Thursday, 11 February 2016

Windows 10 System Apps Review: Calendar

Note: This page is a review which forms part of the post Windows 10 System Apps Review

What’s this app for?

Well, as one would expect, this is the app for organising your life and keeping abreast of what’s going on throughout the weeks and months of each year. You can of course sync in existing 3rd party calendars from other accounts, such as, gmail or your corporate account. The usual Add, edit and delete of events (as Microsoft calls them) are there, as well as several ways to view your calendars combined/separately, or in a week/day or month view so you can get a good glance at what it is you want to know … in theory anyway.

Does it do the job it was primarily designed for?

It does the basics, let’s just say that. To me, the calendar app is like getting an A5 calendar for Christmas when you really wanted an A4. It feels squashed and somewhat like it’s been through the washing machine a few times, due to its inability to clearly show anything in any truly helpful manner.

Lets start with what it does do respectably, adding events. As you can see below, the essentials are there in terms of the event name and the people you might invite, as well as the start/end dates/times. You can also choose which calendar to add it to, set reoccurrences, reminders, privacy and availability. Yes, it could be more sophisticated but for the majority of people this is really all one needs in terms of complexity.

Even creating events by clicking on a point on the calendar is simple. Initially you get the basic new event window before you can bring up the previous extra details window:

Deleting events already on the calendar is pretty simply with a right click, where you can also change availability.

This is all pretty basic, reasonably intuitive and acceptable.

Where the app fails, is on the visuals of the various calendar views. It’s either not very pretty, or it’s simply various levels of non-clarity when you’re trying to work out what is what, and when. The month view (see below) isn’t too bad:

But click on day, week or work week and blimey, it’s hard to work out. And the more calendars you add to the view, the harder it gets. Events are chopped out of view.

What’s the alternative?

Hopefully one has Microsoft Office Outlook installed or maybe Windows Live Mail which provide better and clearer calendars for my eyes. Even’s or Google Calendar webpages are better. For me though, the best method for viewing my calendars comes on my android phone.

Hit, Miss, or Maybe?

Maybe; it won’t be for everyone, but I have to admit that the basics and fundamentals of a calendar app are there. It’s just a shame that it’s visually unpleasant and obstructive, although that may not bother some.

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