No matter how much you’d rather be playing games or checking fantasy sports stats, you have to manage your calendar.
While the stock Google Calendar option works, it still looks like it was built for Android Gingerbread. It’s sure to get a makeover by the time Android L comes out, but even then, it may not be enough for anyone that wants to do more with their calendar. Many apps in the Play Store interact with other services, have to-do lists, and offer way more widget options than what Google has built.
All of the following choices work with Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange, along with other cloud accounts, so you can keep all your appointments in one calendar app.
If you had to pick one from the batch to start with today, go with Sunrise. It has an excellent design, works with Google Calendar, Exchange, and even iCloud (which you’re probably not using if you have an Android phone, but hey, it’s there).
Even better is how it integrates with other services. For example, connect it to Facebook so your events automatically pop into your calendar. You also can plug it in to Todoist, Trello, Github, Evernote, and a growing list of other platforms. So if you add in a deadline in Todoist it will be right there in your Sunrise calendar.
Sunrise has also done a good job building a desktop component that keeps the same look and feel regardless of platform: it has apps for Chrome, Mac, and iOS (unfortunately not for Windows), keeping the interface consistent across platforms.
SolCalendar loosens the tie on the calendar experience, dropping in fun stickers along with good design and attractive weather reports.
It uses a lot of pinching and swiping gestures to navigate the interface. Fortunately there’s helpful pop-up banners that tutor you along the way. You also can get a quick glance of your day with the Agenda view or use SolCalendar as a to-do list that syncs with Google Tasks, though you have to wonder when Google will kill that service off in favor of Google Keep.
The month view gets a little cramped, but you can quickly switch over to a weekly outlook. If you scroll ahead a few months quickly get back to the present by hitting the Today button.
SolCalendar has the most extensive number of widgets, including everything from full-page choices to a birthday countdown. More than likely you’ll find one to your liking.
If you desire maximum eye candy from your calendar you'll want to go with Cal. It allows you to choose what kind of picture you want in the background of the calendar, with art, fashion, landscape, and food among the choices. Cal is committed to this feature; you have to pick at least one to use the app.
It’s built by Any.do, which has an equally good-looking task manager. If you use Any.do then Cal is a good candidate as it syncs up with your tasks.
It doesn’t have the smorgasbord of features found in other apps on this list, but matches the Any.do team's minimalist approach. It also has only one widget choice, which may not satisfy you if you constantly experiment with your phone layout.
CalenMob got its start on iOS by offering a more robust alternative to the underwhelming stock calendar app. Like SolCalendar, CalenMob it is packed with features and widget options, making it a good alternative for anyone who wants their calendar to do more than just keep track of events.
It also works offline, has a to-do list, and several different calendar and agenda views. It even has the lunar calendar if you really must know if the moon is waxing or waning when planning out your week.
CalenMob Pro is $5, which may feel steep when compared to all the free alternatives. Fortunately there is a trial version so you can give it a whirl before taking the plunge.
This story, "The best calendar apps and widgets for Android" was originally published by Greenbot.