Even though by now there are plenty of alternatives to the standard Google calendar available on my Nexus One, I’ve stuck to it up until now. I found the other calendar apps to be too busy (if you’ll forgive the pun) or else I simply didn’t like the graphics. I see a change a’comin’ with Business Calendar Beta, though! Find out why and what this calendar had to offer in today’s test review.
|Reviewed version||Latest version|
|0.8.2.0beta||Varies with device|
Features & Use
Test device: Nexus One
Android Version: 2.2
Modifications made (change in CPU, etc.): None.
Usable as of: Android 2.0.2
Authentication processes required: Your personal details / Systems tools
Business Calendar Beta is a Google calendar app which means that every entry you make is synchronized with Google calendar and vice versa. Business Calendar Beta has monthly and daily views as well as lists and appointment views. You don’t have to exit the month view in order to see the appointments set up for a specific day: they’re displayed in a small popup window—very convenient!
You can select which Google calendar should be displayed in Business Calendar Beta, and you can switch the ones you’ve chosen on or off in the month/week layout. You can choose how many days (2 – 14) you would like to see within the week view—another useful feature.
There’s also a search function within the calendar.
The app has a widget which displays the date and your next scheduled appointment. If you prefer to consult Business Calendar Beta you can do so by clicking on the widget.
There are a lot of possible settings as far the display options go. Pick which day of the week should appear first, background colors for Sunday and “today”, if the day layout or several day layout should be shown in the month layout pop up, and which layout you want to see when you start the app up.
Business Calendar Beta is really worth checking out, even if at this stage it doesn’t sound like it has that much more to offer than the standard calendar. The convenient popup in the month layout view alone won me over. I also prefer Business Calendar Beta over the standard calendar in regards to the optics.
Screen & Controls
You have to adjust to the app’s controls on the Nexus One if you’re already familiar with the standard calendar. You can access the views via the menu button as per usual, though. If you access the monthly layout via the menu button you will only be able to see your appointment overview; the other views can be accessed from the display and month, week, and day layouts can be access via the menu button in the appointment overview.
If you’ve selected the month view you can click on a day and the appointments you have scheduled for said day will be shown in a popup. If you want to get to the week view you have to swipe your fingers across the days you’re interested in.
In order to add a new appointment press on the day until the "Add new appointment“ template appears, where you will be able to add/select calendar, title, from/until, all day, location, description, reminders, and repeat. You can also invite guests; email addresses are pulled from your directory (usually, all you have to do is enter a few letters and you can pick the address you’re looking for).
“Today” is displayed in the right margin, which means that you can see which appointments have already been scheduled in. I find this to be a super useful function, but it can also be switched off.
You can display up to 14 days in the week view. The options Display Day and New Appointment pop up when you press on a day for a while. By tracing your finger up you can access the daily view of whatever date you’re interested in. A button at the top of the display allows you to add new appointments.
Swipe your finger across the screen horizontally in order to navigate through day and weeks displays. Swiping your finger up or down displays the next month.
Press on the menu button if you want to access the settings for your calendars, should you be using several. You can select in which order they should be shown… at the bottom of the display in the month view, for e.g. You can switch your calendars on or off by pressing on them in the week and months views.
I had to adjust to the new controls (wiping your finger across specific days in order to display them in the month view, for instance), but now that I’ve gotten used to them I’m pretty impressed by them. If you’re still on the lookout for the perfect Google calendar app you should definitely check out Business Calendar Beta.
Speed & Stability
Excellent performance: Business Calendar Beta ran very smoothly throughout the testing phase.
Business Calendar Beta can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.
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