Readdle has long established itself in the productivity app space, offering everything from PDF readers and printer apps, to scanners and calendars.
Back in January, we brought you news on Readdle’s Documents for iPad, which we called a lean but powerful file-management app, which also enabled document-viewing and media playback. This was finally made available for the smaller-screened form factor of the iPhone and iPod touch too. And today, Readdle is relaunching a fully re-imagined Calendars app for iOS.
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How it works
On launch, you can sync the calendar app with your Google Calendar or local iOS calendar, the latter of which is a fresh inclusion with this update.
Opting for Google in this instance, you give your permission for the app to access your calendars (of course), tasks (crucial), email address and Google+ identity. Wait a few seconds for the sync to happen, and you’re good to go.
Now, this is where Calendars 5 starts to shine. By clicking the little menu button in the top right, you can view your events in list format – which is a long, scrollable stream of events in chronological order – or by day, week and month. Here, you’ll also have the option to view your Google Tasks.
To create a new entry, you can either click on a box (in any calendar view mode) and enter the pertinent details, or hit the little ‘plus’ icon next to the menu button.
With the date selected, you can then select the exact location of the meeting which is pin-pointed on Apple Maps. This is particularly helpful, as you can then seek directions to the meeting from your current location if required.
You can also key-in the person you’re meeting from your address book, which gives you a direct contact conduit from within Calendars 5.
The calendar entry will then look a little something like this (left). But there’s one more facet to the scheduling process that’s rather interesting, and that’s the customizable recurring events.
Rather than just making an event ‘every week’, or ‘every month’, you can specify exactly when something should take place – this could be ‘every third month of the year on weekdays only’, for example, or ‘every 6 weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays’.
Granted, this won’t be of use to everyone, but for power users it’s an interesting addition nonetheless.
Finally, it’s definitely worth mentioning the natural language input enabled by Calendars 5. You can simply type something like ‘Meet Bob next Friday’, or ‘Playing tennis tomorrow at 1pm’, and it will automatically bring up the correct date.
Throw into the mix Calendars 5’s integration with Google Tasks AND iOS Reminders, and it’s clear we have a powerful smart calendar app on our hands here – meetings, locations, notes, tasks…everything under one roof. It also works offline, so you can create and edit, then just sync up when you hit a connection.
But the smart calendar market’s getting a little saturated, right?
Smart calendars: Room for more?
While Calendars 5 is vying for a market currently occupied by the likes of Any.Do’s Cal (more here), Tempo (previous coverage) and Sunrise (see here), based on our initial dabblings, Calendars 5 brings more than enough to the table to merit your attention – especially if you’re already well-versed in Readdle’s wares.
Unlike most of its peers, Readdle’s effort comes optimized for iPads too, which is a big selling point, while the ability to set customized recurring calendar events will appeal to some. And yes, Google Tasks and iOS Reminders integration is the icing on the cake.
“Tasks and events should live in the same application,” says Denys Zhadanov, Marketing Director at Readdle. “You may want to see all your tasks in your calendar when needed. At the same time, a task manager should be first-class product and support everything you might ever need to successfully control your day. I think we’ve done just that.”
However, the $6.99 price-tag may be too much for less-serious calendar aficionados, when you consider the likes of Cal and Sunrise are excellent apps in their own right, and cost zilch. If you’re in the market for a new calendar though, Readdle’s latest app will only cost $4.99 for the first week.
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