I approach the developers at Clean Cut Code for a review code of Cloud Calendar ($4.99) for vain and geeky reasons: I really liked the way it looked and the fact that it synced with Google Calendar. Fast forward one week and I still find it gorgeous and comparable to the built-in calendar, but I’m […]
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Review: Cloud Calendar for iPad

I approach the developers at Clean Cut Code for a review code of Cloud Calendar ($4.99) for vain and geeky reasons: I really liked the way it looked and the fact that it synced with Google Calendar. Fast forward one week and I still find it gorgeous and comparable to the built-in calendar, but I’m not on cloud nine just yet.

SYNC ON THIS

There are two major drawbacks to Cloud Calendar as far as I’m concerned, and the state of syncing is definitely one of them. As it stands now, syncing my five calendars (one personal, four shared) can take about five to ten seconds and I am unable to do anything while this process takes place.

Syncing also requires that the app be right up front, so I can’t just start a sync and let it finish in the background while I work in other apps. This is far less than ideal, given that the default calendar apps on both my iPhone and iPad can sync seamlessly over-the-air and in the background.

I asked the developers at Clean Cut Code about why they didn’t opt to simply sync with the iPad’s local calendar (which can sync with Google Sync), and they told me that there was a fundamental problem with the way that iCal stored events, and that using the local iCal calendar to sync with Google was shoehorning Apple’s system into Google’s, so they decided to play it safe and stick purely to Google’s API. This fundamental problem may well exist, but I haven’t had any major issues with Google on my iPhone over the last year.

Clean Cut Code did tell me that they would work to provide a better syncing experience by the fourth quarter of this year, but it wasn’t a guarantee.

REMIND ME

The only other major complaint I have regarding Cloud Calendar is the number of taps it takes to set a reminder. The default calendar app takes three taps to set an event reminder  (including tapping Done), whereas Cloud Calendar regularly takes six. Two to reach the alarm menu, one to select “alarm” (as opposed to an SMS or e-mail alert), one to set the reminder time, and two final taps to head back to the edit event menu. This process could and should be shortened, and would easily save two taps by allowing for a “default alarm” to be set in the app settings.  However, I’d be happy with any solution that would let me set alarms faster.

BETTER THAN APPLE

If I sound like I’m being down on Cloud Calendar, it’s really only because the app is so close to kicking a lot of ass. Cloud Calendar looks enough like the default calendar app that I was able to adjust to it instantly, but I also find it a lot better looking in each of the day, week, month, and list views. It looks much more like a tablet app, and stays far away from the strange mix of analog and digital elements that Apple used in their calendar app.

I like how bold the text, colours, and borders are within Cloud Calendar, and I find the whole app very legible, even when populated with months full of dentist appointments and dinner plans. I also really appreciate how you can tap on a date or time on the calendar to create an event right then (not possible with the built-in calendar).

Cloud Calendar also one-ups Apple in the gestures category, making it very easy to switch from day to day (horizontal swipes), or even from day view to week view (pinch to zoom out). You are also free to use it in either portrait or landscape, and there are no functional differences between the two orientations.

CONCLUSION

Cloud Calendar is a really lovely piece of software that works right out of the box, but I think it still has a little way to go in terms of completely replacing Apple’s built-in calendar.

If waiting for syncing and six-tap alarms sound like minor gripes instead of issues when it comes to scheduling your events, then I doubt you’ll regret investing $4.99 in Cloud Calendar today. However, if your personal sync and alarm demands tend to mirror my own, I would suggest holding off and seeing what the next couple of updates hold.

Cloud Calendar was provided by Clean Cut Code for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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