Smartphones

Stay organized with Android calendaring apps

Deb Shinder takes a look at the built-in calendar that ships with Android, explains how to perform various calendaring functions, and offers some suggestions for third-party calendar apps.

All popular smartphone operating systems today come with built-in calendaring capabilities. These apps can vary based on the OS, the phone vendor, and even the phone model. The Android phones I've used come with a basic calendaring app, but you're not stuck with the calendar that comes with the phone. There are additional calendaring apps, both free and paid, in the Android Market.

Note: The calendar images used in this post are from HTC Incredible and Thunderbolt smartphones. Other Android phone vendors may preload different calendar apps with a slightly different look and functionality.

Using the built-in calendar

The built-in Android calendar app will take care of basic appointments and events. The app is called, appropriately and simply, Calendar. Touching its icon opens to either the Month or Agenda view, depending on which you had selected last. The Month view is shown in Figure 1. Figure 1

The Month view in the built-in calendar is very basic
As you can see, the month view is color coded, and tapping on a day will bring up the Day view with details of your appointments and events as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2

The Day view gives you details about the appointments and events for that day
By tapping the small icon at the bottom left that looks like three stacked horizontal lines (see Figure 1), you can toggle to the Agenda view. This is similar to the Day view except that it provides the details for more than one day, and you can scroll through the days. Agenda view is shown in Figure 3. Figure 3

Agenda view lets you scroll through the events for multiple days
If you press the Android menu button (on pre-Honeycomb versions of the OS), you will see choices for Day and Month view there. You'll also see an option for a Week view, which gives you a quick, graphical way to identify the times that you have free during the week, but it doesn't provide you with details (as shown in Figure 4). Figure 4

Week view shows at a glance what times are free or booked during the week

The colored areas represent an appointment or event. Simply touch one of these blocks to see details about what's scheduled for that time.

From the Android menu, you'll also see a Today button, which immediately takes you to the current day, and a New event option that we'll take a closer look at later in this post.

Read about Android calendar settings and how to create calendar entries.

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

3 comments
ken lillemo
ken lillemo

Smart Phone manufacturers have drunk the wireless provider Kool-Aid. The only option for any of these new phones is to sync with an online data store of some sort through the wireless connection. It used to be simple to synchronize your desktop client calendar and contacts with your smartphone. Since the phone needs to be recharged regularly, the synchronization generally came automatically as the USB to desktop connection served both roles. However, we no longer get to synch with an Outlook client, we can only synch with an exchange server that IT has granted permissions for, or an online gmail or Microsoft account. It may be understandable that Android does not sync with Outlook (unless the Outlook calendar is uploaded to gmail) but I am thoroughly flummoxed that Microsoft no longer supports synchronizing Outlook calendar and contacts through a simple USB connection with Win7 phones. Smartphone OS manufacturers should realize there is a large market that still uses desktop clients, or do not have access to a corporate mail system except through a local client. Any one of them that jumps to support these environments will have customers driven to their door.

Akilestar
Akilestar

You can do exactly what your asking. The phone in the picture appears to be an HTC Incredible. The first time that phone is plugged in it will offer to install HTC Sync to your computer. This software gives you the ability to sync your phone to your PC or Mac using the provided USB cable. HTC sync will work on any HTC phone, and other manufactures have similar products. Also I am little disappointed at this title. I incorrectly assumed you would be discussing several different calendar apps. Instead you explain in detail the default app and then 3 other apps in very short deail. Also the app you explain only comes on HTC Android phones, not all android phones. They do all have a calendar app, but not that one.

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

I was/am disappointed also. I thought it would discuss some cool Calendar apps, but only showed me what I already knew!. TechRepublic.....have some of your readers write articles every now and then. I heard someone say onetime "I will only hire lazy people, why you ask?, well, they always find easier ways to do the their job which saves me money in the end". Let your readers suggest apps and do an article on those!