For all its sheen, power, sophistication and adaptability, the iPhone’s core applications have been a source of annoyance for me. Safari doesn’t render pages all that quickly, the SMS app doesn’t allow group messaging or show photos for contacts (something that biteSMS does quite nicely) and the calculator app lacks simple functions like a tip calculator for restaurant visits.
But none of the native iPhone apps irk me more than the Calendar. I can get by with slow page renders and finding another app for tip calculation. But I don’t understand why Apple hasn’t made any significant improvements to the Calendar app over the last couple releases of iOS, or even in an App Store Update.
So here’s my list of beefs with the Calendar app, simultaneously acting as a list of feature requests for future versions.
1. Locations should be links to the Maps app. If I enter a location into an event in Calendar, I should be able to click that location in the event details and have it pulled up in the Maps app. So many other apps do this: Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook Places – need I go on? It makes no sense that this feature doesn’t exist.
2. Default Alerts. Not all events are the same, I get that. I may not need to be notified an hour in advance to call someone back, or to get groceries on my way home from work. But what gets my goat is that nowhere in the Calendar app or the Settings app on the iPhone is there a place to set the default amount of time in advance to alert me that there’s an upcoming event in my calendar. This means that if I’m quickly entering a meeting in my calendar, and I forget to set an alert, I’ll never be notified in advance of it happening. How is that functional?
3. No Weekly View (and no landscape view). One of the things I like about Google Calendar (and Outlook, although trust me, there are few things I like about Outlook) is that it shows me my week at a glance – I can see the work week ahead and map my time accordingly. When I go to my phone, there’s no such option, and it would be so simple to implement – just turn your phone to landscape orientation to see the weekly view. I prefer typing in landscape as well, and the Calendar app denies me that convenience.
So, there you have it. I know it’s not a long list, but I do think there could be some serious improvements made to the Calendar app. Come on, Apple – don’t let this become one of those situations like Microsoft has with Internet Explorer – simultaneously the market leader and the least innovative browser out there.
What do you think should be added/changed? Leave me a comment below. And if you’re looking for alternatives to the iPhone Calendar app, here’s a great list.