7 Tips to Pick a New iPhone Calendar App

by Brian Heilman

So you have an iPhone and feel you have outgrown or just don’t like the default iPhone calendar app. There has to be more right. But looking through the 3rd party apps is a crazy sea of confusion with each looking very similar, after all they are all still calendars right. So how do you decide what to try? Well let me give you a few tips.

iphone calendar

And yes, full disclusure, we make a couple of the top choices but we will try to stay impartial as there are a lot of great calendars out there.

1. Interface

Obviously this is an important one. If you don’t like interacting in the way the calendar wants you to, or it doesn’t give you enough choices for views to see all of your data clearly and concisely then it probably isn’t your calendar. We have found that most people like to use either a Month type view, a week view, or a list of days. And rarely switch. So figure out which one you are, and find the app with the offering that best matches what you want to see.

And some people visualize their data better in several ways. Just showing text on the calendar, or associating icons to their events, or using blocked timelines, or just dots to give a cleaner look. And the use of colors can be key to really link up visually what events will be for certain categories or family members or however you organize your schedule.

When interacting with your events take into consideration features you might need or want to make things quick and easy. Things like drag-n-drop to quickly reschedule, advanced repeating event options, templates that quickly make often used events, emailing events, natural language entry, and so many others are all key features that ultimately having just one of these might be the reason why you go with a certain calendar.

And remember that, as far as looks go, in some cases what the developer chose for a default color theme might not be all that’s available. Always check out the settings as theming might be available and allow you to choose the look you really want.

Some people just want a few more key features or a different main view and don’t need a power user type calendar, figure out if that is you.

2. Data

Data is key here. Do you want to be exclusively using Google Calendar events? Do you want to be using the developer’s proprietary databases for events, or should you shoot for Apple’s data only.

One of the key considerations for this is syncing. Apple’s data is a good choice in that you can actually setup what is synced in many ways including with things like Exchange, Facebook, and Google in their own settings app. Then this data just syncs via Apple, and is not being handled by the developer. A safe choice but with a few limitations.

If companies are using straight Google or their own systems, then they are also re-writing and handling the sync, which could be a good thing, or could be full of problems, or something you may have to pay extra for, or syncing could just not be available at all.

3. Integration

The main draw of some calendars including some of the more organizer based ones are that the app has other forms of data integrated in. Some may just add reminders into your calendar and show them in the days they are due right along with your events. Others show weather, so you can see what it is supposed to be like as you plan your week. Both extremely handy and can be done without being overly intrusive.

And then the planner type apps go beyond this. Tasks and Reminders with their own views that can quickly be switched to events. Contacts to use as a full address book and help in the creation of events and reminders. Birthdays showing pictures of your contacts right in your calendar. Lists. Notes. Todos. All with search that can check your events along with the other data for what you are looking for.

These full planners can be pretty powerful.

4. Options

So options can be the key to getting what you want. Once you try an app, don’t be afraid to dive into the settings screens. Getting your calendar to look the way you want might involve flipping a few switches and setting a few colors. Not everybody wants to see ISO week numbers or see only timelines or have the week day start on Tuesday. But if you do, hopefully the settings allow for it.

There is a push in apps to not give you as many options and dictate to you want you want. But in calendar apps, hopefully this is not the case. The developer can’t possibly always know exactly what you want to see and do, calendars can just be complicated.

5. Filtering

A big feature found in most good calendar apps is filtering. This is a way to show you only a certain set of events or data. Most offer a way to turn off and on the calendars on your device in a setting screen. But some go beyond that and allow you to quickly do it from your main screen, or be more advanced and filter based on privacy or assigned categories/tags. It makes looking at a calendar so much better if you only want to see your work schedule, your child’s activities, or your sporting event times.

6. Smart Calendars

Ok, so what is this. Well, these are apps that are trying to take it to the next level of integration, with the added catch that to do some of it you need internet and you are giving them all your data. So keep that in mind.

They can add some cool features, but in testing some of their technologies are so new and try to make educated guesses about your schedules or locations or contacts or … and are completely wrong, making the features not only useless, but also very in the way. Some people like to be guinea pigs..

How are they making money? Could it be by eventually selling all your data? Could it be that they will go for a subscription model after getting so many users? Eventual Ads? It is just something to think about.

