Saturday, 30 April 2011

Calmanac iPhone Calendar app review

Finally I have decided to buy Calmanac for iPhone and give it a try. Here are my impressions.

Calmanac by Ceptacle is a calendar app that simulates a desk and a wall calendar like the one you might have hanging on the wall at work. It has two basic views, the Desk Calendar and the Wall Calendar.

The Desk Calendar shows your day appointments and some extra information like the sun and moon rise and set times as well as a week summary on the right side of the screen. Sun and moon information are updated automatically based on your GPS coordinates. Neat!



This view has only portrait orientation. You can scroll through the days by moving your finger up and down on the right side of the view. Today's date is indicated by a small red clip while the selected day is identified with a black clip. Very cute. Birthdays are displayed with a small red gift icon. For multiple day events, you will see a small line going through the days that the event covers.

Another of the interesting characteristics of this app is that you can assign icons to appointment automatically. You can for instance assign a small meeting icon to all appointments that contain the text "meeting". There are some predefined strings, so you might see already some of these icons when you start up the app for the first time.



How do you access the settings and how do you change to the Wall Calendar view? Just by pressing on the right lower corner. Another way to change to the Wall Calendar view is by double tapping on the week summary area of the Desk Calendar view.




The Desk Calendar view has up two three levels of zoom where you can see up to one week in detail. It emulates a wall calendar very well, giving you a very nice four month overview. And if you turn your iphone horizontally, you can have an overview of the whole year. Double tab on any area, and it will zoom in. 





You can really get into a nice zoom detail where you can even see the names of the birthdays. Double tab again to zoom out.


And after all this explanation, here it is my opinion. I think it is a great idea but honestly, this should have been an iPad app, not an iPhone app. The Wall Calendar view in horizontal is almost impossible to read on the iPhone 4 screen. However this would be great on an iPad screen.

Another annoying issue is the event creation. You click and hold on the screen to add or edit an event, but I have noticed during my tests that events are created too often by mistake, to the point of becoming really an issue.

Also I have noticed some speed issues, although I would consider it normal due to the amount of data that the app is handling.

And one bug that I hope it is corrected: whenever there are two birthdays in one day, it overlaps the names making it unreadable.

All and all, I like the app but I find it difficult to use on my iPhone. I hope the developers polish this first version and they release soon an update. I will wait for an universal update for iPad.

If you want to buy the app, visit this iTunes store link.

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