Calendar Apps
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Windows Phone apps that help you keep up with your calendar events

Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Calendar Apps

While the native Windows Phone calendar app has it's usefulness, it can be a little lacking with regards to features. A little on the vanilla side if you will.

Luckily there are some nice third party options in the Windows Phone Store that can provide a little more functionality and features to your Windows Phone calendar. Apps that will help you keep track of where you need to be and when you need to be there.  And that's the focus of this week's roundup... calendar alternatives.

We picked three of the more popular calendar apps in the Store that offers you an alternative to the native calendar app on your Windows Phone. If we missed your favorite calendar app, there's no conspiracy afoot just went with these three based on their popularity. Feel free to sound off below in the comments with your pick for a Windows Phone calendar app.

Simple Calendar

Simple Calendar (free/in-app upgrades): Simple Calendar has been around for some time now and is a very popular calendar alternative that gives you... well... a simple view of your appointments and events.  The app has a very robust Live Tile and lockscreen support, plenty of settings to help the app fit your needs better and is just a sharp looking app.  Between functionality and appearance, Simple Calendar should make everyone's short list for calendar apps.  

Once you launch Simple Calendar the app automatically taps into your existing Windows Phone calendars eliminating the need to spend time setting up the connection. The main view for Simple Calendar is a monthly calendar view that lists your daily appointments below. Basically creating a monthly and daily view on the screen. In tapping on a specific appointment, you can pull up more details on that appointment.

Simple Calendar
Simple Calendar Main View, Menu, Navigation Menu, and Appointment Display

Simple Calendar utilizes the native Windows Phone calendar screens to add an appointment. However, while you can add an appointment to your calendar through Simple Calendar you'll need to go into the native calendar app to edit or delete it (OS restriction).

There isn't a weekly, daily or year view for Simple Calendar. I can live without a yearly view and with your daily appointments listed below the monthly calendar, there really isn't a need for the daily view. However, a week view wouldn't be too bad or the ability to zoom into the monthly calendar. The fonts can be awfully tough to read if your trying to plan ahead at a glance.

The calendar view mimics your Windows Phone Theme's background color. If you have a black background for your theme... the backdrop for Simple Calendar will be black. Choose a white background and you get a white backdrop.

Up under the three-dot menu you'll find hidden button controls to go to today's date, add an appointment and access Simple Calendar's settings. You also have links to the app's Live Tile settings, in-app purchases, a help section and the customary about screen.  As far as in-app purchases are concerned, you can purchase additional Live Tile designs and remove the ads.

Simple Calendar
Simple Calendar Settings Pages

Simple Calendar's settings cover a lot of ground and include:

Month Options: Here you will find general options that pertain to navigation and what's displayed.

Options to hide private appointments, double tap to add an appointment, tap/hold the calendar to jump to today's date, display the week numbers on the calendar, Fade past appointments, display "No Appointments" image when applicable beneath the calendar, display a background image (a calendar watermark of sorts) and choose with day the week starts on.

Calendars: Here's where you can turn on/off the calendars your Windows Phone links with and choose a custom color for that calendar.

Simple Calendar
Simple Calendar Live Tile Options

Tiles: Simple Calendar's Live Tiles are definitely one of the strongest selling points of the app. They are really clean looking tiles that give your Start Screen a boost in appearance.  In addition to looking great, the tiles provide a nice windows to see what's on your daily schedule at a glance.

All three tile sizes can be customized with up to four styles (two come with the free version, two available for in-app purchase). You have Basic, Colorless with the free version and Gob and Frodo styles that can be purchased in-app.  Each style has options that include choosing how many days of appointments to display and a few appearance options (background image, color, etc.).

Lockscreen: Lockscreen support includes options for choosing your wallpaper image, setting the transparency of the display, the number of appointments to display, the number of days displayed, to use the accent color, show the last updated time and whether or not you want to display all day appointments.

Simple Calendar has a simple, clean appearance that makes it easy to stay up on your pending appointments. While you can add appointments to your calendar through Simple Calendar, it would be nice if you could edit/delete appointments as well. Understandably this limitation is not exclusive to Simple Calendar and an issue with OS limitations that can't be avoided.

If you're looking for a simple way to keep up with your appointments, it's hard to overlook Simple Calendar. I do wish the calendar view could be dialed down just a little (two-week view maybe?) to avoid tapping on every date to see what your extended schedule looks like (or maybe a larger font to help those of us with aging eyes).

