Google Calendar has finally come to iPhone by way of a native app. And not only can it sync your Google calendars, it can also grab your local calendars, including iCloud and Exchange. Use Gmail? Google Calendar can even import events right from your email automagically. There's no denying Google's got some fancy tricks up its sleeve. That doesn't mean there isn't still work to be done.
- Bright and bold interface
- Accesses and syncs with local calendars in just a few taps
- Lots of calendar views to suit any workflow
- Notifications for events
- No way to drag events to quickly move them
- Manually editing events is clunky and slow
- No swipe gestures to return to previous screen, a bummer on the 6 Plus for sure
- Gmail event detection doesn't work with Google apps currently
- A lot of wasted space in list view
- No Today View widget
- Natural language support for event creation is subpar
The first thing you notice about Google Calendar is the bold interface. If you like colorful, you'll enjoy it. Google automatically detects certain event types and puts graphics behind them, which is a nice touch, even if it doesn't have a productive purpose. As nice and eye catching as the main schedule view is, it wastes a lot of space that could be used to show more events at a glance. It's not a huge peeve, but for anyone who has a busy calendar, it could result in a lot of scrolling.
Google Calendar can automatically pull in all your local calendars and stay in sync. It's worth noting though that Google can only help you fill in event details for things added to your Google calendars. If you are entering an event in iCloud or Exchange or any other calendar type, you're on your own. That's okay though because in my short time using Google Calendar, the natural language support leaves a lot to be desired. I had trouble typing times or days and getting Google to understand it. If it isn't something that Google Maps or your contacts can feed in, you're more than likely going to have issues.
Google make good choices in terms of the different calendar view options offered. Tapping the three dots in the upper right hand corner lets you toggle between schedule (a basic list view), day, and three day. This is also where you go to access search. The three day view is one of my favorites. Scroll sideways and up and down to view events in the grid. The only addition I'd really like to see Google add is the ability to quickly drag events around to reschedule them. It's a feature that the default Calendar app offers and one I desperately wish would come to many other calendar apps, not just Google Calendar.
The bottom line
Google Calendar is off to a good start but it isn't making me switch away from Fantastical 2 any time soon. Gmail detection for events is awesome but doesn't work for Google Apps, which makes the feature useless for a lot of people (I know, security issues, sigh). The schedule view feels like a lot of unnecessary scrolling. Gesture based navigation desperately needs to be added, as anyone using an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will quickly realize. I've also become accustomed to using calendar apps that offer Today view widgets in Notification Center. I was disappointed to see that Google didn't offer anything.
If you've been using Google Calendar on your iPhone, what do you think of it so far? What features would you like to see Google add in a future update? Let me know in the comments! And if you haven't tried it yet, you can pick it up for free at the link below.
- Free - Download Now (opens in new tab)
iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.
There are many apps out there that are excellent just like I'm sure Google Calendar is excellent. But they all share the same problem -- they aren't integrated into the iPhone system. And that's understandable -- afterall if they were then it wouldn't be an iPhone. When I want to make a calendar update, I launch Siri and say, "Schedule a meeting with my manager at 9am tomorrow". And it's done and it's on all my devices. Just can't beat that no matter how fancy they make the UI or how feature rich they make in the other products,... it's just better using Apple stuff.
That shouldn't matter, even though Siri would initially put the info in the iPhone default calendar app, it would then be available for any other calendar you had installed.
The built in cal does enough for me, add an event on a day and time. I guess I'm simple but I don't want to install apps that does the same thing the built in apps do. Now the gmail app is installed on my phone because of no push in native app and google maps search so much better than maps. but cal does more then enough to not need a replacement.
Similar to Calendar app Google doesn't include Swipe gestures in their GMail
app too which has been at the App Store for a while. Hence including this in calendar app in future has a very low probability. In the meantime ; I will stick with Sunrise calendar. Sent from the iMore App
Love the eye candy of this app. I'm sure more improvements are to come!
I could be missing something very simple, but I don't think you can move an event to another calendar once an event has been created. My girlfriend has noticed the same thing on the Android version. Am I just overlooking something?
Not too fond of the Google Calendar on iOS, a bit disappointing, but I would use it over the stock iOS calendar in a heartbeat. That thing is a nightmare. Looks like I am sticking with Sunrise for now.
I need a widget, and thus I prefer the built in Calendar app. Fantastical is great but it makes my Calendar App and Reminders App redundant, so what´s the point. Plus I don´t like the name Fantastical.
Way better than default Apple calendar app... Google apps with material design look so much better than apple apps. Posted via the iMore App for Android
It's funny how many Google apps are taking the place of stock iOS apps on my iPhone these days. Gmail was the most obvious one once Google stopped supporting push email to the stock iOS clent unless you are a paying GApps user (and the fact that I can set it to only get push notifications for stuff in my primary tab is super useful to me). Google Maps still better than Apple Maps (even if Waze is my preferred nav app). This beats the stock calendar app for me. I don't have a real need to pay 5 or 6 bucks for a calendar app that can do more. I like that when it has a location in the event, it shows the calendar and makes it easy to pop into Google Maps and get directions. Honestly, some of the shortcomings that people gripe about don't matter to me. I guess it makes me old fashioned, but I still do most of my calendar management on my laptop, so it's easy to enter stuff into Google Calendar on my laptop and then just have it show up on the phone. This is a new app that can still use some polish, but it's off to a good start.
Never found Google Calendar any useful so I think Sunrise Calendar will stay as my main app for calendars and reminders on IOS.
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