Calendars 5 review: one of the best calendar apps for iOS

A few days ago, Readdle launched a brand new calendar app in the App Store. No, this is not just an update to Calendars + with a new skin. This is a brand new app with brand new features.

Calendars 5 is an iOS 7 friendly productivity app that lets you sync with your Google or iOS calendar, add reminders from your iOS Reminders app, and the best part, it is a universal app for both iPhone and iPad…


The majority of brand new apps coming out of the App Store these days have an iOS 7 look to them and Calendars 5 is no different. The background is white and the brightly colored various calendar options pop out at you. The flat design is a perfect fit for the imminent launch of Apple’s new mobile operating software. Plus, if you are using it on a candy-colored iPhone 5c, you’ll look like a bright spring day all year long.

The app features gesture controls alongside basic tapping options. Swipe between days, weeks, and months in the calendar view. Swipe to delete items or drag and drop to move them in the task section. Drag your finger upward on the screen to scroll down to a later time or date in the calendar section. When using the app on your iPad, you can view today’s events and tasks alongside a weekly summary list, even in portrait mode. On the iPhone, the second window is only visible in landscape mode.

In the monthly calendar mode you can tap on a day to see what is scheduled. On the iPad, you will switch to a new window that shows the day’s tasks. When you tap on a day on the iPad, a window will pop up right on top of the calendar.

Different people have different ideas about what is the most important part of their calendar. This app lets you set the start up screen to the view you think is ideal. Tap the Settings icon and call up the view options. Then, change your start screen to Last Used, Tasks, Day, Week, Month, or Year. Then, whenever you open Calendars 5, you will already be at the screen you think is the most important.

App Use

To get started, sync Calendars 5 with either your iOS calendar or your Google calendar. You can easily switch between calendars or sync them both. In the Settings select “Local Calendars” and toggle the Local Calendars switch on. Then, toggle your Google calendar switch back on, too. The only problem with having them both synced at the same time is that events are doubled if you already sync your iCalendar with your Google calendar. Don’t use them both if that is the case. It just looks bad.

Once you’ve synced your calendar, you can view your events by day, week, month, or year. If you are using the app on your iPhone, tap the menu icon at the top of the screen to call up the various views. If you are using your iPad, the options are already at the top of the screen.

Tap “Day” to see what is on the schedule for today. You can scroll downward to see later in the day. If you are using the iPad in portrait mode, the right side of the screen also shows a quick summary listing of the next few days, depending on how full your calendar is. Scroll downward to move to a later date.  You can also see this window in landscape mode on both the iPad and iPhone. Swipe from left to right or right to left on the screen to switch between days.

Tap “Week” at the top of the screen to switch to the weekly calendar. Swipe from left to right or right to left to switch between weeks. This view looks the same in both landscape and portrait mode and on either the iPad or iPhone.

The same goes for the monthly view and yearly view. In the yearly view you can tap on a date to go directly to the daily calendar screen.

To add an event to your calendar, tap the plus (+) symbol in the upper right corner of the screen. This will bring up an event creation window or screen. Start typing some information about the event and, using natural language input technology, the app will automatically set the date and time. This works with recurring events, as well. For example, you can create an event by typing the sentence, “art class every Mon, Wed, and Fri at 10am,” and the app will automatically set the recurrence for you.

You can set a location and detailed description for each event and add attendees who will be emailed with the information.

You can also set a reminder through your device’s notification center, through email, or by getting an SMS sent to you. You can have the reminder sent between 15 minutes before and up to one day before. Or, customize your reminder for as close to or far away from the event that you like.

In addition to the calendar features, this app includes a task section. Here you can set up to-do lists for projects, events, or whatever you need a to-do list for. You can also sync your Google Tasks account or your iOS device’s Reminders app with Calendars 5. If you’ve already started a task list in the app, you can even merge the new list with your Reminders app.

For iOS users who are familiar with Apple’s native Calendar app, this will feel very familiar. Although Calendars 5 includes a lot more features and has a better user interface than the iOS 6 Calendar app, many of the editing options are similar. So, you won’t feel like you have to relearn a new program from scratch.

The Good

I love the smart-type auto detection feature, a la Fantastical. It makes it super easy to add a new event. I also love being able to sync my Reminders app. It makes creating and managing daily tasks a breeze. I use Reminders on my desktop as well as my iOS devices and I can easily sync everything right in one app.

This is, by far, the best calendar app I’ve ever used on the iPad. It looks good, has great gesture-based controls, and works seamlessly with my iOS calendar.

The Bad

The price of this app is fairly hefty. Even at a discounted launch price, it costs $4.99. Presumably, it will increase to $7.99 in a week. I’ve been using the free Cal app by Any.Do for a while now. Although Calendars 5 has more features and some bells and whistles that make it a worthy opponent, it is hard to suggest that the premium price tag is reasonable.


Calendars 5 costs $4.99 during its launch. The price will go up in one week. We do not have official information, but there is reason to believe it will be priced at $7.99 since that was the full price of Readdle’s former Calendars + app. As I noted above, the price is steep. However, it really is an amazing app with a lot of very useful features to increase your ability to organize and schedule your daily life.


This is definitely worth buying for the iPad (and remember it works on your iPhone too). It is by far, the best looking, most user-friendly calendar app for the larger screen. Because it syncs between devices and syncs with your local iOS calendar and Google calendar, it makes moving between the iPhone and iPad a snap. The price is a bit steep, but because it comes with so many great features, I recommend it for anyone looking for a new calendar. This app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Cal by Any.Do is another great app that syncs with multiple devices and looks great with iOS 7. Agenda Calendar 4 also syncs with your iOS Reminders app and looks good on iOS 7. Fantastical 2 is iDB’s top pick.