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Apr 23, 2009

Review: SBSH Calendar Touch Version 2.1.1

calendartouch

One of the biggest advantage of Windows Mobile over other mobile platforms is the tight integration with outlook and office.

On the other hand, the Pocket Outlook has not been revisit for a long while now, and (understatement coming through:) does not bring the top-of-the-art user experience...

While most shell applications eventually end up launching the default appointments windows, SBSH Calendar Touch wraps the entire calendar and tasks functionality so you'll never have to see the default user interface again...

The new version of Calendar Touch (2.1.1) which was announced few days ago (read more) included a lot of UI improvements which makes this application a great addition to Windows Mobile. Especially if you are one of those people who like having their entire agenda loaded to their phone.


Functionality:

So what is Calendar Touch?
Calendar Touch is a way to better control your daily agenda.
If you are working with your outlook meetings and tasks - you will love it.
You will love it because it looks great, it's finger friendly, it combines appointments with tasks on the same view (that's right!), it integrates (of course) with your outlook, it's clear and simple to use.
It's practical.

monthly weekly

Calendar Touch lets you view and modify your agenda in few different views (daily, weekly, monthly, etc), and more important - easily navigate through dates, sort, filter and find a specific task / appointment. It's a very powerful outlook wrapper for Windows Mobile.

And yes... it has, as I said, sort, filter, search, integration with contacts and everything you could think of in terms of better managing and accessing your data.
No need to access your PC outlook anymore, everything can be done directly from your WinMo phone.


User Interface:

Calendar Touch is almost completely finger friendly. Many areas are designed a-la-iPhone style with icons located at the bottom of the screen for easy navigation. In addition, you can move backwards to the main menu which is, too, completely finger friendly.

main menu calendar

land2
landscape 

There are, however, (OK, you know I always find at least one "however"...), areas where the UI seems older, mostly when editing an entry (appointment or a task). In the editing screens, it seems too similar to the "standard" PocketPC UI and not innovative as the rest of the application:

editappointment Task2

Finger Gestures:

The application works very well with the D-Pad, and in addition, the new version now supports finger gestures for kinetic scrolling and easy navigation between dates. Good job!

There are some additional gestures such as quick movements in-between dates using a long press - but those are better demonstrated in a video which I attached to the end of this review.

Options and menus:

My favorite part of the application is the finger friendly menus which are very well designed and easy to use. It's fun to use, and hey, there's a lot of options too, like duplicating an appointment, marking things as completed etc.

fingerfriendlytasks menu

As mentioned above, there are also some practical features like the ability to filter and search for specific appointment or task, and also, whenever there's a text to enter - you get an option to insert a contact, pre-defined template, or just free text.  

searchcontacts

Configuration Capabilities:

I'm not sure I know where to start!
Those SBHS guys are definitely Windows Mobile addicts, otherwise I cannot explain how they managed to find the one thing every WinMo addict likes doing: tweaking the look and feel of his phone, and make it one of the strongest areas of Calendar Touch.

Calendar Touch comes loaded with configuration capabilities: colors, layout, fonts, icons, alerts, purging, hidden appointments and much more.

Here are some of the configuration screens:

settingsoptions
iconscolors 

I know what you are thinking, I thought so too, and wasted few hours tweaking it around (the joy!). Here's what I ended up with:

blackwhilered 


Here's a short video demonstration:


Summary:

If you are a busy man, struggling to keep up with a tight agenda, lot's of meetings, and a lot of work, Calendar Touch would be an ideal addition to your Windows Mobile device.

It's practical, it has a great user experience, and many additions to the basic calendar stuff, mainly around advanced features, configuration, and the coolest combination of tasks with appointments.

 

Download a trial version of Calendar Touch

Head over to the home page of SBSH Calendar Touch

 

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