I’ve long been a proponent of natural language parsing in calendar apps. In 2013, it’s a genuine surprise to me when a modern calendar application doesn’t allow you to type your schedule in naturally. If I’m going to a play on Friday (which I am), I want to be able to type “Tim’s play on Friday from 7:30–9:30” in the event creation field and have the event ready to go. Calendar.app has this all wrong, and Fantastical wiped its clock clean when it debuted with natural language parsing last year.
But now there’s Fantastical 2. More than just a re-skin, it brings some great new features and enhancements to the table. At this point, though, Fantastical isn’t alone. It’s also dealing with contenders like Horizon and Calendars 5 by Readdle, both of which bring their own unique tricks to the table. Despite that, though, Fantastical isn’t just king of the calendar throne, it’s also my most-used app every day. It’s the one that manages everything for me now, and it’s an automatic must for me for anybody I know with an iPhone. Read on to find out what makes this not just a great update, but one of the best iPhone apps available and my pick for the best utility app of the year. (more…)
There’s a certain risk in taking on the review of a 1.0 todo list. Some of them are incredibly ambitious, but lack too many features to be ready for primetime. Others are simply too novel to really be understood yet, and require a lot of time to get used to and understand. Not to mention the fact that todo list reviews are terribly subjective. My personal favourite todo list on the iPhone, and the only one I’ve been using religiously apart from the built-in Reminders system, is Begin, and app that helps me focus on today’s needs and not tomorrow’s — but I know a lot of people don’t care for it.
That’s why I’m a little nervous about reviewing DashPlus, the latest geeky todo list to hit the App Store market. Based on popular blogger Patrick Rhone’s task management system, the app is something of an enigma right now — it offers a largely new method of organization that requires a little bit of retraining. In other words, there’s a learning curve. I really respect Mr. Rhone’s work and quite like his writing, so I thought I’d give it a shot to see how I’d adapt. Read on for some of my thoughts about DashPlus to find out.
Calendars 5 is the newest iteration of Readdle’s calendars app (Calendars+ being the previous version). Readdle has been a developing team I’ve long admired, as they’ve consistently produced high quality productivity, utility and business apps that get the job done, plain and simple. In September, I wrote a how-to article that features their Printer Pro app, which makes it incredibly easy to print from an iOS device to a non-AirPrint enabled printer. I should also state, for the purposes of full disclosure, that I’m a member of their beta program.
Be that as it may, I always find myself being very critical of new calendar apps, and make no exceptions with Calendars 5. The iOS 7 Calendar.app has done little to sway me in using it full-time. Fantastical 2 is a quite good, overall, but I just don’t like how the events list functions. Sunrise is my favorite calendar app, which I recently reviewed, but it lacks some key features (discussed in my review).
While it may seem like I’m attempting to boast about how I’m never satisfied with calendar apps, or that I’m just incredibly picky, I assure you that neither are the case (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). A calendar is a very important tool in most people’s lives, so when using an app for calendar management it’s important that it makes this task as easy as possible. With that in mind, let’s find out if Calendars 5 has what it takes to get the job done. (more…)
Writing app reviews is a great gig, mainly because it gives me an excuse to “audition” apps on a constant basis. I have a need to research and find new apps, or test out the latest and greatest offerings, to determine if they fill a crucial need. Because of this, most apps don’t end up spending much time on my phone, as they’re often being replaced. I’ve used over a dozen notes apps, for example, which get replaced every other week or so (I’m currently using Simplenote, which may finally bring some stability).
With that being said, I’m always pleased when I encounter an app that stands up to scrutiny and outshines the competition. I shared a similar sentiment in my recent Pocket Casts review, which is by far and away my favorite podcast management app. Now, I refer you to my favorite calendar app–Sunrise. Redesigned and refreshed for iOS 7, let’s find out how this calendar app has progressed since my initial review in April. (more…)
Let’s be honest, the stock Calendar app on the iPhone isn’t that great. If it was everything some of us made it out to be, we probably wouldn’t go searching for alternatives like Fantastical or Horizon (my preferred app). But every calendar app I tried was still missing something that seemed like an intuitive addition to me: Reminders integration.
Every calendar app except Agenda, that it is. Agenda 4.0 is a rethinking of the popular app that includes integration with Reminders and a host of other features that’s going to keep app junkies really happy. In fact, I’d wager to say most app junkies already have it. But is it for everybody? Read on to find out. (more…)
Just like pretty much every single smartphone user around the planet, the first thing I do when I wake up (after I’ve come around, of course) is check my phone. Usually, it’s an endless list of notifications: e-mails, mentions on Twitter and pointless messages from apps such as appsfire saying that some generic freemium game is now offering me a complementary bag of gold or whatever (note to self: turn these off).
But besides all these notifications, I like to get a dose of what’s happening for the day. As a Brit, I need to know what the weather will be doing (as my life is based around it) and what appointments I’ve got coming up for the day and so on. Of course, I could check my calendar app (which is currently Agenda Calendar — highly recommended), my weather app and so on, but Top of the Morning from App Distillery lets you do this all from one screen. The developers very kindly provided me with a promotional code for the purposes of this review, so let’s dive straight in and see what it’s got to offer. (more…)
As you have probably heard or experienced, having kids definitely changes your life and how you live it. Before, I had all the time in the world to go to the movies, read the books I wanted, etc. Now, those activities are few and far between, and I definitely can no longer keep up with all the new releases that come out.
Well, a few weeks ago, I got to download an app called Recall, which I was intrigued by because I thought it might help me solve this problem. With so many good things being released in a rapid pace, I don’t know how we can even keep up with everything. But, Recall aims to help us remember when that latest movie we wanted to watch comes out, or that awesome song that we want to download. (more…)
For some reason, I look forward to doing the bills each month. I am not sure why, maybe it is because of the satisfaction of seeing my debt go down each time. But there were those times that I would miss a bill, then I got a penalty for it the following month. I would absolutely hate when that happened, and so a little over a year ago, I came across Chronicle, a bill reminder app.
At the time they were only on the Mac, and I had absolutely fell in love with it, making it one of my favorite apps to use. Ever since I started using it, I’ve been wanting the developers to come up with one for the iPhone. The time has finally come for it to come to fruition, and I got an email the other day from the developer who generously gave me a promo code to check it out. I was excited to take it for a spin and to see how it compared to the Mac app. (more…)
There are several iPhone apps that feature location-based reminders, but most are either overly complicated or underpowered. The native Reminders app is one such example of location-based reminders implemented poorly. The functionality is there, but it’s buried and difficult to access.
Checkmark, by Snowman is based on a simple premise: “Reminders when and where you want them.” The app puts location-based reminders at the forefront, instead of burying them behind settings and preferences. Is there a place for Checkmark somewhere between the complex apps like Omnifocus and basic apps like Clear? Can it hold up against the free Reminders app? (more…)
Many of you may know that when the iPhone was originally released users only had first-party apps to rely on. Then came the release of the iPhone 3G and the App Store. Over time, many third-party apps have come along that have bested first-party iOS apps, so much so that users have thrown those first-party apps into a folder to never be used.
A good example of this occurrence would be Evernote, which goes far and beyond Notes’ capabilities. Additionally, Reminders, Calendar, Voice Memos, Stocks and Weather have third-party competitors that some users find better to use. But one app that I’ve never been able to find a possible replacement for is Clock — that is, until I discovered Timegg. (more…)