In this video, I'll tell you why you should ditch the innate Calendar app on the iPhone and use the Google Calendar app.
Sorry about the dead time between 0:17-0:26 in this video -- I couldn't figure out how to remove it without losing the video identifier. Thankfully -- it's only 9 second long . . .
**** A truncated transcript follows. A full transcript can be found at www.marblejar.net. ****
Hi, everyone! This is Lara Hammock from the Marble Jar channel and in today's video I'll tell you why you should ditch the innate Calendar app on the iPhone and use the Google Calendar app.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to stress test the Google Calendar app for iPhone and iPad and temporarily ditch the innate iOS Calendar app that I had been using for nearly a decade. Okay -- admittedly this was a pretty low risk proposition on my part: I already use Google Calendar to sync with my iOS calendar, so i didn't need to migrate data or manage parallel systems during this test. I could cut over immediately with no import or really any work at all. AND I could revert back to the old system at any time without any loss of data.
I had tried the Google Calendar app at times in the past, but I have some picky requirements that I am not willing to compromise on, so the app never totally met my needs. I guess they have done some development, since I'm now using it full time with no plans to go back!
Here are the reasons I like the Google Calendar app over the iOS calendar app.
Google Maps - honestly, this was the biggest driver in getting me to convert to a different app. I use Google Maps for driving navigation. It is SO much better than the iPhone's Map app. I won't get into all of the reasons here, but for me, there is really no comparison at all. I almost always put in a location for my calendar events. Using the iOS Calendar, if I click on the address, it automatically opens the location in Maps. No thank you, but there is no way to change the default map app. So, I need to copy the address, open Google Maps and paste it in (and sometimes even search for it) to get it to navigate. This isn't a huge deal, but after doing this hundreds of times, I really like the idea of hitting the address and having it do all of that automatically. The Google Calendar app lets you choose a default Maps program if you are one of the 3 people on earth who prefer iOS Maps. Go into More, then Settings, then Apps from Google. You can also choose a default browser and email app.
Views - one of the reasons I've never switched over in the past is that I strongly prefer weekly view -- particularly on the iPad. I tolerate the daily view on the iPhone since when you turn the phone landscape you can see several days together. Granted, I find this a little disorienting, being plopped in the middle of the week -- in the end I still really prefer weekly view. So, how exciting that you can do a 3-day view on the Google Calendar iPhone app AND when you turn it to landscape, you get WEEKLY view! You can actually also just choose weekly view for portrait, but that is awkwardly skinny even for me. Some people really like the schedule view also. Suffice it to say there are enough options for most people to be happy.
Prettier - okay -- this seems silly and unimportant, and it wouldn't ever be my main decision-making criterion, but all others things being equal, wouldn't you rather have the app that is nicer to look at? First of all, it is much brighter and more vivid than the iOS Calendar app. Here they are side by side. Second of all, for the iPad app, if you turn on Show Background Illustrations, it grabs these whimsical, colorful drawings as the background heading for each month. Let me put this in month view and show you some of the illustrations. And lastly on this prettier point, the Google Calendar app sometimes grabs either keywords from your event or the event's location and then matches them with a photo to jazz up some of your appointments. Like here are a couple of location examples where Google Calendar grabs an image from the Internet and make them the background: Concert at Wolffrap, The Women's Center where I volunteer or Coastal Flats where I'm having lunch with a friend. And here are a couple of examples of keywords: first day of school, lunch with friends, and tennis practice. Cute, huh? Admit it -- you use your boring calendar quite a bit, it's fun to have some visual surprises.
Conversational Scheduling - I really like the Quick Add feature in the browser edition of Google Calendar. It lets you write kind of a stream of consciousness phrase like "coffee with Ann on Friday at 3pm" and attempts to parse it into the appropriate appointment fields. Not always with perfect success. The Google Calendar app has incorporated this functionality, but it is still pretty clunky. . . .