All totaled, Simple Calendar is a popular Windows Phone calendar app well worth trying. The base app is a freebie with ad-support kicking in after seven days. You can purchase the additional Live Tile themes and get rid of the ads through in-app purchases.

Simple Calendar is available for Windows Phone 8 devices and you can pick it up here in the Windows Phone Store.

Simple Calendar Updated Screens
Simple Calendar General Settings and Live Tile Settings

Quick update: Simple Calendar was updated yesterday to version 2.6 to address a few bugs that included a few bugs associated with the Live Tile.  The update also makes the option to hide private appointment universal.  In the process you have a new settings page, General, that let's you hide private appointments and a new Live Tile settings page where you'll need to choose you Live Tile size.  In identifying the size, the app will only attempt to update that tile size.  You still have all the customization options, you just have to specify which tile size you'll be using.

Chronos Calendar

Chronos Calendar (trial/$1.99): Chronos Calendar is a well received calendar app for both Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. The calendar app has Live Tile support, built-in holidays and language support for over 50 cultures and Countries. Chronos Calendar does lack lockscreen support.

Chronos Calendar's design is simple and fairly straight forward though navigation takes a little time to get the hang of. Chronos also has the ability to get around the Windows Phone OS restrictions by directly syncing with various calendar servers (google.com, outlook.com, etc).

Chronos Calendar views
Chronos Calendar Main Page Views

The main page has two view options, a split screen with a day view up top and monthly view down below or a scrolling daily view that spans about seven days viewable at once. A control panel sits at the bottom of the screen with controls to toggle the view (the checkerboard button), navigation/sync options (the center button) and access your settings (right button with the equalizer icon).

Chronos Appointment Entry
Chronos Calendar Appointment Entry

The center button options include jumping to today, reset any filters in place, add an appointment and sync your calendars. You can also add an appointment by tapping on the day view.  If you are syncing to calendar services (outlook.com, google.com, etc) Chronos has a proprietary appointment entry.  If you are tapping into the internal calendar, you will use the native Windows Phone calendar entry screens.

Settings cover general options and your calendar options. They break down as follows.

Chronos Calendar General Settings
Chronos Calendar General Settings

Live Tile options that include activating the Live Tile, selecting the background image, update frequency, various font sizes and colors and four layout styles.

GoTo is a navigation option to go to today, the beginning of the previous year, beginning of this year, or the beginning of next year.

Holidays and Special Days is your filter settings to display holidays, National days, special days or other events. The event/holiday will be displayed in the upper right corner of the daily calendar view.

The remainder of the General Options cover additional filters for events, text search and first/last day of the week, month or year.

Chronos Calendar Calendar Settings
Chronos Calendar's Calendar Settings

The Calendar Options deal with culture settings that will set the holidays and events for your Country of choice. General options let you choose what details for appointments are displayed and options to always create an appointment with the Windows Phone calendar. Set-up screens for syncing with your Windows Phone calendars (internal) or syncing with your Microsoft or Google accounts (in the cloud).

If you sync with your internal calendars, you can only view and add appointments to your Chronos Calendar. If you sync with external Google or Microsoft calendars you can view, add, and edit appointments. You just have to remember to sync with these accounts to have the edits/changes put into effect.

Chronos Calendar isn't a bad alternative to the native Windows Phone calendar. The layout is simple and straight forward, the Live Tile customizable to meet your needs, and the ability to sync between calendar accounts to add/delete/edit appointments can come in handy. If you prefer to stay internal with your appointments, you can do that as well but lose the ability to delete/edit your appointments.

Chronos does lack lockscreen support but that may not be a deal breaker for you. I wouldn't mind seeing a few color options for the calendar views but otherwise Chronos is a pretty solid app.

There is a free trial version available to let you give Chronos Calendar a test drive with the full version running $1.99. It is available for both Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices and you can pick up your copy of Chronos Calendar here in the Windows Phone Store.

Super Calendar

Super Calendar (trial/$1.99): Super Calendar throws just about everything a calendar can handle on to your Windows Phone. From Live Tile and lockscreen support to audible appointment details, Super Calendar is riddled with features but navigation can take a little frustrating at times (mainly with settings).

Super Calendar is available for Windows Phone 8 devices only and automatically taps into your native Windows Phone calendar. As with other third party calendar apps, Super Calendar is limited to viewing and adding appointments to your calendar.  Adding an appointment/event to the calendar utilizes the native Windows Phone calendar entry screen.