But some are well done apps that if they have what is right for you and you don’t have any concerns, they might be worth a shot..

7. Price

Obviously price is a key. Just remember that this is not a game, and paying a couple dollars more might make you that much more productive and organized. That little extra will be worth it for you in no time if you find the right calendar.

But watch for things like subscriptions and/or the possibility that if an app is free that somehow you might be the product(selling your data, or eventually ads or…). These factor into what the total price will end up being.

There are some free offerings out there that allow you to try out the calendar before you go all in on it. Its always a good idea to bargain shop if you don’t know what you want, as even just trying these choices might give you an idea of what the pricier apps are offering you..

Oh, and watch for if it is Universal… Or if they charge extra for that. This alone might be the main reason to go with a certain app for you.

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So there you have it. I hope this helps you in finding a great calendar app for your iPhone. We’d love it if you considered our Extreme Agenda line of apps if you want a full organizer or try The Grid calendar for FREE with a lot of the more powerful features, but in a more streamlined approach.

Thanks, and happy calendaring.

iOS7.

Well, so there’s that….

iOS7 was introduced and to say it is ‘Polarizing’ is an understatement. Some people love it, some people hate it and some people are cautiously not optimistic. It has some great new features that were really wanted and needed, and I haven’t heard anybody argue against that. Things like control center and multi-tasking. But the UI and aesthetic redesign’s are a radical change with a lot of people including me not loving and not seeing the point of. This goes beyond just the icons.

They had a good thing that they sold MILLIONS of. But yet they convinced themselves that the rumblings from the press and a small sections of users were true and the OS was so dated. Which in small areas was true, but… then they took a sledgehammer and went crazy. It makes be doubt Jony Ive’s ability as a software designer(hardware he’s brilliant, but that doesn’t guarantee his software style will have mass market appeal). I think there was a balance there between where they were and where they ended up, and they didn’t even come close to hitting it.

Most things they changed for the sake of change.

I dont get why navigation buttons can’t have borders. They’re still buttons. If you have a problem defining the edge of a touch area you are way too hung up on this skeumorphic thing. The new way looks fine in some places, but looks really bad and the text all runs together in others. And this takes away using color to represent other things.

And why does the stopwatch app have ‘circular’ edges around its start and stop buttons. Shouldn’t it just be colored text if we’re following this new “better” paradigm?

The transparency is not a great thing. It can look good, like it always did, or it can look horrible depending on the background. But the key is that in iOS6 you couldn’t really get something to look horrible based on the background.

And I don’t get the new skinny font. It doesnt look good on the small screen, and doesnt make things clearer. Just artsy, and will get dated quickly. Wait, I think it already is, most designers have even moved beyond helvetica… Oh, but some Apple apps dont even use this font.. Now, it’s just different, not better.

Animations are animations, they grow tiring. I thought the incoming icon pop out thing was corny the first time I saw it. And we did the zoom out from a location animation that is now defining the launcher and folders in our Grid Contacts app. Its a neat effect, but Im already tired of it on iOS7, after one day, and it broke some other stuff…Now, it’s just different, not better.

And folders are neat that they can scroll inside, now imagine if they weren’t defined to be that silly gray color and actually have a border, and weren’t made to be a scaled up icon size/shape. So we could have the scrolling while showing 16 icons at a time instead of 9. THAT WOULD BE WAY BETTER. Now, it’s just different, not better.

Why change the swipe to open. There is no indicator anymore of which way to swipe(Well there are arrows up and down, which neither is for this). So almost everybody that encounters this takes a while to even figure out how to open their phone the new way. Something is fundamentally wrong with your direction if this happens. Stripping away something to make it prettier and ‘simpler’. NOPE. Now, it’s just different and initially confusing, not better.

Why are we stripping out gradients in nav bars and other places where they actually look good, but they are fine and even overdone in some of our new icons.

And the icons are just plain horrid. Some people like the Easter Bunny meets Hello Kitty colors and simple oversized designs, but if designers can take those same ideas and make stuff that looks infinitely better with the exact same concepts in a couple hours, well Apple went the wrong way. But even worse. Why change the size and corner radius of the icons. The bigger corner radius is not better, its actually makes the icons look smooshed and fat. AND IT BREAKS THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF 3RD PARTY ICONS THAT WERE DESIGNED WITH THE OLD BETTER RADIUS. It feels like a slap in the face for the sake of change and the 3 extra pixels make everything a little more crowded. Now, it’s just different(worse), not better.

