Week Calendar 3 is the most popular, highest rated calendar app available for mobile devices right now. While other calendar apps have been playing catch up by copying most of our unique features and some even doing a complete redesign, we have been spending a great deal of time on finding out how users interact on a daily basis with their calendar:
- what are the big gripes of users
- what are the little annoyances
- how can we convey information even quicker
- what features are power users missing
After a lot of testing, usability engineering and of course coding, we’ve created Week Calendar 4. Building on all the great stuff already there, we’ve added hundreds of new features and tweaks. Some really big ones, and a lot of very minor ones that make life just that little bit easier.
We are only highlighting four of all those incredibly new options here now, but there are many more innovations, which we’ll cover soon also.
First of all, the Agenda view. This is, next to the week view, the favorite view of a lot of users. And that’s why we put a lot of time into making it much smoother to work with.
We’ve redesigned the view to be more visually pleasing and to be quicker to scan through. Less drop shadows, more visual clues. The current day really springs out now.
The info popup bubble is something that really works well to show more details quickly, so we’ve added it to the agenda view as well. When you select an event, a popup will now show more information.
Font sizes can be user configured now and we’ve optimized a lot of the text layout. User feedback on the redesigned agenda view has been amazingly positive, so we’re sure you’ll love it also.
Icons for events
By giving each event its own color, users can color code their events to quickly categorize them. Week Calendar 4 adds an extra, very visual way of categorizing events: icons. Each event can have a special icon indicating what the event is about.
Soccer events can have a small soccer ball icon, parties a balloon, shoe shopping a small shoe. There are over a hundred icons to pick from and they will show up in every Week Calendar overview.
In the month overview, the dots can even be replaced by small icons to make scanning a month much easier.
A mini month view
Something often requested is a more textual month overview. While the current month view works very well usability wise, we’ve sat down for a long time and created a really easy to use textual month overview, which can optionally be enabled in the settings.
Each event will be shown with its title in the color of the event. Tapping on an event will reveal the well known info popup bubble, with more information about the event. If there are more events than can fit on the screen, you can of course simply scroll the week to reveal them. It doesn’t get simpler than that.
What makes this view extremely useful in comparison to other apps utilizing such a view is that it fully supports cut, copy, paste, tap-to-hold and deletion of events directly without even leaving the screen. It’s not only a view, but the mini month view is fully interactive.
Since the iPhone has limited screen space, we’ve added some really useful settings. The font size can be changed, of course. To save space for titles, the time of events isn’t displayed by default in the mini month view: it can be enabled of course.
The best setting to get much more information on the screen is the ability to hide weekends if you don’t need them (for example, if you use our app as a shift worker app).
Weekends can be always be hidden or in portrait mode only, only be shown when there are actual events in the weekend or only be shown on actual weekend days.
Coupled with the new icons feature, it’s also really easy to get a good overview of your month.
And of course, the view works in both portrait and landscape modus.
The biggest innovative and unique option in Week Calendar 4 is batch editing. This new feature is a huge timesaver and incredibly powerful. It’s amazingly helpful when you suddenly need to reschedule 6 events to be 1 hours later:
And it works as follows:
- tap-&-hold on the middle action icon
- you are now in multiple selection modus
- select the 6 events to reschedule by tapping once on them: they now all have a checkmark
- drag-&-drop the whole group to be one hour later
- that’s it. You’ve rescheduled 6 events in only 4 small steps.
Select multiple events
Paste 3 events at once
Delete 3 events quickly
The best part is that batch editing simply works everywhere: copying, cutting, pasting, sharing, deleting, dragging, resizing, templates and even editing. Yes, we made it possible to edit multiple events at once:
Select the events, hit the edit button and you can actually pick which properties you wish to change for all events and which to leave alone. The editor has been made really smart, so it will display which properties are common among all edited events and which are not.
Unfortunately, if you accidentally deleted an event, there’s no easy way to restore it (at least yet!) So you may need to use data recovery software (for example, Tenorshare UltData) to get it back.
Since changing times is such a common operation, we’ve build extreme flexibility into the editor for this: one can batch change the starting day, ending day, starting time, ending time of a group of events. It’s possible to change the duration of all events and move all events with a certain offset.
Batch editing in Week Calendar turns your mobile calendar into a really powerful editor. It integrates so seemingly elegant in Week Calendar, that it will be just there when you need it.
These are some of the amazing new options in Week Calendar 4 which we are really excited about. But, of course, there is much more great stuff in Week Calendar 4: timezones, resizing, presets, search, badges, menu items, add in multiple calendars, group-templates, and more….
Week Calendar 4 (Part 2)
Week Calendar 4 is a huge release which contains over a hundred improvements and new features. In our previous post, we’ve highlighted four amazing major new features. In this post, we will highlight five more new features that really speed up working with a calendar.
Again, this are just five more of the hundred of new options and tweaks in Week Calendar 4.
A major new feature in Week Calendar 4 are batch operations. Of course, we’ve also extended this to templates. While the templates option on Week Calendar is one of the most powerful around, we’ve made it even better with support for multi-event templates: you can now instantiate multiple events with the tap of one button.
|“All Meetings’ is a group template|
Multi-event templates are designed to make the following scenario much quicker: Most of our users often have two or three appointments which happen next to each other, but are still separate.
