17
Oct
unnamed

Any-do has been one of the premiere to-do managers on Android since its debut, and now the same developers are building an alternative to Google Calendar for Android. Google has done a lot to make Calendar a better app as Android has evolved, but maybe there is room for some innovation in this space. Cal plugs into your existing calendar accounts seamlessly and presents your appointments in really slick interface with easy-to-access options. Let's take a closer look at the beta.

How It Works

Upon opening Cal, you will be shown your current day's agenda with a single-week calendar above that. You can tap on any day in that strip to jump to it, or swipe left and right to navigate through the days. There's a smooth sliding animation as your appointments shrink away and the next day slides into place. You'll probably also notice that Cal pulls up a different background image for each day. The themes of the pics can be altered in the settings, but other than the super-intense model I keep seeing glaring at me, none of them are objectionable.

2013-10-17 19.16.44 2013-10-17 19.37.10

The other way to get around is to swipe down on any screen to expand that single-week strip into a full month view. The current day is still highlighted and the agenda is below, but you might have to scroll down to see it all. You can swipe left and right on the full calendar to change the month or just tap on a day.  

Adding an event is done with the 'plus' button at the top of the screen. All the functions you expect to have in a calendar app are there including time, reminders, guests, and locations. The app sees all your synced accounts on the device and lets you select the one you want to make the event under. All that data syncs – in the proper format no less – to your Google account.

2013-10-17 19.17.49 2013-10-17 19.19.30 2013-10-17 19.36.51

Event reminders in Cal have an interesting twist. You get an icon in the notification pane, but a small panel also slides up from the bottom of the screen with your event details. This can be dismissed, or you can tap it to open Cal. It's a little more in your face, but it looks very nice and polished.

But Does It Work?

I was expecting that I'd need to do some setup with Cal the first time I opened it. Instead, it just grabbed the calendar data associated with my Google account and we were done. You can still go into the settings and turn off unwanted calendars, but it's totally painless to switch to Cal. All the data I've entered through Cal has shown up in my Google account without issue too (even responding to invitations).

2013-10-17 18.24.20 2013-10-17 14.28.24 2013-10-17 14.29.56

The left and right swiping animations to move between days and months is super-smooth and kind of fun to just mess around with. This is true of most of the animations in Cal. Making a new appointment, editing events, and even deleting things all have a cool, yet understated effect. I find myself wanting to open Cal because it just looks neat. There are a few spots of lag (as tested on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 4) when expanding the full month view and tapping on it to move multiple days at a time. I'm also not sold on that overflow menu button floating down there by itself. A real action bar of some sort would look more Android-y. But this is beta, so that sort of stuff is to be expected.

2013-10-17 19.50.13 2013-10-17 19.20.31 2013-10-17 19.55.03

The way events are displayed in Cal is really awesome – I hesitate to call it card-based, but it kind of is. You get the basic info at the top, then guests, a location, and notes below that. There's even a handy navigation shortcut and map in the location card (if you have one attached). The other functions for adding guests, reminders, deleting the event, and so on are accessible from big, finger-friendly buttons below that.  

There's also a scrollable widget that is done in the same clean white style as the app itself. It fits in well with most themes, and does pretty much what you'd expect a widget to do. However, I had to restart my device to get it to show up.

2013-10-17 19.18.12 2013-10-17 20.01.17

Any.do is an extremely polished app, and I have no doubt Cal is going to be the same when it's done. Even now as a brand new Android beta, there are only a few very minor issues. If you want in, you'll have to join the Any.do Google Group, then join the beta through Google Play. It only takes a minute, but Cal is free to download.

Note: The link below won't work if you're not in the beta.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Seth Simmons

    Not sure if it's just me, but the app is unuseably laggy on my LG G2. Anyone else having this issue?

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Works fine on my Exynos Note 3 and Nexus 4. Could be an LG or S800-issue or something?

      • Seth Simmons

        Could be. I'm reinstalling and clearing data just to be sure. I can open the app, but then it basically freezes and I can't swipe around or access settings.

        • Abhijeet Mishra

          I have an issue that it doesn't scroll through the date and time when I'm setting a reminder. The scroll button on right edge goes up and down, but time/date doesn't change. This is on the Note 3, so it could be that only limited devices are properly working right now.

    • Andrew

      Strange, because I'm on a 2 year old Galaxy Nexus and the app isn't that laggy for me.

  • Grimmjow

    That Google community is moderated.

    • Jellyface86

      Yes keep on waiting buddy

    • RyanWhitwam

      I joined without issue last night. Apparently they wanted to put the brakes on it for a bit.

    • MSpatRN

      i joined last night 10/17 without issues.

  • Serra Behymer

    Play link not working for me.

