Mobility

Chronos Calendar: A true powerhouse calendar for Windows Phone 8

Jack Wallen thinks Chronos Calendar is better than the built-in Windows Phone 8 calendar. Find out how to install Chronos Calendar, add the Live Tile, and sync it with other calendars.

Most mobile calendar apps are fairly blah. Sure, they keep your schedule, but for power users, they do little more than remind them how stripped-down the calendaring tools are.

I recently discovered a calendar for Windows Phone 8 that offers more than the average application. In fact, Chronos Calendar is one of those tools that every mobile calendar should model itself after. It's feature-rich, easier to read than the built-in calendar, and allows you to sync with multiple calendars. This app will set you back $1.99 (USD), with a five-day free trial, but it's worth every penny.

Probably one of the most useful features of Chronos is the ability to sync the following calendar:

  • Windows Phone Calendar (read-only)
  • Microsoft account (read/write)
  • Google account (read/write)

I'll walk you through the installation of Chronos Calendar, adding the Live Tile, and syncing other calendars.

Installation

As with most mobile phone apps, installing Chronos Calendar is quite simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store
  2. Search for "chronos calendar" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the entry for Chronos Calendar
  4. Tap Try
  5. Allow the install to complete

If you already know you want to buy the calendar, tap the Buy button (instead of the Try button). The five-day trial is a good way to find out if you like the app. You can purchase the app after the trial from within the app Settings window.

Adding the Live Tile

Once Chronos is installed (Figure A), you can easily add the Live Tile by following these steps:

  1. Swipe the home screen to the left
  2. Scroll and locate the entry for Chronos Calendar
  3. Long-press the Chronos entry
  4. Tap "pin to start"

Figure A

Chronos Calendar running on the Verizon-branded HTC Windows Phone 8.
I highly recommend setting this tile to its maximum width (Figure B), so you can see the information it offers more easily. Figure B

A much better Live Tile than the default calendar.

To set the Live Tile to its largest size, long-press the tile and tap the pin button until the tile fills the width of the screen.

Although you cannot tap the Live Tile to go to specific events, it will launch Chronos Calendar into the most recent viewing mode.

Syncing calendars

By default, Chronos Calendar will only read/write data to its own calendar. Thankfully, the developers were intuitive enough to know that power users would need the ability to sync outside sources. Not only did they think to include this feature, they made it incredibly easy to set up. Let's take a look at adding your Google Calendar to Chronos Calendar. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Chronos Calendar
  2. From the main window, tap the settings icon (immediately to the right of the bottom center circle)
  3. Tap the Calendars tab at the top of the new window
  4. Tap Google account from the list
  5. Tap Activate
  6. Tap OK
  7. Enter your credentials for your Google account
  8. Tap Sign In

Once Chronos has connected to your Google account, you can select which calendars you want to sync and set it to sync at start (Figure C). Figure C

Select the calendars you want to sync, and they'll be added to Chronos Calendar.

Unless you want to manually sync your Google Calendar, I suggest you set it to sync at start. The only caveat to that is, depending upon your network connection (and the amount of data to be sync'd from your Google account), it could slow the calendar down a bit.

Chronos Calendar is much better suited for the on-the-go power user than the default Windows Phone 8 calendar. Give the trial a go, and see if it doesn't meet all of your mobile calendaring needs.

What Windows Phone 8 calendar do you prefer? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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