It will all cause a lot of confusion for mostly young and old users to re-learn a lot of this stuff. And why, it’s NOT BETTER.

The whole thing is just really inconsistant.

The people that Ive heard love on it, most I feel fall into a category that they wanted the OS to have a facelift so bad, that they can’t see a lot of it for what it really is. Change for the sake of change. Nothing is really improved, it’s just different. The new paradigm doesn’t really have any advantages, Ive tried to come up with any for development. It just forces a different look and breaks a lot of the existing ideas.

And its puzzling their direction with 3rd Party Apps here. They want to brag about 900,000 apps, but didn’t really fix discoverability, and now are really going to break or make outdated like what ~700,000 of them. Why?

So with so many strong opinions that don’t like these bold changes, could this be a stumble. Could this ultimately lose Apple marketshare? Could this balance out the market? Could this be Apple’s ‘Vista’? It wouldn’t shock me. Or maybe I’m wrong and there is a market for a more cutesy version of iOS?!

I’m not going to say it hasn’t grown on me some since I started using it. I just hope Apple is listening, and takes the keys away from Jony a bit, and dials back some of the changes. I know its just a BETA, but does Apple? Hopefully they don’t stay stubbornly committed to their decisions, but they aren’t known to change a ton after BETA.

With all their secrecy when doing these OS’s they obviously can’t do huge usability testing. Well consider this your usability testing, you are turning off a portion of your own following, and I can’t see the changes being a catalyst to replace them with others. Ive been wrong before.

Welcome to the world iOS7…

UPDATE: It is already starting to leak that for example the Icons were designed by marketing and not Interface in Apple. So hopefully this is a good sign that some of the things mentioned will be dialed in or dialed back. Hopefully most of them… We’ll see….

Midnight

Today should see the release of our full paid version of the Midnight version of The Grid Calendar. We really like this product and hope that having a paid version can support it into the future.

Midnight

We have mentioned it several times in the past but thought we’d break it down here, We think The Grid is a superior product to Fantastical, the app that garnered so much attention in the press at the same time as every major release of “The Grid”. While they did a good job on that product, initially it was full of a lot of holes, that Im glad that they have partially fixed. It does have a unique way of scrolling through dates and a couple neat features, but really the UI isn’t over the top attractive and stays quite Apple generic.

So here is a breakdown of what we see as benefits of each:

The Grid Midnight Fantastical
Month View X X
Week Strip View X X
Search X X
Copy/Move Events X X
Week Numbers X X
Day Badge X X
Attendees X X
Natural Language Entry X
Time Zone Support X
Drag-n-Drop X
Templates X
Text on Calendar X
One Touch Filtering X
Advanced Repeating Events X
Multiple Event Alarms X
Email and Share Events X
Multiple Themes X
Universal X
Dated Reminders X
Weather X

And a little secret, we have a couple things in the works for the only 2 things they have we don’t.

Thanks for considering ‘The Grid’, and if you aren’t convinced try out the FREE version and give it a try before upgrading or buying Midnight.

Midnight “The Grid” on AppStore

Playing Devil’s Advocate..

Ok, I am getting into the “heavy design” stuff, Extreme Agenda 4.0 will be a big step in this direction. And as of yet I have not proven that most of my design heavy apps are over the top great. Well, PokerTimer is the most popular Poker Clock in the AppStore(I did that original minimalist design a few years ago). And ‘The Grid’ did get 120K downloads in 3 days last week…. And the original XA 1.0 was pretty crazy experiment into alternate design. But by no means do I label myself as even ‘good’ yet, I’m learning like everyone else, this whole design focus is relatively new.

And I like to discuss development and all of this stuff with other developers. But recently I was left out of a Branch.com group of App-Makers because I wasn’t known/big enough, which actually includes a lot of people with less popular apps or no apps at all, because they are considered “influencers’. It so far has left out quite a few of the developers that have a different take on the AppStore, the ones I’d like to hear from. So I figured I might get back into posting some opinions here…

The most recent post of the branch.com App-Makers is about App Ideas. And granted quite a few in this group have had 1 or maybe 2 really good ones… But so far the direction of the conversation has gone in the direction of high design, one basic idea, simplicity and good UI. Makes sense…and we as developers have all heard it so many times before. That is what is working in the AppStore right now. But let’s examine this.