Super Calendar Main Views
Super Calendar Main Page Views

Super Calendar has four calendar views from the main page of the app. You have a year, month, week and day view (you can go into the settings and pick one as your default view).

The day view has the date/time displayed in the upper left corner, a monthly calendar in the right corner and your daily schedule listed across the bottom half of the screen.

The weekly view has a monthly thumbnail in the upper left corner and then a seven day view scattered across the rest of the screen. With the monthly view if you tap on a date, any appointments for that date will appear at the bottom of the screen.

The year view doesn't display a yearly calendar but rather a scrollable list of all you appointments for the year. You can search your appointments by keyword or jump to a particular month with the tabs that line the bottom of the screen.

In tapping on an existing appointment Super Calendar will display a more detailed account of that event. At the bottom of the appointment view you'll see two control buttons. One to pin the appointment to your Start Screen, the other to launch an audible reading of the appointment.

At the bottom of the calendar pages you'll find four control buttons to navigate forward and backwards between the months and days, to add an appointment, and to refresh the calendar.  Up under the three-dot menu you will find options to return to this month/day/year (dependent on which view you are on), jump to the help section, access the Live Tile and lockscreen settings, access Super Calendar's settings, pin a stand alone day/week/month/year view to your Start Screen and close the app.

Super Calendar Settings
Super Calendar Settings

Settings span four general areas. You have main, account, filter and background settings. They break down as follows.

Main: These options cover Super Calendar's display choices and cover your default view, monthly view styles, week view styles, start day for your calendar, font size, and turning on/off date watermarks. The downside to this settings page is that you don't have a preview of your display options.

This can be a little frustrating and means a lot of back and forth to find the view that fits your needs just right.

Accounts: Here is where you can turn on/off any accounts your native Windows Phone calendar taps into. Naturally if you turn off a calendar, those appointments won't be displayed. You also have seven theme choices to assign a color to each account. Shared accounts will appear under one account and you won't be able to assign separate colors.

Filter: This gives you the option to filter out birthdays, private appointments, or appointments by keyword.

Background: To further customize Super Calendar's appearance you can add a customized background image from your Pictures Hub. To prevent the image from being overwhelming, you can set the brightness of the image as well.

Super Calendar Live Tile
Super Calendar Live Tile Settings

Super Calendar's Live Tile and lockscreen settings are covered under another settings menu. Super Calendar has nine Live Tile styles that range from text only to a few that resemble a lot like Simple Calendar's tile styles.

Along with the overall style choices you can set the number of appointments that appears on the tile, show past events for the day, turn on the back side of the tile for more events, set the text size and color, choose a background image, and turn on/off the display for update times and week numbers.

Super Calendar's lockscreen support is a little on the lacking side with only one default style that shows upcoming appointments for, what appears to be, the current week.

Super Calendar isn't a bad option to consider and while the calendar views are easy to navigate around, the settings user interface could use a little fine tuning. I like the calendar view options but you really need a way to preview the choices without going back/forth between the view and settings screens.  While the developers have been active in updating Super Calendar to add more features and styles, I wish they would have been more creative with the Live Tile styles. The latest update did add a few styles but they are strikingly similar to what we see with Simple Calendar's Live Tiles.

I do like the multiple calendar views and the audible appointment detail feature can come in handy. I also have to give kudos to the developer for adding settings for the font size. As someone who's eye sight isn't what it used to be, the larger fonts is very helpful.  While I see room for improvement, as is, Super Calendar is a feature rich calendar option worth considering.

There is a seven day trial version available for Super Calendar with the full version running $1.99. Super Calendar is available for Windows Phone 8 and you can pick it up here in the Windows Phone Store.

Which is the best?

As with most of our roundups, finding the best of the bunch isn't as easy as it sounds. The best choice often boils down to personal preference and needs.

I will say that Simple Calendar's simplistic approach and Live Tiles can be very appealing for those wanting to keep up with their appointments at a glance.

Chronos Calendar has the advantage of being able to add/edit/delete appointments through the online synchronization. The user interface isn't the smoothest but with a little use, it grows on you.

Super Calendar could be considered the heavy weight choice of the three with it's multiple calendar views, audible appointment details, and display settings. But the user interface, particularly with the settings, isn't the greatest.

