07
Nov
getting-to-know-android-4-0-part-1-gmail-androids-most-important-app
Last Updated: August 10th, 2012

We're back with more Ice Cream deliciousness! I've exhausted most of the working Gapps, so we're down to the regular stuff in the emulator. Today we're looking at Calendar.

If you've just joined the series, we're taking a look at what Ice Cream Sandwich has to offer. Earlier we examined Gmail, Google Talk, and YouTube. The ICS screenshot are from the emulator, which gives a good approximation of what everything will look like, but has the occasional rendering issue.

We're all nice and upgraded to the latest system app leak: ICL23D. For those of you following this series, I can confirm there's been no meaningful changes to Gmail, Talk, or YouTube in ICL23D.

As usual we start with the about screens:

wm__0001_screenshot-1320259192199  wm__0003_2011-11-02-14h40_56

Ice Cream Sandwich keeps up its completely superfluous version numbering with Calendar 4.0(.1). Calendar is at least consistent in its meaningless version number, the old 2.3.7 also matches the Android version.

Week View And Design

wm__0008_screenshot-1320263911330  wm__0018_2011-11-02-14h29_41

Immediately we notice the general "muting" of all the calendar colors. It looks washed out next to the old calendar, but alone it looks just fine. Colors still don't match the desktop version; the brown calendar should be red, the blue one should be light blue, etc. Is it really that hard guys? Make the freaking colors match. Usability would be much better if I could mentally associate a color with a calendar across all versions.

Appointment blocks get a good polishing. Corners are nice and pointy now. Text gets just a smidge of whitespace (it wouldn't be Ice Cream Sandwich without some whitespace) and the font is bolder and easier to read. Adjacent appointment blocks no longer touch. There's a few pixels of whitespace between them. It boosts appointment readability quite a bit. Now, on Sunday, you can more easily tell I have 6 appointments at 1pm; on Gingerbread they just kind of merge into 1 big green block.

ICS makes it much easier to find the current date and time. The "you are here" line changed from red to black, and it has a shadow now, making it a little easier spot.  They also grey out all the empty calendar space in the past, which is a nice touch. However, it's only really useful if you have empty calendar space. It would be nice if it effected appointments too.

The cool new (well semi-new) feature here is the ability to pinch zoom to set the "scale" of your appointments. I would love to try it, but the emulator can't do multitouch. It works great on Honeycomb though.

fail

I am so glad Android has some detail oriented people (Matias Duarte and friends) working on it now. Because let me tell you, without them, stuff like THIS goes out the door. This is the top right edge of the Gingerbread calendar. Everything below the main header was just off by a few pixels. It's not room for a scrollbar, there is no scroll bar in calendar. The light grey section don't scroll anyway. It's just pure, concentrated fail. The ICS redesign fixes this, and everything goes edge to edge like it's supposed to.

wm_2011-11-02-17h07_00

The "crusade against the menu button" continues with ICS's new header. The month is a drop down menu that lets you switch between views. It also displays the week count, a new addition to Calendar. On the right side of the header is the today button. All in all, they've wiped out 5 menu options.

The blue + square appears when you tap an empty area. Tapping it again will bring up the new event screen set for that block of time. I was really hoping this version of Calendar would let me drag out the timeframe I wanted, like the desktop version of calendar, but sadly, you can only pick 1 hour blocks.

wm__0001_2011-11-02-14h29_16

Horizontal mode. Again you'll have to excuse the emulator's dislike of horizontal mode. In real life, your calendar won't look like it just survived an earthquake.

I guess I really just don't understand the action bar. I thought it had a certain amount of icons, and would display an overflow button (the 3 vertical dots) when it didn't have room to display them all, like Gmail does. But now we see a new wrinkle, Calendar displays additional buttons in horizontal mode that just don't exist in the portrait action bar. I guess they expect you to get to them from the menu button, but that doesn't solve the menu's discoverability problems they've been working so hard to fix.

Now in our disappearing, reappearing buttons, we see search (yep, you can search now, more on that later), today (with an odd text label), and new event.