    • Nathan Borup

      Note: The link below won't work if you're not in the beta.

    • Imparus

      Note: The link below won't work if you're not in the beta.

  • Sven Andresen

    on some phones it is working painless, then again on others there is many problems (exchange problems, freezes, not widgets and so on). So I hope it will get as good as any.do.

  • Jellyface86

    Why the heck are u posting this if it doesn't work Mr android police? Error 404 a whole day. Besides I sent a million messages to the moderators to accept my request to join the Google plus page and still waiting... Very sloppy in answering

    • my95z34

      Stop being an impatient twat.

      • Jellyface86

        It's not about be patient! At least respond

        • Bluewall

          You just need to join the beta community on G+

          • Jellyface86

            Well it's a moderated group. I've been waiting all day to be accepted

          • Brandon Davis

            I tried to join first thing this morning... Still waiting to be accepted...ugh.

          • Pengwn

            So wait until you get accepted. You've been able to manage your life up to this point. I can see you being able to wait one more day while a moderator is able to get to your request at their convenience.

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            A whole day of your precious time, Mylord?
            That's a terrible shame!

  • miri

    It's a pretty slick app, though it's a bit lacking in features at the moment and inputting events it's incredibly slow compared to Google Calendar.

  • wickets

    thanks for the good details written about the app......the task part any.do syncs nicely too

  • http://thomashunsaker.com Thomas Hunsaker

    The notification surprised me (in a good way) this morning. Nice semi-obtrusive popup, but easily dismissed.

    I've been having issues with it showing me random calendars, and duplicating them. I DO have 3 google accounts setup, so maybe that is the reason for the confusion. Otherwise the app looks great, and is smooth (on my GS3), it'll take a few days for me to really get a feel for the app.

    • MSpatRN

      I've found the same issue with in setting up the calendars to "view". Calendars repeating, showing up multiple times. Otherwise it's a beautiful app on my GS3 android 4.1.2.

  • Bleakvision

    A crafty app no doubt. But too much going on for my taste.

  • devoncatt

    How do you get the beta if the link doesn't work?

    • Benjamin Pavel

      Please read the instructions at the end of this Article for christ sake!

  • Sahil Chaturvedi

    There's an error for the beta link!

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    one thing missing from the app is agenda view. That is - showing all agendas in a single (scrollable) list. I want to see want things I have upcoming. I don't want keep tapping dates on the month view to do that. maybe in the next version?

  • Manohar Viswanatha

    finally landed , joined the community but waiting for approval

  • RitishOemraw

    I hope the official calendar widget is updated in KitKat....otherwise I might switch to this isntead...this looks nice

  • Cerberus_tm

    Serious question, don't you want see a full month *with the names of appointments visible* in a calendar app? That is what I always require from a calendar app, but it seems this one only shows you one day at a time, or agenda view, or a week/month but without appointments? How can you easily tell on which day of the month you are still free to make an appointment?

  • jibust

    I have already wainted 15 minutes for my request to be approved. This is an outrage!!!!!

    ;)

    • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

      I've been waiting about 9 hours (as of this writing).

      • Sammo H

        24hrs now...

        • Andrés

          4 Days

          • jibust

            I actually stopped waiting, cancelled my request and moved to wunderlist. Interface is beautiful, and I don't have problems with duplicated or dissapeared tasks like I had in any.do.

            I just hope that theyre Google+ page is not an indication of what can be expected on support.

          • Andrés

            20 days and nothing.

  • Jakub Zomerfeld

    LInk for PlayStore doesn't work and either on any.do programist website only app for Iphone is available ;) we have to w8 ;]

    • someone755

      The app is in Beta, so you have to be signed up to view and install it.

  • someone755

    More and more beta apps... This sucks, where are the old days when even if the app wasn't stable at all, it would be published normally?

  • Vinay N S

    Can't someone just back it up using es file explorer and post the link to the apk ???

    • m197

      +1, Someone with it please do this!

  • Blackhex

    Ok so it's been at leas 3/4 days since I requested to join their g+ community but no response! I've even emailed them requesting to join the beta. Nothing. Should I be offended?

    • Eduardo

      I am

  • didibus

    Any.do is really cool, but the app needs a bit of tweaking and a UI refresh. They also should implement a bit more features. Cal looks nice, but I wish they refined Any.do a bit more before moving to something new.

  • rod_z

    Ryan, what's the name of that widget in "nexusae0_2013-10-17-19.36.51" picture? It's gorgeous. I've noticed that you are using Aviate as your launcher as well. That widget matches it perfectly.

  • Jarrod

    I sent an add request over a week ago and still haven't got in.

  • Kevin W. M.

    Am still awaiting my request and it's been a few days :'(

  • Mr Canada
  • Mr Canada