All three have appeal and are worth trying. Personally, I use my Windows Phone more so to see where I need to be next and my computer for managing my appointments.  For that reason, the simplicity of Simple Calendar appeals to me the most.  But let me hop back on the fence and say that none of the three options in this week's roundup are back choices.

Your needs may differ and there are plenty more calendar options available in the Windows Phone Store.  If you have a fancy for one of the apps in this week's roundup or if you prefer another alternative to the native Windows Phone calendar, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Reader comments

Windows Phone apps that help you keep up with your calendar events

75 Comments

Is there a 3rd party calendar that handles multiple email calendars as well as rooms and Facebook events and also allows you to edit from the app while it syncs to the email servers?

Well I'm very disappointed as I thought True Calendar 8 would be my solution but I have multiple outlook.com accounts and this app will only sign into one of them. It looks like stock calendar it is...

Chronos Calendar is by far my favourite. I've completely replaced the native calendar with it.
Also, a major update is coming so we may see lock screen capabilities.

I like Chronos as well.  Though Super Calendar 8 looks pretty good. But, only Chronos lets you put appointments on one side of the tile and all-day events on the other...so I always know what meeting is where and when AND I know whose birthday it is too.  With all the others, you have to choose between the two given the limited verticle size of the tile.

Chronos for me too.  Sure the other offer a better UI (at first) and more configurable tile, but they're only shells. The big, big, win is Chronos's ability to sync directly to MS or Google account.  Exchange would be nice.  The direct syncing gets around the crazy limitations of the built-in app. e.g., not being able to look back beyond two weeks, lack of editing, etc.
By the way, great comparison article.
 

As long as MSFT is restricting the editing of appointments those good looking apps aren't usefull to me.
I hope the WP Blue  Calendar app gets a major bump or MSFT is giving up his OS restrictions .

Yeah, im hoping for some major calendar improvements as well.  One of the few things I do miss about iOS was how good the calendar app was in comparison to WP's.

That's what I really miss about BlackBerry as well. Say what you will about BlackBerry but their calendar and email was the best.

Not for Exchange accounts. MS has crippled that, making all these Apps limited in their usefulness for anyone interested in their work calendar.
Its typical Microsloth thinking. So afraid of annoying the Office Team at Headquarters by making them come up with a robust API that they failed to realize they were cutting themselves off from what their Customers want. Because they can't shake the Corporate view that their Customers are corporate IT Managers, and not Consumers. They have got to shake this idea out of their heads and re-orient their priorities. The Calendar situation on WinPhone is pathetic, still lagging behind Windows Mobile and no where near as good as the Competition.

God, I wish MS would come with a new calendar. It sucks so hugely, there are no words to describe it. That agenda list has such bad typography, it's so damn confusing. The times have a bigger font than the days, how on earth can one design such a thing. All confusing as hell, and I don't want to use 3rd party calendar.

I have never understood why the stock calendar's tile isn't live.  Shouldn't it flip to show all day events?
Be nice to have an option to show several appointments at a time - there's more than enough room if you're using the wide tile.
I'd be happy with the stock calendar if it at least did these two things.

That wouldn't be a problem if both WP Central and the app description in the store would disclose the in-app purchase prices for all features available. Basically you need to download the app to find out what's what.
 

  • Suggestion for WP Central: when reviewing apps that offer "in-app upgrades" please specify an "as reviewed price".
  • Suggestion for developer: list prices on your app description.

 
IMO, Simple Calendar has the lowest ratio functionality / hype. For the past few weeks I tried all calendar apps mentioned on WP Central, one at a time for as long as the trial permitted. From those mentioned in this article, Chronos was the only one to make it to my short list.
 
Anyway, it's all personal preference and needs.
 
 

I paid for the Frodo and it was no big deal i gave the ads but I've tuned them out they don't bother me at all.

Simple Calender is awful. Dosent work with hotmail and gmail calendar. I always get <private appointment> when i try to sync with both service.

That private appointment thing was an issue but that has been updated two updates ago. Try it again and see if those issues still exist.

I'll check out True Calendar  8 then. I really want a calendar that gives a very readable monthly view. The other calendars had some changes, but you still had to kinda squint to make out the entries in the monthly view (Lumia 920). My Galaxy S3's stock calendar is very, very readable in Monthly view. 

After trying (and buying) all of the available calendar apps to date, I've settled on Week View 8.
It may not have the sexiest live tile, but it gets what I need done.  It can create, edit and delete appointments as well.