Day View

wm__0010_screenshot-1320258759218  wm__0006_Layer-1

Not much to see here. The header changes from the week count to "Today, Wednesday" which is very handy. Gingerbread gives no indication of the current day other than the "current time" line. In this screenshot, you get a clearer look at ICS's greyed out past. The white border between the appointments looks much better. The colors are starting to depress me, though.

Month View

wm__0009_screenshot-1320258813622  wm__0016_2011-11-02-14h30_24

The completely useless month view is still completely useless. ICS will now display your "all day" events in a horizontal bar across the top of a day, and it displays appointments before and after the current month. I have to think really hard to figure out what this is actually representing. Calendars are supposed save me the deep memory searching that this screen requires.

Appointments that are happening at the same time are now represented in ICS, Gingerbread just ignores them. Compare Nov 1st in both calendars, for example. I have one long, all day appointment, then 2 short appointments during that long appointment. Gingerbread just gives up and displays one long line, but ICS displays a long line broken up by 2 slightly wider blocks. So while I still have no idea what is going on during that day, I can at least tell that I am busier than normal.

I've been wondering where the black bars are coming from; I don't have any black calendars. It turns out they use black to represent multiple appointments. So the black bar across the top of the Nov 4th means I have multiple all day events. Again, I have no idea what though.

More color strangeness: days in the current month are grey, and days outside the current month are less grey. That's backwards, isn't it? The days this month should be "lit up" more, this is month view after all. The day should be white, the month light grey and outside the month should be darker grey.

wm__0000_2011-11-02-14h30_43

For some reason I was hoping horizontal month view would be more useful. it's not. Most appointments get squished into a single black bar. Look at Nov 1 again, it's completely given up and left me with a black blob.

It might end up looking cluttered, but part of me feels like there's room for letters here. Some text would be so helpful. Month view shows you when, but not what. Honeycomb's month view is spectacular, I think that design could work on a smaller screen.

Agenda

wm__0007_screenshot-1320258806778  wm__0015_2011-11-02-14h31_32

Agenda view gets all classy on us with fantastic typography and white space. I like it.

ICS is still getting weird on us with the coloring. The grey section is Today, not yesterday. I have to keep reminding myself of that. It greys out events as soon as they start, so while "lesson" and "work" are currently ongoing, it greys them out as if they have already finished.

The "refresh" circles in Gingerbread denoted repeating events. They've been totally wiped out in ICS.

Appointment colors are now sized according to category. All-day appointments are full size rectangles, and time based appointments are a square.

Events

wm_screenshot-1320525902256  wm_Untitled-1

We finally see Calendar's app icon/back button, and they've taken Edit and Delete out of the menu and moved them to the header.

The calendar color now fills the whole event background, which is a nice look, but I really don't like the layout changes here. Despite this screen usually having tons of empty space (this screenshot is with every possible option), they've felt the need to remove information by omitting the calendar name. The time of the appointment, which is the most crucial information a calendar can provide, is much less prominent. They hide it in the center of the event description, in a plain font. It should be almost as prominent as the title of the event. Repeating events have a worse presentation too, they lose their little icon and are now described with nested parentheses.

Attending and Reminders now let you directly manipulate their settings. Less touches is always better. Bad move removing the Gtalk status, though.

I really find it interesting that every other calendar screen up until now has lacked the ICS app icon/back button. I guess with the view switcher there has been no where to go back to, but Gmail, Talk, and YouTube have logos in every header regardless of its usefulness as a back button. It's useful as a branding/design/"you are here" item.

titles

Actually, can I just ask, what exactly is going on with the action bar, guys? We are really starting to fail in the consistency department here. Do we have app icons in the headers or not? Are the app icons squares, or rectangles? Does the account switcher go in the action bar as a drop down(like Gmail) or is it a separate screen (Talk)? Do we use words for action bar buttons or images? This is a mess. Pick a style, and stick with it. Things will be easier to use and look better.

Event Creation

wm_2011-11-02-17h07_00  wm__0001_wm__0014_2011-11-02-14h33_55

Wow, how's this for space efficient? ICS preserves all the settings of Gingerbread, but crams it into much less space. They've done away with as many boxes as they can, and added a nice bit of color coding to the calendar selector.

