Have you ever wondered what the best calendar app for the iPhone was? Calendar apps for iPhone are a tough thing to offer advice about because different people use them in different ways. Some people are busier than others (meeting-wise), and others use their calendar as a to-do system (personally I question your sanity if you are this way). All of the primary calendar apps I tried are great but might not fit how you use a calendar app.
When using third-party iOS apps, it’s straightforward to try new ones because they request access to your calendar data using Apple’s APIs (so it works with Exchange, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, and Outlook.com). This feature keeps you from having to set up different apps individually. Instead, I’ll explain what I like about each one, and which one I like best.
What’s the best calendar app for iPhone?
Table of contents
Apple’s Calendar App
There is a lot to like about Apple’s default calendar app for iPhone.
It shows the date icon on the home screen (something no other app can do without using a notification badge). When I’m using this app, I stay in the “List View” to scroll my upcoming events. I don’t have many events on my calendar (I tried to avoid meetings like the plague). But, I do like to get a glance at my week to know what I have coming up. It’s heavily integrated with the rest of Apple’s platform.
Apple’s app does a lot of things well. It integrates all of your calendars into a single app, provides updated travel time information (pulling the data from Apple Maps traffic data), and is easy to use. Where it could improve is in its “time to enter an appointment.” While it has added auto-complete, it should add better natural language input for quick entry. For many apps now, that is a standard feature. If you are entering many events on your iPhone, Apple’s calendar app will get tedious quickly.
When I asked people for their favorite calendar apps recommendations, Fantastical was mentioned by many people. That is with good reason as well. It’s long been a gold standard for third-party calendar apps. It’s the pioneer of the natural language input for calendar apps (unless I am missing an app that did it so well first).
Fantastical has a lot of things going for it. It’s extremely fast to add new events using its natural language input (dinner with Mom Saturday at 7 p.m. will add it). You can add in your iOS reminders, use Google Maps as your default map app (when you tap on an address), and it has a beautiful design. Fantastical also has an excellent Today widget for getting quick access to your calendar.
Fantastical for iPhone is free on the App Store, and there is a free trial of Fantastical Premium to unlock many additional features like a Mac version, subscriptions to interesting calendars, 10-day weather forecast (free version includes three days), full task support for Todoist and Google Calendar, templates, and more.
If you have a hectic schedule, Week Cal may be an app you’ll want to check out. It includes a number of different views (week, list, month, agenda, etc.). The week view is probably the most interesting one. You can see your entire view from a single screen. You can drag and drop events to new dates/times.
It lacks a natural language input, but it does have a Calendar Store. The store is an exciting add-on. You can add things like weather forecasts, famous birthdays, sports calendars, and more to your list.
From a customization standpoint, it’s probably got the most significant feature set. You can customize the icons it uses, the default new event layout, and the various colors.
If you have a lot of events on your calendar, I highly advise you to check out Week Calendar. It’s a free download, and WeekCal Pro (widgets, smart calendars, reminders integration, and more) is only $19.99 per year.
Calendars 5 reminds me a lot of Fantastical. They share a lot of similar features (natural language input, the ability to use Google Maps, and integration with Apple’s Reminders). It has a variety of views: List, Day, Week, and Month. Like I mentioned earlier, I probably prefer a list view, and Calendars 5 shows me the least amount of information compared to Apple’s app or Fantastical.
Overall, it’s a great app. It’s easy to create events, has multiple viewing options, offers plenty of customization, and much more.
Calendars 5 is $29.99 on the App Store.
You might be wondering why I am listing the Google Calendar app on an iPhone calendar app roundup. Well, it can show more than just your Google Calendar. It defaults to it, but you can quickly add any calendar that you’ve already added to your iPhone.
Google Calendars on the web has always been a first-class service. The iPhone app is no different. It contains natural language input, deep integration with your Gmail/G-Suite account, and some exciting extra features (showing a haircut theme if your appointment is a haircut, etc.).
There’s nothing I dislike about the app, but something about the design doesn’t sit well with me. Functionally, it all works, but it just feels like the design doesn’t fit in with the iPhone.
Google Calendar can be download for free on The App Store.
BusyCal is probably best known for its long-standing macOS app. There is also a companion app for iPhone, though! It contains a similar view to other apps (list, month, week, and day). You can create events using natural language. You can also add tags to events (could be helpful with project management).
Out of all the apps I tried, it reminded me of Apple’s Calendar app the most. In fact, if it were called Calendars+, that would be an appropriate name. It includes a live 10-day weather view (helpful for planning outdoor events). Like some of the other apps, it can also integrate with Apple’s Reminders app so you can have both tasks and calendars in a single app.
BusyCal for iPhone can be purchased on the App Store for $4.99.
Overall, I am torn between two apps. I find a lot to like with Apple’s default calendar app, but Fantastical also fits my needs. If you like Apple’s app for specific features, then you can probably stick with it. If you want something a little bit more, check out Fantastical. If you are a heavy meeting person, Week Calendar is one I’d recommend. In reality, I didn’t try one that I couldn’t easily use day to day. We are extremely fortunate to have so many great options.
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