This is a response from Ellis Hamburger, a journalist at “The Verge”, so an Influencer:

“Any time I review an app, I compare it to the baseline in the category. When I reviewed Fantastical for iPhone I compared it to apps like Calvetica, Week Calendar, and Agenda. Not only did I find that Fantastical had a better feature set, but it also delivered a smoother user experience. The calendar app category has been around for YEARS, and Fantastical had years to prepare to win. Ultimately as a developer you must aspire to be the best in your category, which often means looking to competing apps and making sure you can outdo them from the get-go — and *don’t launch your app until you meet those goals* since any category only has a few real winners. If you can deliver, then you’ve got a “good idea.” You have your work cut out for you.”

Side Note:coincidentally those are the exact 3 apps I was shooting at with ‘The Grid’ too, that came out at the same time and was overshadowed by Fantastical.

So, yeah, he likes Fantastical. But now dissect Fantastical.

Really, the App is two views, both beautifully done. But both not always practical in everyday use. Take Fantastical and try to check out what you have going on in October. Yeah, you can’t get directly to October. How about October 2015? And yeah, once you get there they just use the standard ‘colored dots’ to show you an overview of the month. Know what they are? Have 5 events on a day, sorry we only made room for 4 dots. And dont even think about trying to see October in the week/list hybrid view.

Now re-create a commonly used event, move an event to another day, hide events in the calendar you don’t want to see…

Their other big feature is natural language event entry. And unless you are a speed typer on your iPhone, having to type in events in real language is neat, but isn’t the most practical (to do certain things you have to have shortcut formats memorized). And a small hint: you can use Siri to do it with Voice for all iCal based Apps. It’s genius on a desktop, which is where the idea came from. Want to edit events the regular way, well another secret you wouldn’t know, they just used an SDK call to Apple’s exact same event view, but put their pretty title bar on it.

Is that fully designed?

So I give Ellis the fact that besides ‘Week Calendar’, which blows Fantastical out of the water feature wise, the other calendars mentioned are lacking in areas as well. But they also are priced lower. So what made him overlook this and believe it was ahead was the “Smoother user experience”. Pretty design and a couple neat new takes on features seem to make you not fully examine an app’s long term use?

Or Clear is another often used example. Clear did some amazing things with gesture based list interaction. It tried something different and was rewarded for it. But they also went overboard, and did stuff that doesn’t and won’t ever feel natural in order to stick with their paradigm. And Clear offered very few “standard list” features, things that you just expect to be there to make it really handy and usable. You have to dumb down how you use lists in order to stay ‘in love’ with using it, all for the sake of good design and this trend of less features.

These are both widely considered what are the ‘top bar’ of what iOS apps should be and are crazy successful, though I will contend with a lot of help from the media and Apple(different can of worms). But they know how to play the game, and obviously put a lot of thought and design into making the Apps…

They are just not my kind of apps, they leave out key features because they don’t work for their ‘design’. Maybe its a function of the fact that for the price apps are now they are throwaway, so you can be wowed by the new calendar’s slick ideas, and dump it 3 weeks later realizing you originally agreed with the reviews, but now see the holes in it…

It’s convenient to use this less is more excuse, isn’t that what Apple does, but yet we are all also clammering for a revamp and more functionality from iOS7 from Apple…WIDGETS WIDGETS WIDGETS. And just think what we could all do if Apple opened up even more development flexibility. That might stifle simplicity.

Some of the best apps out there don’t all fit into a simple “Elevator Pitch” and depend on a glossy icon. The ones that do sure are easier to maintain though… 🙂

So it makes me wonder. Are we just at a time where we’re tearing it down to build it back up, making cheap apps what cheap apps should be. As one developer said, these *great* app ideas “reset the baseline”, but it seems some are doing so with inferior apps. Will these apps grow up or be passed in the mainstream by a higher level of app.