I love the idea of moving the "Done" and "Cancel" buttons to the top. For simple events, you no longer have to do any scrolling at all. They also swapped the order of "Done" and "Cancel" in ICS. Just moving the buttons to the top would have put "Done" in the top left corner, the hardest spot on the phone to reach one-handed. Good attention to detail. "Done" and "Cancel" actually float in ICS (thanks Matt) so you never have to hunt for the buttons.

If you were wondering, repeating event settings are still only limited to a few preselected choices. If you want to make a custom repeat event, you have to load up the desktop version of Calendar.

wm_screenshot-1320537411100  wm__0008_2011-11-02-14h36_27

The calendar name is a drop down selector for changing the calendar. They feel much less disruptive than Gingerbread's screen-dimming popup. I like it.

They still display the ridiculous calendar share addresses, even though my calendars aren't public. Why are they displayed anywhere, at all? Do they really expect someone to type "54s3utjkva0ttdkdul94rj48c@group.calendar.google.com" into a form somewhere? I'm not even sure I typed it correctly just now.

wm__0002_screenshot-1320258879006  wm__0012_2011-11-02-14h34_19

They finally got rid of the Android 1.0 style buttons! The date and time are now awesome flingable dials. A quick swipe up will sent them spinning for big movement or you can tap the arrows for more precise changes. A very welcome change and a huge time saver. Gingerbread is so clunky compared to this.

Search

wm__0007_2011-11-02-14h38_12  wm__0006_2011-11-02-14h38_31

That's right, you can now search your calendars from the mobile app. It's usually buried in the menu in this build, but pressing it will turn the action bar into a search field, complete with history. It will Initially search through a small window of the most recent appointments, and it gives you options to extend your search into the past or future.

Settings

screenshot-1320537411100_0000_wm__0000_screenshot-1320263722928  screenshot-1320537411100_0001_wm__0002_2011-11-02-14h41_12

Options gets the standard redesign. You get two new options, "show week number" which will add a small column to month view, and "Pop-up Notification" if you want a really intrusive notification. Other than that, it's just the usual ICS redesign.

wm_Untitled-1 wm__0000_2011-11-07-14h58_10 wm__0001_2011-11-07-14h58_24

Thankfully they got rid of Gingerbread's bizarre sync/visible combo button. The combo button was a 3 option toggle. It would switch between not synced/not visible, synced/not visible, and synced/visible. It was totally incomprehensible for a normal person. For the longest time I thought the sync and visible icons were individually toggleable if your aim was good enough, like the power widget. It's just very hard to look at this button and understand what it will do.

ICS goes a totally different route, making 2 completely separate screens for synced calendars and visible calendars. To help with navigation confusion, they give you a button at the bottom of the display options to get to the sync options (but not vice versa). Gingerbread's combo button was a bad idea, but having everything on one screen was good. Two almost-identical screens can get confusing.

Wrap Up

Calendar gets a good polish, but the ICS action bar is starting to get out of control. A little consistency in this area would be nice. And I really don't understand why calendar doesn't have identical colors across mobile and desktop. I think it's clear that Gmail is the favorite child in Google's family, and as a result it got the most love. Calendar is a little shaky in some areas.

Compared to Gingerbread, the new Calendar is a very nice upgrade. Searching appointments is a great addition, and the new time and date dials are going to be a huge timesaver. Everyone's calendar has different densities, and pinch zoom is the perfect feature to cope with this. Options are easier to get to, and, as usual with ICS, everything is much, much better looking.

I'll be around to answer any questions you have, just ask in the comments. I'm also looking for suggestions for the next ICS app to look at. What do you guys want to see next?

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Another massive post - great job, Ron. The calendar is definitely looking cleaner than before, in-line with the rest of the OS, even with the few flaws you listed. We're on the right track.

  • Brandon

    I have trouble with Androids dials. Why is 2010 above 2011. Shouldn't 2012 be there?

