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Old January 30th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Calendar with convenient event entry

Hi all,

(firstly - yes, there is a thread on "Best Calendar App", but that's been started more than a year ago and I don't think all information on calendar apps should be crammed into one huge 10-page thread).


Anyway, today I've been going through many of the free calendars on the market. They've had varying strengths, but they have all shared a major common weakness: adding an event is never less than a huge PITA. Adding the most simple event with just title and time usually requires the following:

  • 1.) (week/day view): hold down desired starting hour (only 1h accuracy)
  • 2.) select "add new event" from pop up menu
  • 3.) type event name in field
If 1-hour accuracy is not enough:
  • 4.) click on starting time and a ridiculously clumsy time-entry menu appears
  • 5a.) type a million times on +/- buttons or hold your finger on them for a long time
  • or
  • 5b.) [1] click on the time, wait for keyboard to slide open, [2] delete existing time and [3] insert new time
  • 6.) Click set/done
  • 8.-10.) repeat 4-6 on ending time
  • 11.) click back/ready etc to add the event (several times in some apps)

Do people really find this process passable? This was IMO the biggest problem in the stock calendar app and I can't believe that none of the calendars I've tried have improved on it even though they've added all kinds of trivial details.

So, my obvious question is: is there a calendar app (either free or paid) that has improved on this process?

Even though I've never developed applications, even I could vastly improve on that process in a 5-min mental app-development exercise:

  • 1.) (day/week view) slide your finger (or two fingers) from the desired starting time to the desired ending time
  • these times will be mapped to event start and end times with 15min accuracy
  • event details menu automatically opens with title selected and keyboard open
  • 2.) type in the event title
  • 3.) press back to create event

Or, if 15 min accuracy is not enough for times:
  • 1.) &2.) as before
  • click on starting time -
  • a handy 2x scroll wheel menu opens, where it takes 3 seconds to scroll to the right time (it detects the acceleration, so slow scrolls are 1-min accurate and fast ones go through bigger ranges)
  • repeat on ending time (if you *really* need to set the ending time with greater than 15 min accuracy), and press back to create event

In the cases where 15min accuracy would be enough, this input method would cut the steps from 11 to 3! I'm sure there's an app there that has already done something like that (or something even better)?

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Old January 30th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There's a quick add feature in Gemini calendar that I like a lot. Was very handy when I had to schedule a follow up appt when checking out of a current appt at the doctor's office. All I had to do was select date, add appt title, and start time. Done.

When I had more time later in the day, I went back in to add the end time and appt details.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just send a text message (usually entered via voice) to GEVENT (48368)...works great.

There are also a number of Quick Add Calendar application in the Market, for example: Calendar Quick Add - Android app on AppBrain
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Old January 30th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There's also QuickAddroid if you are adding a similar event routinely so you can set up a template & just fill in the details that vary. For me I work 12 hour shifts always the same time but different days each week, so I have a template for my work shifts & set it up so i just have to put in the days I work & it adds it.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 03:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies!

@ BookLover: I just tested the Gemini "Add Fast" -feature. The only practical difference to the normal add seems to be that you don't need to scroll down for pressing 'save' - I mean, you don't need to set the description etc anyway and the ending time is automatically set to 1h later than start without doing anything. In fact I don't understand why they've separated these two adding methods - would be better interface design if there would be just one 'add event' where you wouldn't need to scroll down for 'save'! But I did notice that Gemini doesn't use the standard clumsy method of setting the time but instead a scroll wheel that is very close to what I was looking for. That is already a big improvement! Too bad it doesn't seem to have a week-view (where you could slide your finger from the start time to the end-time)...

That voice entry in the 'Calendar Quick Add' seems like an interesting option! Normally, though, I'm in a situation where I can't/don't want to do that (say, marking down a deadline on a lecture) and the text-based option given by that app (typing, say, "tuesday 1pm lunch with kay at donna") seems even slower than the normal method. QuickAddroid seems to fill a niche as well, but since I don't have so many templateable event types, it would be of limited use for me.

Thanks for the tips, though! I'll keep looking for the perfect app... And if any calendar developers are reading this, well, wink wink maybe this could be a good area for development!
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visa tapani View Post
Thanks for the replies!

@ BookLover: I just tested the Gemini "Add Fast" -feature. The only .....
There's a 'very long' thread in the Application-Announcements forum re. Gemini. The developer gets back to comments/requests. You should put yours there.

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