SBSH Calendar Touch v2.1

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INTRODUCTION

    The default calendar application in Windows Mobile is simple and allows for a limited amount of functionality. But for those of us that live from our mobile devices and thus need a more robust Calendar solution, a better option is needed. Enter SBSH Calendar Touch, touted as the "ultimate time management system" by the company. Does it live up to the claim? Read on for more!

SETUP

    The Setup involves running an EXE which is run from your desktop.

    The application is also available to install in many languages. Also, the application will import all of your current data from the default Windows Mobile calendar. There was nothing else more significant about the install, apart from that it required a soft reset afterwards.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    As you can see, the appointments I have already been to (my days lessons, in my case) are crossed out, since the time period for them has expired. This is great for seeing what is up next. It displays the time period set for that appointment underneath the name. It also displays the location (in my case a room number) underneath the name but before the time period. I know that "Computing RFA" is in room L1 between 13:45 and 15:00.

Tapping "Computing RFA" gives me a screen to edit the task, view the details, delete, duplicate or beam the task.

    Clicking "view details" sends me to a simple text screen showing me all of the details of the appointment, and the notes of this appointment. Clicking "Edit" sends me to the edit screen, which gives you a list of options. I personally think there is too much on one screen, but the super-organised amongst you may find a use for all of these features. You can change the title, place, start time, end time, if it is an all day event, reminder, confidentiality, status while in the appointment, how often it occurs, which categories it appears in, how many people are attending, and add notes. That is an awful lot of information for one appointment!

There are five icons at the bottom of the screen on the appointment views, the left most icon sends you to a screen select menu shown here.

Now we can see the list view, shown above.

This weekly view, which I find very good for looking over your whole week events when planning something, highlights the selected day (Friday).

This monthly view gives you a wall-calendar type view with the selected day’s appointments below.

    Here is the tasks view, which gives you a nice long list of your tasks. The completed ones have ticks next to them, and from this view you can activate tasks or complete them.

    One more notable option from this menu is the beam task option. You can also beam appointments, this worked really well to every phone I tried, even a cheap Sony Ericsson. I was impressed with the support of sending calendar items via Bluetooth as a whole and will definitely be using this to tell people set work, rather than them copying it down.

    This screen is the new task screen. It has automatically set the date the task is due to a week from the current date. You have to either change this date or untick it. You can give the task a subject on the first line then choose when the task starts on the next line, you have to tick this option to enable it. You can choose when to give an alert for the task (if any) and how often the task repeats. Then you can choose a priority, a category, and give any notes. The notes part is only online, which I found annoying, since I usually have three or four lines of notes. To get a bigger notes area, you click the notes line, click the little three dots next to it, select "full screen editor" from the menu screen then bringing the keyboard up.

    Everything in Calendar Touch slides nicely and it is mostly finger friendly. The only non-finger friendly parts are the task/appointment editing screens at which point you’d probably have the stylus out anyway. There is some great gesture support in Calendar Touch when viewing the calendar. Firstly, sliding your finger upwards from the bottom takes you straight to today’s date. This doesn’t always seem to work, as I mostly just ended up flick scrolling my list rather than being taken to today’s date. Swiping downwards brings up the date picker (which you can also get by selecting the middle icon); this looks really nice and I wish the rest of the theme was like that, when the date picker is up the middle icon takes you to today’s date, I find double-pressing the middle icon the fastest way to go to today’s date.

    Swiping your finger left or right without releasing it (I love this bit) brings up a great looking date slider. It flicks through the dates as the top of the screen, bring your finger closer to the middle to slow down the slider and closer to the edge to carry on in that direction. If your finger is to the right of the middle of the screen you go forwards in time, left of the middle goes backwards. Releasing your finger brings up that date. This is a great little gesture feature, looks really good and works really well. When asked "What you doing this friday afternoon?" while the date was on monday, I was able to slide quickly and stylishly to Friday.

    The last "screen" on the screen selection menu is the search function, I’ve saved the best ’till last. This little feature is probably one of the most useful features the application brings to your device. Being able to search through your appointments and your tasks, from the same place, is a great tool to have. "When is our next physics lessons?" could be answered in seconds with a switch to the search screen and tapping in "physics."

    One final feature of the application is that Calendar Touch attempts to match your Windows Mobile theme. If you’re using the default theme then it is green, the red theme and the applications become red. The same happens with the blue theme. However on my HTC black theme, it just appeared green. As the gesture effects are sleek and black, I don’t know why there isn’t a sleek and black theme.

HELP SUPPORT

    Help and support wasn’t needed for me. For support they have a contact us page on their website which gives a form to fill out. There is also a great FAQ style section of their websites which answered many usability questions for me. It’s on this link and click the "support" tab.

OPTIONS

    There are absolutely loads of settings for this application. Too many to go into serious detail here, though you can customise everything from text sizes – to date formats – to colours and even pop-out effects. The chances are whatever you are looking to change, there will be a setting for it. Just in the first settings menu there are loads of options. I do feel that the settings menus are well set out and that a novice user should be able to change what they need too.

There’s General, Daily view, List view, Weekly view, Monthly view, Tasks view, Calendar Tasks, Colours, Category Manager and About in this menu. I couldn’t show it all in the screen shot.

    Uninstalling gives you the option to keep your settings too, and everything you’ve added using Calendar Touch is always available using the default calendar. So if for whatever reason you need to un-install, you shouldn’t lose anything and when you install again – the application will have all of your settings (unless you choose not to save them).

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    Calendar touch requires a touch screen Windows Phone. It says "Windows Mobile Pocket PC" on the website. The download for the application is 2MB. The application was using about 260k-520k when running; this is a tiny amount if you ask me.

BUGS AND WISHES

   
I have quite a few wishes for the application. First on my list is TouchFLO 3D – clicking a calendar item on the home tab of TF3D bought up the item in the default calendar, not only was this annoying that I had to go start -> calendar and locate the appointment if I wanted to know about it. But once the default calendar was open the shortcut in the Start menu stopped opening Calendar Touch and went back to opening the default calendar. While closing the Windows Mobile calendar sent the shortcut back to normal – I do wish the TF3D links had been fixed.

    In terms of performance, sometimes the calendar could seem to be a bit laggy and the effect choppy. Even with my device having most things closed, I would have preferred the application to have used some more resources but become smoother.

    The last wish of mine is the new task/edit task screen. This needs complete re-designing as it is not finger friendly and adds about 5 steps to creating a new task from the Default calendar – which gives you two ways of adding a task – quickly by tapping out a subject in the top line, or in more detail by clicking options – new task. As a side note (although this probably can be changed in a setting somewhere) I don’t think the default option shouldn’t be to set a due date for a task for a week. It should be un-ticked as default.

PURCHASING

   
You can get Calendar Touch for $24.95 from the pocketnow.com store. Until mid April, the software is discounted to $16.95.

PROS

  • Powerful and versatile
  • A huge improvement over the default calendar app
  • Includes great eye-candy and gesture support

CONS

  • No black theme included for HTC devices
  • TouchFLO 3D links don’t update properly
  • Bad task/appointment editing screen
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    This is a great program for people who heavily use the Windows Mobile calendar app. The application has some great features and is definitely well thought out. Calendar Touch brings a lot more to your daily organization than you may think. The application shortens the time between needing some information and getting it for nearly all calendar-related-tasks.

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