    • Ron Amadeo

      Well, you can either tap down and make the date go up or fling up and make the date go up, not both.

      So one is always going to be "wrong".

    • TomRowly

      It goes from top to bottom in chronological order, just as the date and month do.
      I think it makes much more sense to do it this way.

  • http://about.me/tim.choi Tim

    I'm loving these features, thanks for putting them out!

    BTW, do you guys happen to know if the super ugly Google Voice app got an ICS makeover as well?

    • Ron Amadeo

      Google voice is not in the leaked apps. I feel your pain, I'm a GV user too. =/

      I would assume it'll get a market update like G+ did. Really though, I feel like they need to tear it down and start over.

      • http://about.me/tim.choi Tim

        Aww man...

        Ya they seriously need to overhaul that app. Also, with Google Talk and Google+ Messenger, I think Google really needs to merge the big features of those three messengers (especially combining G+ Messenger and Google Voice).

        • Tiger

          I think the carriers/operators would be very afraid if that happens!

      • Nobody

        Ron, you can download it from the Market and it uses a new ICS styling. Give it a shot.

        It's still pretty ugly, but it's a pretty decent improvement.

        • Ron Amadeo

          That doesn't really count. =P

          There's nothing special in the APK for ICS, when there is, we'll have screenshots.

  • Sam

    Great review, keep them coming! What about going over the contacts/call screen apps next? Thanks!

  • cabbiebot

    Plz is to has tasks API :(

    • skitchbeatz

      keep dreaming...

  • http://daverix.net David

    Doesn't the emulator behave like phones with physical keys? It does not display the menu button on screen if there is a physical one? I think that is why it shows more menu items in landscape mode and that the items are otherwise hidden in the menu.

    Anyway the calendar looks really great now! I too wonder how the action bar should be handled and me as an developer would really want some documentation on how it should be used! Really like the placement of done and cancel too!

  • yuku

    Did you notice that the Set and Cancel buttons on the date selector is reversed?

    It's so surpising, since positive buttons on Android has been always on the left.

    Are all OK/Cancel buttons reversed in ICS?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Nice spot - bah, more inconsistencies. Traditionally, positive buttons should be on the left - it's like that on desktop OSes and should be on mobile. Argh, my OCD senses are tingling.

      • dextroz

        Clearly, Matias Duarte is turning out to be a one-trick pony with ridiculously culling of basic features from the previous versions.

        • Ron Amadeo

          How so?
          Matias's job is to make things look nice. They look nice.
          It's not perfect, but it's a huge step up from GB.

    • Ron Amadeo

      There aren't many Ok/Cancel buttons, but yes. Everywhere I've seen them, they've been reversed.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        That is moronic.

        • augustofretes

          Most people is right handed, they've probably moved it the right because it easier to press with one hand.

  • Grayson

    Holy crap. You should work for Google. Great review and attention to detail. A lot of thought clearly went into this review.

  • Matt

    Do Cancel and Done scroll with the screen as you move down? :) Thanks for these, I'm always looking forward to Getting to Know Android 4.0.

    A Phone/Dialer/Contacts would be a great next step!

    • Ron Amadeo

      Oh crap. They do! "Cancel" and "Done" float and are always visible. That's awesome.

      I added that to "Event Creation," Thanks!

  • zach

    I love the Getting to Know Android 4.0 series! The posts are fantastic and I enjoy seeing the screenshots of ICS. Galaxy Nexus here I come.

    • Ron Amadeo

      Thanks <3

  • Raedur

    Do the Date and Time flingers wrap around or do they perform like the HTC Sense ones that stop at the top and bottom? E.g. On the HTC Sense ones, if you were on the 30th day and wanted to change it to the 1st, you would have to scroll right back to the bottom rather than just going up one.

    • Ron Amadeo

      They wrap and increment the other dials.

  • http://www.innews.dk Erroneus

    Looking good and now with Week numbers, some parts of the world uses week numbers a lot :) Tobad they didn't have room for them in month and agenda view.

    • Ron Amadeo

      The "Show week number" checkbox in the settings will add week numbers to the left side of month view.