Will the vasty majority of users mature over time, to want well designed apps with great user experience, but with FULL MATURE FEATURE SETS…

Im shooting for maturity with great design, and I could name a bunch of great apps that already do too, I just hope the ‘bar’ can move up…

Branch App-Makers Thread

UPDATE: Well, it appears Branch pivoted, which made their site way simpler and less usable, but also does away with the group/clique thing that had irked me. It is just as well, the ‘moderator’ that had created the clique had dropped the ball and not kept it active, something that having more members would probably have helped. I recently noticed a post he made about how his original app, that one a design award, was outsold by his new app. He is one of the design and simplicity guys I talk about. I don’t get how he never realized that his first application was only half an idea, and had he actually created a full application with his award winning design abilities in the first place it would have sold a lot better, instead another product took all of those sales and more and does extremely well. Luckily he did better on his second product, but not realizing this makes me wonder about having him be a speaker and an ‘influencer’ in our market. And using the simple thing as an excuse failed ….

Wow!

Well last week was a fun week for us. You showed us that we did build a stellar product in ‘The Grid’ It obviously had not been doing that well as a product, as it got lost in the vast black hole that is the AppStore. So to try to draw some attention to it, we set it to free for the weekend. Well, the app was featured on Sunday (Jan 27th) by AppAdvice’s AppsGoneFree promotion and picked up by others, and with that it ratcheted up the AppStore Top Apps List. It eventually made it up to around #220 for iPhone and #130 for iPad in the whole store, with a top 10 in the Productivity category. We loved the exposure so left it free for the next few days where it got a ton of new reviews and maintained over a 4 star rating, and over 120,000 new downloads.

We happen to be super busy here at Birdsoft, cranking on Extreme Agenda 4.0 and about to tackle our enterprise solution development and a consulting contract, but we decided it would be worth it to try to use that traction in a positive way. So we are looking into finally giving our site a much needed facelift. And more importantly, we are tweaking ‘The Grid’ to include most of the most asked for features and changes from the reviews(iPad Landscape is done), and adding two big new features to ‘The Grid’ that will be available as an InApp purchase. One is a new view and one is Reminder Support. Both should be done for the new version to go out at the end of the week. We’re excited to hopefully find a way to regain that momentum and get people using what we consider the best lightweight calendar app on the AppStore. And hopefully we get Apple to notice so they help us along to bigger and better things…

And yes, Reminder support and this new view are going in Extreme Agenda 4.0 too.. And doing this has already helped the progress of that tremendously. Extreme Agenda’s scope is on a level way higher than this, so when that comes out, its going to be a whole new ballgame for full on organizers. We just want to get everything right!

So watch for a new site and new ‘The Grid’ version soon, and Extreme Agenda 4.0 by the spring… FUN!!

2013 and beyond

Well, we didn’t make the big splash that we wanted to with our new “The Grid” products. But we feel good about them anyway and hope they find some traction. A big plus and one of the reasons we felt comfortable doing them was that building both Apps was like a big R&D project for our Extreme Agenda line of products. So watch for great new features and ideas incorporated over in our upcoming versions(some already have). And we learned a bunch of valuable information about the App release process that should help in the future.

So while we ran into an “Apple Favorite” in the Fantastical release at the exact same time, we still believe that The Grid calendar is a superior product once you get by thinking you like the gimmicks. Ok, so that product has some good design in it and is well done for what it is, but the two main features of it, one was borrowed from another bigger PIM app(week ribbon), and the other feature of typing in your event in real world terms just isn’t that practical on a device, and can be done with Siri if you are using voice(which works with all compatible apps). Their success lies mostly in the connections they have, something we desperately need to work on this year. Its overpriced for what it is, try “The Grid” for much cheaper and its main features, drag-n-drop, templates, and one touch calendar filtering really do change the way you interact with a calendar.

But enough with that, we are moving on to what could be our biggest release ever. We are working on a huge new update to Extreme Agenda, version 4.0. Some things we know will make it in that are coming over from ‘The Grid’ are Drag-n-Drop, adding calendars, new interactive windows, better template inclusion, one touch calendar filtering, group text/emails… And then Reminder support! Beyond that there are a bunch more cool features, and we have really done some work on the interface so it it will be so much more customizable and so much more clean and great to use. Make sure you join the “Extreme Agenda” Facebook group to see sneak peeks. And if you are interested in Beta Testing, we are looking for a few more people that will really give us their opinions and help us make the product even better.

