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Hands on with Google Calendar for iPhone: An awesome calendar for Gmail addicts

Derek Walter | March 12, 2015
On Tuesday, Google launched a dedicated calendar app for the iPhone--one of the final missing pieces of Google's apps suite for iOS. And Google Calendar for iPhone doesn't disappoint: It's a gorgeous calendar app that mines your Gmail account to automatically add events. It joins a lengthy list of well-designed, highly functional Google apps on iOS that perform as well or better than Apple's default options.

Must love Material Design

The new Calendar app, and many of Google's other apps, have adopted the company's Material Design interface. It's a new aesthetic that Google is using for its own products and its Android platform.

It's rather elegant and polished, with a focus on parceling off information for easy viewing, registering touches with a subtle splash on the screen, and using a lot of visuals cues.

There's a floating action button, which in Google Calendar is used for creating a new event. The main menu is always on the left, which also houses details on your Google account and options to connect to other apps, like telling Calendar to open email links in the Gmail app. Many elements work with gestures, such as pulling down on the month's name to reveal a full-month calendar view.

But it's not for everyone, especially if you prefer Apple's design overhaul first introduced in iOS 7. You'll also find that some elements of Material Design don't translate well to the iPhone, such as the loss of the slide gesture to go back. In some cases, you'll have to hit the back button on the upper-left part of the screen, which can be quite the reach if you're using an iPhone 6 Plus. 

Should you switch?

Google is clearly aiming its new Calendar app at those who use Gmail and do most of their productivity in Google's ecosystem. If you use iCloud, an Exchange account, Outlook, or another email solution, there's less reason to make the leap, especially if you're happy with other apps like Tempo or Sunrise. For many, it's the final piece of the Googly puzzle, putting Calendar right there with Drive, Gmail, Chrome, Maps, and the rest of the company's application army.


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