calendar. This means if you add an event with Calendar, it will also show up in Agenda, and vice versa. This also means that if you're using iCloud to sync to your Mac's Calendar, everything will be synced up on there as well."

I purchased this app (and their "Due" to-do app) a month or two ago...and I've never used it. I just don't get why people think this is so much better than the native iOS app!
Well, OK, I get that it has cool features and that's why I bought it. BUT: the fact that it is SO much easier to see your agenda at a glance than on Agenda is a deal breaker! The native app has blocks of color while this app has those annoying dots--how the heck is that an improvement?! One cannot get an intuitive, quick grasp of the time ratios of appointments--something that's been on handhelds for years!
"Due" never gets used either--same thing, terrible UI.
What am I missing here?!

This maybe a stupid question but how can I have many different colors for different events like the screenshots above? Mine only have 2 choices of color which tide to, Home or Work. I can't find any option to make a new calendar type. I only use iPhone/iPad without Mac nor I don't use google calendar.

When in Calendar, tap calendars (top left), then Edit (top left), then the calendar you wish to edit. From there, you have 7 different colors to choose from :) If you want a color that isn't present, you can use a color picker thing if you go to iCloud.com. Hope that helps!

Hi Leanna,
What you have under "the bad" regarding repeats is actually wrong, you can do that. On the creation screen, go to repeats. On "repeat", set it to weekly. Then for "on", just pick the days you want, like your example of Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can even make it repeat every other week/month on those days by changing the number next to week/month. From what I've seen, Agenda has just about the most customizable repeat options I've seen yet.
Hope this helps!

I didn't have any sync issues with Agenda but I had to stop using it as apparently there's no time zone support. I use Google calendar, which requires you to specify the time zone when entering an appointment for a different country as otherwise it will assume the device time zone and shift appointments as you change time zones. As a frequent international traveller, not being able to do that on the go was very inconvenient.

I think the only thing nice about this app is the solarized themes. I've just never really gotten into it as much as everyone else. I snagged iPlan for free last week which is nicer imho.

Dumb question: I sync in real-time to my Outlook calendar (and contacts & mail) through an Exchange server. Will the server continue to sync to Agenda as well, without defaulting to the iCalendar?

I just purchased Agenda based on this review and I have to say that I'm extremely disappointed. It kind of sucks. I have used Pocket Informant and Calendars both of which I think are far better. Pocket Informant has become a little unstable lately, but even its better then this app. You guys are usually spot on with your reviews, but you really missed the mark on this one!

  • No setting for when you want to start your week
  • Font looks like a kid made it and their is no font setting
  • Its extremely slow at updating

You actually can change the week to start on Monday. It's in the International settings.
Font options would be nice, you're right. I actually like the font used though...
Updating seems fast for me. It's no slower that the time it takes to iCloud to sync from iPhone to iPad, iPad to iPhone, iPad/iPhone to Mac. It's not instantaneous, but less than a minute. Usually only like 15-20 seconds.

Helvetica, one of the most wildly used and acclaimed typefaces of the past 100 years "looks like a kid made it"????
I would love to see through your eyes, John.

This is a bad app.. The review sold me the app but once I had my hands on it, it just doesn't perform.. It doesn't have the ability to show up in notification center unless the reminder triggers.. Not happy about it

But it's synced with Calendar which IS in notification center. Why would you want duplicates? What you want isn't even possible, anyway -- Apple doesn't allow it. Sorry :(

Great review, as always! Love this App. A bit slow indeed.
Great to finally be able to view 4 weeks across 2 months at the same time. Leanna, would you know of an App that allows us to see the invitee's availability in Exchange ? It's pretty bad to invite people, to later find out they were busy at that requested time...
That is the only, single, small, petite feature of my work Blackberry (pouah!) that I'm missing on my 4S...
Thank you,
Regards,
Luc.

Hi Lenna.
Good review :-)
One thing I look for in a calendar app is a snooze function.
Does Agenda have one, I can't seem to locate any reference to one?
Calendar with Alarm seems the only app with high snooze functionality...
Cheers.
Eric

Hi Eric,
have you tried Calendar with Alarm? I can't find any info regarding its event creation interface. I am currently using Calvetica which lacks some key features for me (customizable values for pickers, snooze button, auto-snooze), which is why I am considering Agenda+Due (1+5(!) dollars) or CalAlarm (2$) which has a smaller price and potentially the two-in-one solution I'm looking for.. Thanks!

I don't know why, but when I updated the app nothing changed in the app..I checked the version and it had the correct version but everything was as if nothing had been updated. I had to delete the app and install again...then I saw some nice changes....i love this app and was looking forward to the update..

The app (iPad) has a serious bug that causes the menu bar to disappear and app to stick in week view. I found this bug after changing themes and felt ripped off by both you (the reviewer) and savvy (developer). Savvy is well aware of the bug and admitted it to me in an email. How could you not run across this bug (or did you?), how could savvy release it knowing it was there?
Peter

Was excited to see that savvy released 3.0.1 which fixed the disappearing menu bar. However at risk of sounding anti-savvy, I now notice that copying an event is a wonky (is that a technical word) task.
Not sure it's a bug or by design, but multiple copies (ex. Copy event from one day to another, modify then copy again to a new day) results in having to redo event times again as well as date.. Why can't it simply copy the new event and settings. I think the current method is time consuming and prone to making errors in making new events via the copy function.
Getting the feeling the reviewers of this app are biased.

Leanna Lofte,
Thanks for the review. Can you tell me if this app has an option to keep an entirely separate calendar? I like to keep two separate calendars that do not cross-reference each other. The iOS calendar is my main calendar. I am trying to find an app that can keep a separate secondary calendar.
If this app can't do this, any good suggestion for alternatives?