And then we have an Enterprise based project going as well that goes back to our utility company mapping roots. So we hope that with these 2 things and whatever else the year may bring, we can keep bringing you quality iOS apps that you love.

We hope you like our new products…

So we had these ideas. We have seen some cool productivity applications come out that were heavy in design, did one thing and did it well, looked good, and grabbed everyone’s attention. And they are popular. Apps like Clear and Launch Center Pro come to mind. So we decided to make a couple of apps that try to fit this mold. We borrowed from our powerhouse app Extreme Agenda, but relied on that for the backbone, and really stripped it down and started almost completely from scratch UI wise. And not only do we think we succeeded in making some really cool apps, but creating these apps turned out to be like advanced R&D for our big app. Some of the results have already been rolled back in, making that app and code cleaner, more refined, and adding some cool new features.

One of the Apps is a Contact App that uses a grid system to display your contacts and makes it very fast and efficient to contact any of your contacts. This grid view has already been rolled back into XA, but the new app is a light, fast loading app with its own beautiful look and some interesting twists that make everything so easy. It has been approved and will be out soon but we have decided to hold it and release both apps together.

The other app is a calendar app that we hope to redefine how you calendar on your iOS device. We stripped down our calendar to its core, and built it back up with a couple of unique ideas in place. We’re not quite ready to share everything about it yet, but we did put drag-n-drop of events which is a game changer(and will come to XA soon as well). It is also built to be light and super fast loading and is one of the best looking calendars in existence.

We hope you keep your eye out here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the apps as we want to make as big a splash as we can.

And for the press, promo codes are available now for Contacts and will be available soon for Calendar.

Come see if we have redefined calendar and contacts on your iOS device…

Watch for The Grid!

and go check out a sneak peek screenshot on our company Twitter page.. Birdsoft on Twitter

Where the calendar app will live socially:

The Grid – Calendar on Facebook

The Grid – Calendar on Twitter

Extreme Agenda features walk thru… (#1)

I thought it would be a good idea to start doing little tricks and tips features in the blog to show people just some of the many features in Extreme Agenda. I know by watching some new users and some of the technical support that we get, that people don’t quite wrap their head around what all the app offers. So here are a few key features(some are also shown off in our product YouTube videos) and ways I personally use the App.

Wildcard Templates

One feature that will really speed up your adding new events is to effectively use the template system in the App. To create a template you simply go into adding an event. Then fill out all the fields that you know you will want to use in every future event that looks like this, then simply hit the “Save to Template” button on the bottom of the list. Now this template will appear in the template list (button next to done) whenever you go to create a new event. Go in, select the template you want, and ‘boom’ all the fields that can be saved are then filled in including time(not date).

To make this more powerful you can use the wildcard ‘**’ in the subject. What this means is when creating the subject for your template use ** and it will get filled in with whatever is already in the subject. For example, if you have a template with the subject ‘Meeting with **’ and you create an event by using the contact to event button (clock with plus in the individual contact toolbar), it will initially come in with the contacts name, like “Bob Jones”. Now select the template ‘Meeting with **’ template and your event will now have a subject of “Meeting with Bob Jones”.

These wildcards are pre-loaded and work in the text select screen attached to subject(blue arrow) as well. So if you dont want to have a full template but want to use the phrase ‘Bring ** to Dentist’ you can enter it in here to make re-entry just a matter of picking it…

Move/Copy/Paste

Another very powerful feature is being able to cut and paste events in our App. To do this you just have to remember that like in the desktop OS, once you select an item to Move or Copy, it is remembered in memory(clipboard) until you decide to paste it.

To move or copy in the app you must look for the 2 buttons. They appear in Tap-n-Hold toolbars on events such as in the tabbed calendar at the bottom if you hold down on a specific event a blue toolbar will appear. The first button with arrows pointing in 4 different directions is ‘move’, the second button with a clock and dotted clock behind it is ‘copy’. These can also be found in the toolbar when looking at a full event or in timeline day if you bring up the event toolbar by hitting the toolbar button(gray button with 3 squares).