      No week numbers in agenda though.

  • Zaeem

    I love these posts about ICS. Great job on the coverage, mate. :)

    I think I really like ICS. It really is an improvement over Gingerbread. I just hope that my Samsung Galaxy S gets the update! I really hope so!

  • Francisco

    Good job as always, thanks. For next I suggest Weather app, if there are remarkable changes.

    • Ron Amadeo

      News and Weather hasn't been touched.

  • ZZ

    "The completely useless month view is still completely useless. ICS will now display your "all day" events in a horizontal bar across the top of a day, and it displays appointments before and after the current month. I have to think really hard to figure out what this is actually representing. Calendars are supposed save me the deep memory searching that this screen requires."
    Let me help: that vertical bar represents a 24 hr clock, with the marks representing roughly which time in the day the appointments are. It really isn't all that difficult. :P

    • Ron Amadeo

      I know what the bars mean, the problem is they only show when something is; not what something is. It lacks appointment names.

      • Ribbys

        It would get too cluttered. 3rd party apps have tried this and it looks terrible, but it could be an option perhaps?
        Samsung's calendar on GB is much better than the ASOP one so Im not used to this much suck. ICS seems to be a notch above the Samsung version except for the colour syncing. Samsung does that properly.

  • Darren

    Hmm, might stick with 'Touch Calendar', still a nice experience, even if it is a pay app.

  • Foo

    For next application, how about the Google default media player? Or sms app. Or weather application as already suggested. Or the browser. Actually, I'm really interested in the browser and media app the most.

  • CuriousCursor

    The emulator's option for disabling hw keys doesn't work properly.

    For phones with the menu button, the action bar at the bottom won't show. That's the one that's supposed to have some stuff from the menu-button things.

    Also, yeah, you missed an "l" in your calendar email address haha

  • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

    "Now, on Sunday, you can more easily tell I have 5 appointments at 1pm; on Gingerbread they just kind of merge into 1 big green block."

    Actually, you have 6 appointments there, at 6PM... Did you miss it? :)

    • Ron Amadeo

      Ah, crap. Fixed. Thanks =P

  • Art

    Excellent review. Thank you. I'm assuming the user can still set the colors on the server end just like in gingerbread.

  • Paul

    Month view is useless, it should display the events without clicking on then just like touchcalendar it shows you the fist 2 events on that day.

    The LG optimus 2x had a fantastic calendar you clicked on a day & there was space below the calendar to display the evens & they were scrollable, this is the best calendar ever.

    The calendar on Android has always been a poor design in my option. Looks like I will have to stick with Touch calendar for a while longer.

  • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

    By the way, you're saying that you don't understand the action bar.. So far I think it's pretty damn good, and a great upgrade over the old menu button approach.

    With the menu button the user doesn't necessarily know that there are some other options that the app can do, because they aren't on screen.. Sure, you can bash the button on every screen that you ever get to, and see if anything shows up, but that's just counterproductive.

    The actionbar serves the same purpose on the other hand, but it's always there, visible and obvious. You will (most of the time) have some hidden items behind a "menu/triple dot" icon in the corner, plus a couple visible buttons next to it (depending on the flags set by the developer, like this: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/view/MenuItem.html#SHOW_AS_ACTION_ALWAYS )
    This works well, and also allows the interface to be dynamic, and adjust to different screen sizes. On a smaller screen, when these items just don't fit on the action bar - they will drop behind the "menu" button. The more free space there is on the actionbar - the more buttons it will display (again, depending on which of them the developer wants to be shown)

    The fact that this particular calendar app has a different set of menu items/actionbar buttons missing in the portrait view, is most likely a mistake, in my opinion, as it just hides functionality that should be there.. Most of the time you would see the same set of buttons (whether they are visible or behind the "menu" button), unless the landscape view is radically different, and presents this functionality in a different way.

    There's a reason why this is not released yet, and I hope they'll continue with changes like that (although if the portrait view won't have the new event action button / menu item, I will be very surprised!)

  • Paul

    Great review! I hope Matias stops by for a quick view.