A good example is first having a meeting with a project manager, and after that having a meeting with the project team, and next with the director.
Previously, users entered these events as three templates and added each event separately. A time consuming task.
In Week Calendar 4, our users can now make a group-template that exists of those 3 events, relatively timed. By selecting this template when adding an event, all 3 events will be created, timed correctly next to each other.
|A group template|
During testing, we found out that a lot of users also used group templates for working shifts for a full week. Working shifts are almost never recurring with a regular pattern, but do exist of the same events. Using Group-templates, those users really sped up their workflow.
Per-event Time zones
Week Calendar 3 supports Time Zone support where the calendar stays put in the same timezone, regardless of the location of the user. While convenient for most users, international travelers and business users operating in different timezones need more fine-grained control over their events and timezones.
For those users, we’ve added Per-event time zones. After enabling this option in Settings > Calendar > TimeZone > Per-event timezones, setting the time of an event now has a Time Zone option.
The event times will automatically be changed to be in the correct time zone and the time zone of the event will of course be remembered.
An event set to Tokyo Time will still show up in your current time zone, but the details provide exact information at what time the event is in Tokyo Time:
More and more users manage lots of calendars in multiple contexts on their device. For example, we’re having our business calendars, our family calendars, our sports calendars and our personal calendars, all mixed in several calendar accounts. Managing all these calendars by check marking them on or off takes time.
Our solution to this upcoming trend are calendar presets. The concept is really simple and works extremely well for users: instead of manually turning calendars on or off when needed, you can group calendars together into a preset and switch between presets with a tap of one button.
The user interface is very intuitive. To start, you tap the action button in the calendar selector to turn an existing configuration of visible calendars into a preset. From then on, the calendar selector has two extra buttons: Current and Presets. Presets allow you to pick or edit presets, Current to change the currently visible calendars.
To make rescheduling and adding events easier, we’ve made it possible to resize events by dragging their lower-righthand corner. This is indicated by a familiar resize handle.
There are a few constraints:
- the event has to be wide enough, so we can detect if you wish to resize or move
- the event has to be editable (no meeting invite, for example)
Day view and week view with 5 days usually makes the events wide enough to be able to drag them. And, of course, resize operations can also be undone, just like other drag-&-drop operations.
Resizing also works on the transparent event box that represents a new or to-be-pasted event. Changing the length of such an event will also change the time of the event when tapping on the ‘New’ button or when pasting the event.
We’ve spent a lot of time on making working with Week Calendar faster for all users. One thing we noted during testing was that a lot of users have a common operation they do very often. For example, one user did set an event to be colored red to know when it was completed. Another user added the text ‘done’ to the notes of an event. Yet another one added the same 5 minute alert to events quite often.
Currently, all these users have to:
- Select the event
- Go into the event details
- Tap the edit button
- Change the property involved
- Hit the save button
- Get back to the event details
- Get finally back to their calendar overview
The biggest problem with this workflow is that the focus is shifted from the calendar overview to the editor. To tackle this issue, we’ve come up with a fully customizable Action Menu.
In Week Calendar 3, the Action Menu (middle icon button) gives access to “Copy”, “Cut”, “Share”. In Week Calendar 4, this menu gives access to over 17 user defined actions. Each of those actions can change a particular event property without leaving the overview at all. The 7 steps above are now 2 steps: select the event and tap the Action button.
For Week Calendar 4, we’ve come up with 17 configurable actions to do common tasks:
- Move / Snooze
- Add Notes
- Set Icon
- Add Alert
- Remove Alerts
- Set Color
- Toggle All-Day
- Stop Recurrence
- Make Template Group
- Remove Attendees
- Set Availability
Most of these actions can be configured to include the values that the user often uses.
For example, the Resize Menu Action has by default 3 options for ’30 minutes’, ‘1 hour’, ‘2 hours’, but this list can be completely user defined.
The ‘Set Color’ action can be configured with the colors to pick from; The ‘Add Alert’s action with the alerts to present, and so on.
The menu is really smart as well:
- only applicable items will be shown
- when the action has only one value configured, that value will be applied directly
- you can create sub menu using the ‘More..’ item
- Items with multiple values can be renamed
- When possible, sub menus will be integrated into their parent
- It works with Batch editing
The Action Menu is a rock-solid new feature that brings back focus to your calendar view. During testing, we found out that users are up to 5 times as fast using their own defined Action Menu.
Combining the Action Menu with other powerful Week Calendar options makes things even easier. One of our testers used the following set-up to be able to mark events as ‘Done’:
- An ‘Add Notes’ action menu that toggled the text ‘DONE!’ done in the event notes when tapped, named ‘Toggle Done’
- An Auto Color rule that colored events with the text ‘DONE!’ red
This way, tapping the Toggle Done button marked an event as done and colored it red. Tapping the button again unmarked it as done and gave it back the original color.
We are really excited about Week Calendar 4, because it’s a huge step in mobile calendaring software. With these five new options, we are turning mobile calendars into powerful tools for managing your day and events.
Stay tuned for our next blog post, highlighting more new features in Week Calendar 4!
If you have any questions, check our FAQ page.