Just hit ‘copy’ or ‘move’ on the event you are looking to move. Now with the system remembering this, just move to the spot you want to ‘paste’ it. So if you want to move it to another day, you can tap-n-hold on a day in the calendar or week and a day toolbar will appear with the first button being ‘paste'(arrow pointing at a clock). Hit this button and the event will be moved or copy to this day at its original time. You can also use it to move an event in the same day to a different time, so in the timeline day view if you tap-n-hold at a specific time, like the 4:00 row, a similar toolbar will appear to place the event here.

Timeline Day Inline Editing

You will notice in the Timeline Day view that you can quickly add an event by holding down a time row for the tap-n-hold toolbar and then hitting ‘+’. Using this view, instead of going into a full event edit screen you are just dropped inline to enter the subject of the event. It will use the default length, alarm, and calendar(in system settings) to create this event. This view also allows you click on the time and a toolbar will appear that you can then set the time at 15 minute intervals or ‘all day’ without going into the full edit. So if your appointment is at 4:15 just enter it inline at 4:00 and then click the time and choose :15. We hope this allows you to quickly enter an event, and you have the event toolbar button if you need to view it or do more advanced editing.

Emailing Events and the advanced toolbar

When viewing a full event item, the toolbar contains a tool (wrench) button that contains other great choices you may want to do quickly with this event including converting it to a task, email or text the event, or post it to your Facebook timeline.

The email event is designed to add what is called an .ics file as an attachment to the email when sending. So not only will the body of the email show you important information on the event, but on a lot of systems(including other iOS devices) the receiver can then use this file to automatically schedule it into their calendar.

Categories in Contacts

The App uses categories to make everything much more powerful including filtering, colors, and icons. But the contacts categories actually go a bit further as they are implemented with the actual Apple ‘groups’ system for contacts. So if your contacts can use these, it will actually add categories as groups, so they can be sorted by this in other applications that use ‘Groups’. There are actually popular full apps to implement this feature alone out there.

To add categories in the App, simply use the toolbar button with 3 stacked cubes on it. We use the default contact editing screen, so have to do this externally in its own screen.

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Hope this helps you discover just some of the power that is already built into Extreme Agenda. And as always if you think of ways to improve the app, we always appreciate an email or join the Facebook group and tell us there.

Thanks and Enjoy…

End of Summer Status…

It has come to the end of the summer, and just one more small vacation for the Labor Day weekend lies between us and really putting our noses down and grinding out more new code for you. Version 3.2 of the Extreme product line finally made it out this month and we are excited about what we turned out. We are very happy with the lack of too many real bug reports having to do with ToodleDo sync, and a couple of the ones that did have problems don’t seem to understand the concept of technical support and just posted a bad review and moved on instead of letting us try to help and improve what we have.

We are now finishing up a new sub-product in that Extreme line to hopefully bring in even more sales and attention, and then we have a few updates in mind to add to Extreme Agenda, a long needed update to PokerTimer (now with over 80K downloads) and a whole new product(well new to iOS). So we are hoping that with the new and upcoming additions we make we can be ready for all the great new users getting iPhone 5s and iPad Minis this fall…

It should be a very interesting rest of the year.

Thanks

Birdsoft

And please remember to update or add new reviews if you like our products, or at least hit the 4-5 star rating for the current version….We really do appreciate it!

Spring Status

So…. we have been grinding away here at Birdsoft. Some consulting and prototypes have taken up a bit of our time so the promised version 3.15 with ToodleDo sync has been delayed longer than we thought. Well we are pleased to tell you that we have it syncing tasks. Now we just want to build up the failsafes and error handling around it and do a bunch more testing before we release it to you.

Along with that, in order to keep us excited and not burnt out on the ToodleDo stuff, which it somehow had that affect, we have started to add a bunch of new options and features to go in the release. So version 3.15(if it stays with that #) might actually feel like a full point release. A lot of the new stuff will be UI and cosmetic related, mostly allowing you even more options to make it look like you want it to. And then a bunch of smaller but hugely helpful features. And then one other big thing we are fairly certain will also be included is the initial “Notes” view.

So we are shooting for 2-4 weeks to get the whole thing wrapped up and out to you. And by switching focus for a bit we think that not only will it get you task syncing, but a whole bunch of new functionality to go with it..

We’re excited for you to see it…

Thanks