Newton For IoS Gets Standalone Calendar

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Android users of the excellent Newton email app have long had a calendar built into the app, but IoS and Mac users now have a standalone calendar app.

It’s confession time. I do not like the iPhone, I find the interface and user experience unintuitive and the lack of customisation compared to Android frustrating. However, a company I do consultancy work for has given me an iPhone 6S Plus, so I have been able to do a quick test run with the new calendar from a team that gave us the best email client I have had the pleasure to use on my smartphone.

 

Little Customisation

As you would expect, the calendar is a slick affair, but there are no choices to view in another format other than agenda.  I prefer a week view so find the scrolling down to get to a date of my choice a little annoying. Okay, so there is the facility to utilise the dropdown menu from the month displayed, but that is not my way of working. Also, you have no choice of themes, not even light or dark.

Putting these minor quibbles aside, the calendar works well. Creating a new event is simple and you have the familiar options to add delegates, location etc and there is a field that enables you to add notes.  In Android I flick between Digical and Business Calendar and the users of both apps have been baying for the option to incorporate files.  It would be great if I could create an event for a meeting and add papers, minutes, agendas etc that are relevant to that event.

Why Standalone?

When I first started looking at the calendar I wondered why it was not incorporated into the mail app like it’s Android sibling. However, the explanation from Umesh Gopinath at Newton makes sense: “Even though Calendar was bolted on to the email app on Android, it was treated like a standalone app for all practical purposes. In no case we wanted to pollute the simplicity of the email section and bloat the experience.

“But it had problems. As calendar was accessible only from the navigation bar of the email app, there was no easy way to multi task with calendar while composing an email or reading one. I had to literally quit email to go to calendar and then come back to email and navigate back to whatever I was doing. It’s cumbersome, but at the same time adding it as a tab in Inbox, like other email apps, was also not solving it. After using it for some time we realised that the calendar should be a separate app that can be used in parallel with email.”

Instant Sync

If you already have the Newton email app installed on your iPhone once the calendar app is installed it syncs with your chosen calendar – it works with Gmail, Google Apps, and Exchange (EWS). This is important because if, like me, you link multiple calendars via your Google calendar, there is no time-consuming entry and validation processes to give you RSI; everything is there in seconds.

ASs I am primarily an Android user with Digical and Business Calendar as my preferred apps, I probably won’t be using this calendar on my iPhone which is primarily a contact system for my client’s members (how very retro!).  However, I will keep it on the 6S Plus to monitor its evolution and report back.

 

 

 

 

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