Calendar apps for iOS or iPhones come a dime a dozen. There are so many choices available in the App Store that your head will quickly start spinning at the mere thought of downloading one. It’s not like Apple doesn’t offer a built-in calendar app, it’s that it is inadequate and lacks advanced features that the competition is offering.
The truth is that it’s impossible to recommend one iPhone calendar app to everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, or maybe there is. This is why we will be covering a number of iOS calendar apps for different users with different needs.
Calendar Apps for iOS/iPhones
1. Google Calendar (Best Overall Free)
Unlike Apple Calendar, Google Calendar is not only available on both Android and iOS, but is also easy to access via a browser. Google Calendar integrates with a number of other Google apps that are part of the G Suite. That means it can pull data from Google Contacts, Gmail, Drive, and Maps for example. You can set reminders or create events and send invites. Creating multiple calendars to keep different aspects of like is easy with this iPhone calendar app.
Events are updated in real-time, there is RSVP, and you can also share calendars with others. It is easy to use and comes with features like setting personal goals and smart scheduling. Choose what you want to learn this year and based on your schedule, Calendar will find the time. It also learns from your behavior and how you use the app.
Useful for those who are part of the Google ecosystem or those who need something simple and free yet powerful.
Download Google Calendar: iOS (Free)
2. Apple Calendar (Beginners)
All iPhones come pre-installed with Apple’s own take at the calendar, aptly called Apple Calendar. This calendar app for iPhone is rather too simple and bland, but good enough for beginners who only need such apps occasionally. You know, birthdays, holidays, plan dates, and add occasional events.
I was surprised to find out that Apple’s Calendar app for iOS and iPadOS was missing natural language parsing. Considering that it is available to macOS users, it is even more baffling. Why no love for iPhone users, Apple?
Like all Apple apps, Calendar has a minimalist look that’s pleasing to the eyes. It does integrate with Apple Maps but not many people use it. You can sync Google Calendar and other calendar app entries to Apple Calendar easily though. Adding events and sharing calendars is easy and there are a few view types to choose from.
Too simple and rather basic but some people may need just that.
Download Apple Calendar: iOS (Free)
3. Fantastical (Advanced Users)
Fantastical is not your ordinary iPhone calendar app. No. Not only does this fantastic iOS calendar app parses natural language, but it will also show visual cues as to how this will look when the event is created. These visual cues help remove second-guessing or need to double-check, so you know exactly what needs to be typed to attain the final output. No other calendar app for iPhone is capable of doing so, right now. Another cool feature is to create events and tasks separately.
It comes with some neat features like 10-day weather forecasts, Google Maps integration, multiple RSVP and time options for invitees, check invitee availability, and attachments from popular cloud storage sites. Fantastical is really amazing if you are someone who has events and meetings all day long. For the busy corporate guy. Follows a subscription model where pricing begins at $4.99/month.
Download Fantastical: iOS ($4.99/month)
4. Calendars 5 (Intermedia/Pro Users)
Readdle is known to make some of the best apps for both iOS and Android platforms. Calendars 5 is no exception. It’s not just an iPhone calendar app but a task manager too. Create events or tasks and connect all your different accounts into one seamless UI. Use natural language parsing to create tasks and tick them off when they are done.
Think of Calendars 5 as a toned-down version of Fantastical which retains all the basic and most needed functionalities for a one-time price of $6.99 only which is far more affordable. Calendars 5 also integrates with Maps, Apple Reminders, and other important apps. It easily integrates with other calendars but what I like is the Timeline view.
Get Calendars 5 if you need something that’s as powerful as Fantastical but with a one-time fee instead of a subscription.
Download Calendars 5: iOS ($6.99)
5. Microsoft Outlook (Microsoft Users)
If you are using Outlook or desktop or part of the larger Microsoft group of apps, Outlook makes a lot of sense. If you are not, Outlook still makes a lot of sense. Outlook combines email, calendar, and tasks, all into one handy UI. Outlook is a powerful email client already and the calendar app integrates with all other Microsoft apps like OneDrive, Office suite of apps, Google, and more. Everything comes together seamlessly.
You do need a Microsoft account to make it work but even if you are an Apple guy, Outlook is still a formidable opponent. There are a number of views to choose from and when you sync all your other calendars and apps to Outlook, it acts as a centralized hub to manage all events, emails, and tasks.
Download Microsoft Outlook: iOS (Free)
Wrapping Up: Calendar Apps for iOS/iPhones
There are a number of calendar apps available on the App Store for iPhone users but you only need one. It is worth noting that Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook are the only ones that are platform agnostic and available on every OS, every device. Others are most tied in to Apple’s ecosystem. If you are not confident or not sure, I would suggest you begin with these two iPhone calendar apps first, and then try others if need be.