Yep. I've spent a pretty penny trying out all these apps and still, Week View 8 is hands down the winner in my book. I do like simple calendars live tile but functionality wise, Week View 8 is the way to go.

True calendar 8 is my choice. Surprised they didn't include it in the write up. Gives you multiple different ways to view you calendar. Most important to me is it syncs to all the different calendars that the native calendar does. This includes FACEBOOK. (exchange is coming later). I have tried all of the calendar programs discussed in the article and keep coming back to true calendar 8

Used all three. Right now sticking with Super Calendar. Most feature packed and great dev support.
Honorable mention: Week View 8

Super Calendar for me. I've tried the others, but find SC fits my needs better. I do agree with the awkward settings and hope the developer will work out those kinks in future updates.

My choice is Iconical. I like it because it allows me to filter out appointments, such as for doctors, and put them on separate live tiles, each having its own colour. 

You can't run Lync meeting from other 3rd party calendars. Otherwise they are better on the vanilla side.

I've used vsyscalendar on my 920 for almost a year. Brilliant if you use multiple gmail calendars. An actual useable month view.

George, what color theme are you using on the main article image? On my monitor it looks like an olive drab but I know my 925 doesn't have that. The closeset would be the toupe theme color.

I really, really like Simple Calendar. My only request would be to get landscape mode on it, so it's easier to read your events when looking at entire month.

no, i'm fine with the native app. but the month view is useless, the live tile is lacking. I am using it now because it also syncs todo's with outlook.

Will be checking it out (again). I am trying to organise my work using Outlook and OneNote, so the native calendar app might be a good choice, when it comes to sync my task cross-platform...

It was ALMOST OK for me. Simple Calendar fixed the few things that bugged me with it. I think MS should just buy Simple Calendar and make it the native WP8 calendar. :)

Nope! I need the live tile for its simplicity & syncing with Google, as well as Cortana integration. I use Todo Prime, but only for projects and to-dos, and then only because it syncs (albeit slowly) to the native calendar.

Simple Calendar has the mist thrilling UI and is blazing fast! Just whished it would feature editing and calendar customisation as in True Calendar 8, which's Live Tile is the best -- design wise.

Do any of these work with the Windows Phone 8 To Do List? If not, I would now need to us two apps to do the work formerly do with one.

I've stuck to chronos calender for a while now and works good for me. I think the syncing is a powerful feature that won me over. Plus the live tiles are good.

I've tried these and Chronos was my preferred one for its ease of editing, but I eventually settled for Simple Calendar because, well, it's simple, has lockscreen support and has a good Modern UI look. I never liked the look of Chronos. Super Calendar was just a bit too messy for my taste.
All of them were good, but Simple Calendar just "feels" right for me who isn't a real "power user" of the calendar.

I dont use a calendar Live title any more. Um using the app Lock Manager, that allows u to put the nexts appointmants in your lockscreen. And in the initial screen i put the Microsoft one. This way i can see the facebooks events

Are any of these calendar apps able to sync in the background? As in if I create an event on my calendar on my computer, the app will sync without me having to open the app and update the live tile accordingly. I'm using Chronos, but it doesn't do that.

So is True Calendar 8 the only one that can show private events like birthdays? All others that I've tried either ignore them or show "private", neither of which is really helpful.

Has anyone tried Week View 8?
You can have multiple calendars on it, you can add, delete, and EDIT events. You can also do that with multiple outlook accounts (even shared ones)
You have several live tile settings, daily view, weekly, monthly, and yearly views. It has many options and its not expensive.

All these third party calendar apps are no good to me if I can't manage each individual calendar within an account... e.g. Color.

I bought Chronos (my first app purchase ever) because the live tile displays the most information of all the calendar apps. The UI is sometimes really hard to swallov (for creating appointments I use built in calendar) but the live tile is the best.

I already used “Simple Calendar” and “Super Calendar” but due to lack of events editing and Facebook calendar support I had to use native calendar as well. From comments I read about “True Calendar” and I like it more than others.

Don’t you have plans to review “To-do” applications? I’m looking for “to-do” app which can define recurrent task with period. For example, if I need to pay rent every month from 5th to 10th day I wish to be reminded only during this period and until I complete it. I tried few apps but none of them can do such simple thing. Maybe somebody knows such app for WP8?

Appointile.

True Calendar 8 looked promising, but it was always showing events a day out of sync for me.