My numerous calendars (editorial calendars, client calendars, personal calendars, etc.) dictate the ebb and flow of my life. So when I found the built-in calendar app for my Android device insufficient and lacking certain desired features, I searched for alternatives. Here are five of the better calendaring apps for the Android OS. Each of these apps works with Google calendars, and some even work with Exchange.
- Touch Calendar (beta) is one of the more interesting of all the Android calendar apps. Touch Calendar includes plenty of features that take advantage of the Android 2.0 interfaces, such as pinch zooming and long tap. Other features include: double tap to enter events (if you're not a fan of long tap), horizontal and vertical scrolling, jump to any date from menu, search calendar from either the phone search button or from menu, and much more. A widget would place Touch Calendar above all other calendar apps for the Android phone; the good news on this front is that the developer is planning a home screen widget, as well as the ability to change the background colors of the calendars. If you are looking for a calendar application that has an active and responsive developer, Touch Calendar might be the perfect calendar application for you.
- Cal Widget isn't so much a stand-alone calendar as it is a widget for the built-in calendar. But Cal Widget is one of the best widgets for the calendar you will find. Not only does it offer a size configuration to fit just about any free spot on a home screen, but it also allows you to control the transparency of the background colors of nearly all aspects of the widget. When you click on the Cal Widget, three buttons open up: Refresh, Google, and Config. If you want to actually interact with the calendar, you have to click the Google button, which will then open up the built-in calendar app where you can add, remove, and edit appointments. The only drawbacks of Cal Widget are: It currently cannot work with Sense UI devices, and it is not interactive.
- Smooth Calendar is a simple to use, clean, highly configurable screen widget for the built-in calendar application. Smooth Calendar sets itself apart from widget-only apps by allowing you to select only the calendars you want to display and allowing you to very granularly configure the display. The biggest drawback of Smooth Calendar is that it has only one size - 4x2. At the 4x2 size, your calendar widget will display in one of two modes: Simple (only three calendar items with just the event names) or Detailed (one event with details). This size is fine if you aren't terribly busy, but if you are, Smooth Calendar might not be the best app for you.
- Agenda Widget is one of the "best of breed" calendar widgets. It earns this title because it is one of the few widgets that allow you to directly input events into your calendar. Agenda Widget works with the built-in calendar application, but it does not require the opening of the built-in application in order to add an event. This application will also interact with Exchange via the third-party TouchDown application. With Agenda Widget, you can also set it up to have separate widgets for each calendar.
- Fliq Calendar is a calendar application that works in conjunction with Missing Sync to connect your Android phone with your desktop Outlook. This calendar is perfect for those who do not have an Exchange server but still want to keep in sync with their Outlook calendar. The interface is simple to use (a flick of the finger will move between calendar months), and it is about the closest look and feel to an Outlook calendar you will find on Android.
Recommend Android calendar apps and widgets
What are your favorite calendar apps or widgets for the Android mobile platform? Share your recommendations with TechRepublic readers.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.