Until recently, Android didn’t have a lot of “startup-y” calendar apps. The bare versions that arrive with various carrier-sold devices have sufficed for most users, and Google began offering its own simple calendar solution on the Play Store for those who want something a little simpler.
But slowly, as more startups began taking notice of the platform, the quality of third-party calendars has increased. First, Cal, the sister app to AnyDo’s task manager for Android, combined a beautiful interface with intelligent semantic input.
Now UpTo, an app that has, for a long time, been prioritized on iOS, has been updated with an enviable Android version. It may actually be the best calendar I’ve ever used, across any platform, and will likely stay on my device indefinitely.
UpTo divides its calendar into two dimensions: a generalized “top” portion that consolidates your local calendars from Google, Outlook, Facebook and any other services that natively synchronize with your device; and a second layer, underneath, that takes the idea of social calendars to the next level.
You’re given the option to subscribe to dozens of living calendars, from public holidays to movie releases to the schedule of favourite sports teams. It’s this secondary functionality, combined with a slick social aspect that lets you privately share important events, from both “layers,” with friends and family, that ensures UpTo has staying power.
By default, the user sees his or her top layer — the local stuff — but with a single tap, the secondary events are shown underneath. Swiping across one or several of these events brings them to the top, adding them to the local listing. It’s a simple but effective workflow.
Where UpTo really excels is its performance and clean design. While it’s clear that the app was initially designed for iOS 7, the Android team has changed it just enough for it to feel native. There’s a translucent, customizable widget, in addition to a left-side hamburger menu that exposes the individual areas of the app. For example, it’s possible to draw down on a specific calendar — upcoming Game of Thrones summaries, for instance — or check in on events that friends have sent.
The calendar portion itself is divided into a daily, weekly or monthly summary, similar to the AOSP version, and even supports location autocomplete that connects with Google Maps.
UpTo Calendar for Android is a free download, and well worth a look.