    ICS has come a LONG ways to adding the polish we've wanted in Android, but as you mentioned there are still a large number of inconsistencies and missed details.

    Progress!

  • al

    There's a bug in ICS emulator where the overflow icon doesn't show on the action bar

    • Ron Amadeo

      I hope so, that would solve a lot of my confusion. The overflow icon should be there even if you have a hardware menu button.

      • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

        Well, that's how it works in Honeycomb. That's why I was surprised it wasn't there, but it definitely looks like it should be! :)

  • anon

    Would love to see a review of the new messages or gallery apps

    • Ron Amadeo

      Messages looks just like Google Talk. There's only like, 2 screens.

      The gallery doesn't render very well on the emulator. I'll still do it eventually, I think, but it will be a pain.

  • mike

    Camera & Gallery; Maps; Navigation; maybe Messaging.

    Please do Camera & Gallery apps...

    • Ron Amadeo

      I would be all over Maps, but it doesn't seem finished. Much of it is unchanged, and I can't even load the settings, they just force close.

  • Arun

    If hardware buttons are present the overflow menu will not be presented. They are hidden behind the menu key.

    Great review btw! Can you dissect the browser next. I know you can't do real justice without actual hardware rendering, but you can talk about how the websites are laid out. How the double tap zoom works. It is my understanding that the double tap zoom works like iOS I.e. just zooms to the column but no reflow (perhaps can be turned on by a setting).

    • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

      Wait, the menu's not going to be presented if the device has a hw menu key? Where did you hear that? O_o

      I've not seen or heard anything like that anywhere (including the SDK) and I REALLY hope that's not the case, since it's just against the logical design principles!

      • Ron Amadeo

        It definitely DOES go against design principals. It's a terrible idea and will mess up a great UX benefit, but currently, that's exactly how the emulator works.

  • CaryO

    Ron,
    What GB calendar are you using that has "Privacy" and "Busy" settings? Those are much missed in HTC's calendaring setup.

    • Ron Amadeo

      Stock. Actually Cyanogenmod, but it's in stock. You have to hit menu -> show extra options.

      What does "busy" do?

      • CaryO

        Sense ruins stock, apparently. In Exchange, you can set appts to be "busy" or "free" so you and collaborators can better understand your time committments.

  • John

    Does the emulator give any information about the calendar widget? I use Launcher Pro mainly for the calendar widget as I find it much more useful than the stock calendar widget. Other apps/skins like sense have a similar approach.

    Also, I would love to see what the stock e-mail looks like and what features it has (I use exchange so I am eager to see if they include a search function in the regular e-mail app).

  • Sam

    Great post, as usual and thanks for all the ICS app breakdowns. Can you make one about the new sms app please?

  • Derek Morr

    Great review. FYI, the menu button bug in the actionbar has been fixed in the final build. Here's a screenshot from The Verge's review -http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/794348/Screenshot_2011-11-17-14-06-16.png - you can see the "more items" menu button.

  • master

    Is it possible to add an event with an recurrence determined by number of weeks. For example to recur ever 4 weeks?

  • Ian G

    First off, excellent review! I'll definitely be following this series closely. It's great to see an objective and non-biased take.

    The menu/action bar shenanigans was bothering me all morning, but as I was sitting in one of my classes, I realized that the emulator emulates physical buttons. I have a hunch that the actionbar is "smart" in that if your device has a physical menu key, it omits the "..." button to prevent redundancies. If you look at this image of the calendar app with the ICS software buttons (http://www.silicon.com/i/s4/illo/photos/2011/October/android-ice-cream-sandwich/2-calendar-scroll.jpg), you'll see the "..." button present. I'm assuming a press on that reveals all of the options hidden under your menu key.

    I believe you commented that this goes against design principles, but these new design principles are targeted towards devices with software buttons. For legacy devices, users won't find their menu key functionless as if the "..." button was included.

    I suppose a more "seamless" solution to this would be to always have the "..." button when overflow occurs, and if the device has a physical menu key, a press of that will open the "..." menu in the same way a press of it would. Still has a bit of redundancy, but I suppose that's the result of radical changes like this.

    • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

      I've checked it out online, and that seems to be the case.. The only difference is, if you press the menu key on an older device with ICS - you will get an old-style menu on the bottom of your screen.

      After all - it would look rather silly and confusing if you pressed the menu key (on the bottom of your device) and it would open a dropdown on the top of the screen.

      In the end - it might not make 100% sense to end users, and I understand that. But it makes much more sense if you know how android works. Because in code - both regular menus and action bar items are actually one and the same thing, they just got upgraded visually on new devices running ICS without a menu key..

      And if you have a menu key - it will work just like it did before your device got updated. The only difference being one or two items that got "promoted" from the menu pop-up to the small actionbar on the top :)

      • Ron Amadeo

        "After all - it would look rather silly and confusing if you pressed the menu key (on the bottom of your device) and it would open a dropdown on the top of the screen"

        That's exactly what Gmail does.

        • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

          Really? on ICS? =/
          Then the Google Dev team confuses me :)

    • Ron Amadeo

      The emulator does have hardware buttons.

      The problem with the menu key is that you forget it's there and don't think to press it when you are looking for an option. They COULD fix this on all devices by always showing the menu key, but (according to the emulator) they don't.

      Gmail actually shows the menu button no matter what, and the hardware menu button opens it. This is how everything should be
      .
      http://cdn.androidpolice.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/wm_1.jpg

      • http://www.flexlabs.org Artiom Chilaru

        I completely agree with you.. A large number of times (especially when I just started using Android) I just didn't even know some apps had extra functionality hidden behind the menu key.. Making it always visible on screen, whether you have a menu key or not, puts the functionality out there for the user to use.

  • Alex

    To be honest, as a windows phone convert (loving my new android phone btw) the main two things that I miss from my mobile outlook calender are the ability to choose how long to snooze an event for (10 minutes, 1 day, 1 week etc.) and the fact that with outlook, creating a new event assumes that you want it to start "Now" which is a far better idea than the Android version of "Some random time probably related to whatever date you were looking at last time you used the calender." as it gives you a useful jumping off point! Those two improvements alone would make the Android calender far far more usable.

    • Alex

      Oooh, ooh! - And also it's a complete pain in the backside having to use scroll wheels at all to choose the intended date for the next appointment. With Windows mobile (which I used as an early adopter and have only just been dragged away from kicking and screaming due to their dogged inability to move with the times) you choose the date of the next appointment by tapping the default date for the appointment (as in droid) then tapping on the desired date from the calender which pops up. This is far easier to wrap your brain around than having to work out the correct date in your head and then scroll a wheel to that date. I promise I will be quiet now!

  • http://www.oesys.co Kevin Chadwick

    You don't mention if the issue that many seem to have of not having a Not synced, visible option has been rectified.

    • Ron Amadeo

      Not Synced AND visible?

      If you don't have the data, there's nothing to display.

  • Todd

    Do you think all options will end up on all phone such as RAZR? Currently, there seems to be no way to search calendar entries by text phrases.

  • Sanshōuo no Hanzō

    Hey, is there a way to edit a calendar entry from the phone? It seems as though I have to log in to google calendar from my laptop to make this happen. This had lead to some inconveniences during my business day.

  • Sponge480

    My Calendar app isn't letting me log into my account! Anyone know what I can do? It just says "Can't connect to server". I have an android 4.0.3. UGH.

  • Infidel

    In ICS, in Event Details, when you go to change the date, it no longer shows you the day of the week, like it did in GB. This is an EPIC fail for me. It makes it painful EVERY time I need to change an event, and can't tell what day of the week I'm changing it to. I can't stand this regression of features on "updates" that plagues the smartphone market. iOS & Android are CONSTANTLY removing functionality in their "updates." Stop downgrading/removing random working features when you release an "updated" OS!!!! I swear, I'm so frustrated with this =(

    • CaptainEasychord

      This is easily fixed! Go to phone settings, date and time, and change the date format to include the week day. Why it's off by default is anyone's guess, very bad decision somewhere.