Best iPhone Calendar App Showdown

BY Mike Vardy

Published 30 Nov 2012

With the release of Fantastical for iPhone this week, many iPhone users are revisiting their calendar apps on their iPhones. This post is to give you a bit of a closer look as to what other options are out there, and give you a better chance of getting on with your day by picking the calendar app that’s going to be right for you.

Agenda App

Agenda has been my calendar app of choice for a while now, and it is going to take a lot to unseat it from its throne. With both iPhone and iPad versions available, this is a very powerful calendar app—perhaps the most powerful because of some of the features it has that others simply don’t.

Agenda has themes (some of which are based on the weblogs of some of my favourite writers) and a killer feature that still seals the deal for me. You have the ability to email people from directly within Agenda either through using a custom email or with templates that can confirm your appointment, notify your arrival, or explain that you’re going to a user-defined number of minutes late. Very slick.

The minimal look and feel of the app that belies a wealth of power under the hood makes Agenda one of the top iPhone (and iPad, for that matter) calendar apps there is.

App Store link ($0.99)


The big thing about QuickCal that I like is that it deals with natural language in the same way that Fantastical does. Everything I know anything about QuickCal is that it arrived on the iPhone scene well before its main competitor did (Fantastical).

QuickCal lets you use multiple calendars, meaning you can easily tap on the calendar name in the title bar to switch to the next calendar. You can also choose a specific calendar by typing a portion of its name. QuickCal also supports “Smart Reminders”, which will create alarms at configurable time intervals, specific to how far in the future the event is. The configuration options are almost limitless with this feature.

QuickCal still has a place on my iPhone (especially while i’m putting Fantastical through the paces), and it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked in your search for the ideal calendar app.

App Store Link ($0.99)


This is the new kid on the block…sort of. Fantastical has been around on the Mac for a while and is a big favorite for those who want to use something other than the stock Calendar application. Fantastical’s ability to accept dates and appointments in a natural language is what sets it apart from many other apps. While QuickCal does this as well, Fantastical has adopted a large user base all its own, and now they brought the same usability from the Mac to the iPhone.

I installed Fantastical yesterday and found out immediately that it was fast and simple to use. The user interface follows similar patterns of other apps, making it easy to learn. And its natural language acceptance on the iPhone is as good as it is on the Mac. I was able to grab all of the information from my calendars on my iPhone almost immediately, and adjusting the settings was a breeze.

Flexibits has another hit on its hands here in the iPhone edition of Fantastical. While it hasn’t necessarily replaced Agenda on my iPhone yet, it certainly is giving it a run for its money.

App Store Link ($1.99 for a limited time)


This was the calendar app I’d been using a long time until the Agenda arrived. It’s an elegant app and serves as a great app for those wanting to track their schedules and appointments. And it is certainly better than the default app meant for that.

The thing I really liked about Calvetica was that it looked simple and minimal in its appearance. But recent iterations have gotten busier and busier, making it less appealing for me to use. That said, it is very fast, syncs flawlessly with the built-in calendar, and you can get a variety of views so that you can see what’s going on your schedule any which way you’d like.

Calvetica isn’t a bad option when you’re looking at calendar apps for your iPhone (in fact, it’s better than many of the options you have to choose from), but it’s just not my option any longer.

App Store link ($2.99)

Free Time

Free Time is a different kind of calendar app. What Free Time does is grab all of your calendar information from your iOS device, and once you’ve set up the app with your own preferences (start of day, etc.), it’ll let you know how much “free time” you have in your day.

The app is great for quick, at-a-glance appointment-making and scheduling, and while you may not have that much “free time” in your day, sometimes it’s good to know how much you do have on those rare occasions.

Free Time isn’t the most conventional of calendar apps, but it could be an ideal one to have in your toolbox for those moments where you just want to figure out how much time you have in the day.

App Store link ($0.99)

What calendar app for the iPhone do you use? Share in the comments below.