Friday, December 6, 2013

App introduction: Cal just released it's calender app Cal on android, find it on Google Play. Basically, Cal is a great looking calendar app that uses Google's calendar as basis. can be found at They released a ToDo app (that I was introducing already, find that article here) and now a calendar app on Android and iOS as well. I was following and testing the beta of Cal and I am happy to introduce it to you now as it's available for everyone.

Cal - layout and functions

So basically Cal is "just" another calendar app that uses Google's calendar as basis. 
BUT, there are some special features that make it a pleasure to use Cal over the default Google calendar or most other calendar apps I have seen so far.
The first of this very convincing qualities is the clear, fresh design and the simple handling.

At launching Cal you will see the day-view first, in which all appointments of the current day are presented.
Day overview

On swiping left or right you will swap to the next or previous day(s). Swiping left or right on the week overview on the top switches weeks. Swiping down opens the the month view where swiping left or right switches months.

Months view

Adding a new event is simply done by the + symbol in the top right corner. A dialog where you can add different parts to the appointment will open. You can also select the calendar you want to add the event to. Which calendars are shown and which one is set as default can be selected in the options of course.

Adding a new appointment

Taping on an entry in the day-overview opens the details of that appointment. Each part of the appointment can be edited separately and in that way they are shown a bit separated form each other as well.

Event details
One special thing about Cal is that you can set up more than one reminder time for an event. For example you can set up a reminder one hour before the event, and then another about ten minutes before it happens. The reminder times can be selected by a preset list or a custom time can be added as well.

Selecting the reminder for an event.

As a special gimmick, when you tap on the background in the day-view, the background image is shown without the calender elements on top of it. There are some really nice pictures shown and you can customize the categories of which pictures will be used on your calendar.

Background image

There is also a nice looking widget available that shows an agenda with the days of one week in a list. Each day contains the appointments of that day with its starting time and the location it takes place.

Cal widget

Landscape mode

Cal looks a bit different, but not worse, on landscape mode for example on tablets.

Overview in landscape mode

Appointment details in landscape mode ToDo-List and Cal

The real special feature of Cal besides it's great design is the integration of's ToDo-List. Entries from the ToDo-List will be shown in the day-overview just like normal calendar entries. Icons are shown at the right side to indicate where the entry came from. This can be different colored dots for different calendars but also a check mark that indicates the entry is located in the ToDo-List. Taping on it will open the entry in the ToDo-List app.

ToDo-List included in the day-overview.


Of course, there are also some constraints, that force me to still use a different calendar in addition, in my case the default Google calendar.

One of this limitations is the lack of the capability to edit one element out of a series without manipulating the other elements in that series.

Another but smaller drawback is that there is no way to show an agenda with the duration of events to easier see when your blocked because of the duration of a meeting or when you are free to plan more events.

My thoughts on Cal

I really like the simply, clear and easy design of Cal (and the ToDo-List) that makes it a pleasure to use it. Also in my opinion it's a great feature to link the ToDo's in the calendar's day-overview and show it equally to the appointments.

There are some issues and functions I miss but I hope some of them will get fixed or added by time. Also there is a Google+ group for the development of apps, where every member can put in his ideas and bugs so there is an option to have some influence and help to develop the apps by testing and providing feedback.

Especially with the plans to develop a Memo and an Email app has lots of work to do, so stay tuned, more to come.