Any.do, creator of my favourite mobile app, has recently launched Cal in Apple’s App Store. Unfortunately, Android users (me) will have to wait. A remarkable decision since Any.do has started it’s success with the task manager in Google’s Play store. Additionally competition on iOS seems fierce with apps like Fantastical and Apple’s own revamped calendar. Meanwhile I’ve found the competition on Android, next to the native calendar app, to be close to … none. At least Any.do cannot be blamed for avoiding any challenges.
Cal is an agenda app according to Any.do’s vision and, since I’m a huge fan of their task manager, I’m not expecting anything less of their latest addition. A good alternative to the native Android app is hard to find and one that is able to integrate with my task manager should get a definite plus.
First response of many was the resemblance in design with iOS 7 and the re-designed native calendar. The comparison is easily made, especially since it will initially be launched on that same platform. However, when launched at Android most comments might have been about the adaptation of the Google Cards design. Any.do simply has translated their original design for the task app to the calendar app. The result seems to be clear and great to look at.
The app nicely integrates with your current ecosystem on iOS and I expect a similar experience on Android. With a few taps all your information from the calendar app is imported and you are ready to go. Cal integrates with your contacts which makes adding people to your appointments is a breeze. This is very useful as contacting others about the appointment can be done straight from the app itself.
When an item is created one can choose between a calendar or task, selecting the latter triggers the launch of Any.do’s tasker to create the task. Unfortunately not yet 100% integration, but probably close enough.
Cal will allow you to dictate your appointments, but the functionality is limited when compared to Fantastical as date and time still need to be manually selected.
Similar to the task manager, Cal uses some gestures to browse the calendar intuitively. Left and right simply change months, but swiping up the month view will bring up a weekly view. Tapping a day will show all the appointments for that day.
Cal for iOS has been recieved well so far, but there is little doubt whether it is able to compete with the mentioned competition. Looking at features there is no obvious reason to choose Cal as your daily calendar app, except for the integration with the task app. Voice inputs should be improved to be on par and thus Cal has to rely on it’s beautiful UI design to be competitive. Whether that is good enough will become apparent in the near future.