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.