Any.Do has just released their Cal app and it doesn't disappoint. WIth a great interface that's very on par with what we'll see in iOS 7 bundled with the ability to handle reminders through using Any.Do's existing reminders app, it's a great solution for anyone already using Any.Do for task management.
Cal can pull in all your existing calendar events from the default Calendars app in just a tap. You can quickly swipe left and right between months in the main view. Tapping on any day will list the events you have scheduled for that day below it. Pulling up on the month view of Cal will present you with a week view. This way you'll get a more detailed list that doesn't require as much scrolling on days you have a lot scheduled.
You'll notice that underneath the week view you'll see a random image. You can hop into settings and change what categories of images Cal will display for ones that suit your tastes.
To create a new event in Cal, just tap the plus sign in the upper right hand corner. Much like calendar apps such as Fantastical, Cal somewhat supports natural language input. I say somewhat because it isn't as advanced (yet) as what apps like Fantastical are. For example, saying "Lunch with Rene." would pull in contacts and allow me to tap on Rene's contact information for easy access later but I can't say "Lunch with Rene tomorrow at 11am." I'll still need to select the date and time. This would be a much needed feature to convert users of apps like Fantastical which already support more advanced event entry.
For events that you have actual locations set for, Cal will show you an overview of the event complete with a map showing the location. You can tap on it and be launched into the Maps app for driving directions.
When creating new items, you can toggle between calendar events and actual tasks. If you choose a task, you'll be taken out of Call and put in Any.Do for tasks. You'll then be able to quickly add your tasks. While it isn't a compete solution that allows you to use one singular app, it does create a nice ecosystem between the Any.Do family of apps.
As I mentioned earlier, Cal ties into your contacts so as you're typing someone's name it pulls in contacts that match. Just tap on the one that you'd like to pair with that particular event and they'll be added. This makes it easy to contact them later on if you need to without having to weed through the native Contacts app. After selecting a contact just select the date and time and you're done. If you'd like to add a location, just tap on the location pin and search for one. Any.Do will start looking around you for locations matching your search criteria. Cal will then append a map to the entry for easy access to driving directions.
- Nice UI that'll match the interface of iOS 7 quite well
- Adding contacts and locations is easy and takes the work out of finding the contact or location in separate apps
- Ties in to Any.Do's task app, which makes it a nice calendar alternative for anyone already using Any.Do
- Natural language support is very limited and doesn't understand times, dates, and locations yet
- Switching between calendars has to be done manually
The bottom line
For users that are already using Any.Do for task creation, Cal is a great option that gives you even tighter integration between tasks and actual calendar events. If you don't use Any.Do and use the default calendar app, it still may be a nice alternative that requires less work to create events. It's also very reminiscent of what we will see this fall when iOS 7 is released from the revamped native Calendars app. If you want to see some of that now, Cal can give you a sneak preview without having to wait for fall.
The hard sell will be to people who already using a calendar service such as Agenda or Fantastical. I personally use Fantastical on a daily basis and I'd be hard pressed to switch to a calendar app that can't make creating events just as easy, if not easier, than what I'm already using. Until Cal can make event creation that's on par with some of the other third party alternatives, particularly Fantastical, those users will most likely stay right where they're at.
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