Apple has iterated the iOS Calendar app since its introduction in iPhone OS 1.0. In iOS 10, the Calendar app is at its most powerful and useful.

There are lots of customization options to tweak the calendar exactly to your liking, whether you want to change the default calendar, the start day of the week, or which calendars are displayed. Here’s how to customize the calendar to improve your workflow and make your calendar events easier to read.

SEE: Screenshots: A complete roundup of new iOS 10 features

Change the starting day of the week

Depending on where you live and your calendar preferences, you may want the calendar to use a different day to start the week (Sunday is the default in the US). To make this customization tweak, perform the following steps.

  1. Open Settings in the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Calendar | Start Week On.
  3. Select a start day–it can be any day of the week (Figure A).

When you open the Calendar after making this change, the new starting day will be reflected.

Figure A

Change alert settings for birthdays and events

The Calendar app can add birthdays from your Contact cards into a Birthday calendar, and will automatically remind you of the contact’s birthday on that day. By default, these alerts will sound at 9:00 AM in your local timezone, but you can change the alert time for these events so you’ll never miss a contact’s birthday. Follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Calendar.
  2. Navigate to the Default Alert Times section.
  3. Select Birthdays, Events, or All-Day Events to customize the time for those alerts (Figure B).

Figure B

By using the Events alert time, you can ensure that all events on your calendar give you an alert; however, I recommend leaving this set to None, especially if you have a lot of events on your calendar.

Add calendar invites automatically from email

iOS 9 introduced a new feature whereby Calendar could interact with Mail to automatically add calendar invites sent by others to your email address. This feature is available in iOS 10 and can be enabled by following these steps.

  1. Open the iOS Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Calendar.
  3. Enable the option for Events Found In Apps.

With this option enabled, apps that are capable of interacting with the Calendar to share invites will automatically have their invites included in the Calendar app, where you can choose to accept or decline the invite.

Change the default calendar type

Gregorian Calendar is the default in iOS 10, though other options include Chinese, Hebrew, and Islamic. To change your default calendar in iOS 10, follow these steps. (Note: Selecting another calendar will affect the display of the Calendar app and your events.)

  1. Open the iOS Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Calendar | Alternate Calendars.
  3. By the default, the Off option will be selected and the default calendar for your region will be used, though you can select another calendar type (Figure C).

Figure C

Change to a custom time zone

When traveling through time zones, iOS will automatically use your GPS location to determine which time zone you are in and adjust your calendars accordingly. The Calendar app can also be locked down to display all calendar items based on a certain time zone. To change the time zone used by Calendar, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Calendar.
  3. Select Time Zone Override.
  4. Enable the option for Time Zone Override (Figure D).
  5. Select Time Zone and choose the time zone you wish to use in Calendar.

This will cause event dates and times to be shown in the selected time zone, but won’t affect the alerts–they’ll still go off at the correct times based on your current GPS location.

Figure D

Change which calendars are displayed

If you manage multiple calendars, then displaying all of those events in week or month display mode might get confusing. Fortunately, there’s a way to hide certain calendars that you may not need to view.

To hide specific calendars in the Calendar display, do the following.

  1. Open the Calendar app.
  2. Select Calendars at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Uncheck the calendars you wish to hide by tapping them or by selecting the Hide All Calendars option (Figure E).

When a calendar is hidden, any events that are assigned to that calendar will not appear in the Calendar app.

Figure E