Windows phone 8.1 was officially announced at the build conference 2 weeks ago and it has many great (and some not so great) enhancements. One important enhancement from my point of view of course is the new calender, which is included in windows phone 8.1. It finally offers a ‚week view‘. So the first thing when I heard about it was that I wanted to test it to see, how it compares to my app ‚Week View‚ of course. 🙂
Note: This test was done with the windows phone 8.1 emulator. Once available (I hope, next week), I will install the developer preview version of windows phone 8.1 on my physical phone and test all these things again.
So IS there still a need for a separate calendar app like ‚Week View‘?
In my opinion (of course): Yes. But please let me explain why I think so.
In short: The built in calendar still has some major limitations.
1. You cannot see appointments that are older then 2 weeks and were not created directly on the phone in the internal WP calendar.
For me it’s nothing unusual to create an appointment in the web-browser view of my windows live or google calendar or use my notebook (which is running windows 8.1) to create appointments in my calendar.
There is nothing wrong with this and you can do this but: You will not see these appointments on your phone, when they are older then 2 weeks. These appointments will never get synchronized to your phone and there is nothing you can do to change this.
Btw. windows mobile 6.x, which was discarded by MS 4 year ago COULD do this.
Week View can also do this – after signing in to windows live inside the app, it can dynamically load „older appointments“ from your calendar. This may sound strange but this way Week View can show appointments, you will never get to see in the built in calendar – shame on MS!
2. The live tile of the build in calendar only shows 1 event.
Tile of the build in calendar (above) vs. live tile of Week View 8.1 (below, with 2 configuration examples)
This means: If there is a birthday on your calendar (which is considered as an ‚all day‘ event) and another appointment like ‚meeting from 8am to 10am‘ you will not see the birthday! Beside from someone getting angry because of not getting any birthday presents from you you may miss an important appointment!
Week View also has configuration options for the tile back side, whiche the build in calendar does not have.
Week View also has a month view, where you can actually read the text of your appointments. The windows phone 8.1 build in calendar has a month view too but you cannot read any appointment text on it.
3. There is still no option to search for appointments in the built in calendar
Week View allows you to search appointments by their subject, detail text and location.
4., 5. 6….Many more
Week View has many other features – you can pin up to 3 live tiles and also pin appointments themselve so you always see the appointment and the time how long it takes to it. So in my opinion after the release of windows phone 8.1 there are still many ‚gaps‘ that are filled by Week View.