App Review: Vantage is the coolest iOS calendar app on the App Store

Vanatage for iOS certainly isn’t an app for those who prefer the usual (read boring) Outlook calendar.

In my endless quest for better looking app replacements for the native iOS apps that Apple dumps onto my iPhone, I recently came across Vantage. It’s a simple calendar app and it’s those app screenshots showing off its user interface (UI) that caught my attention.

Upon showing it to my colleague (an Android evangelist), he was quick to point out that it looked like the scrolling introduction of a Star Wars. Called the ‘opening crawl’, it made little sense for the movie, but it out here in the app it makes a world of a difference.

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So you have your typical calendar app (take the iOS one) with a week/month/year view or an agenda view which throws all types of information at you all at once. If you happened to have a packed calendar full of events and appointments, the best way to glance through them is to keep them colour-coded and that’s right about it.

Vantage however takes a different approach. In fact it is the app’s name itself, ‘Vantage’ that gives the meaning away; “a place or position affording a good view of something”. And so it does and in a rather attractive manner.

This certainly isn’t an app for those who prefer the usual (read boring) Outlook calendar. This is because Vantage simply gives you a better view of the week ahead by simply changing the way the information is laid out.

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The agenda/today view is laid out in the form of a long timeline. There’s nothing fidgety about it, except that you will want to check your day’s appointments every time because of the smooth slide out animations (it’s addictive!). At the top, you can view the dates of the current week with the theme hinting which is the current day and the weekly holiday.

There are two ways to interact with the app. You can swipe the strip at the top to scroll through days or weeks, or simply use the detailed timeline scroller below to check schedules for the current day, past days or the coming days.

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Need to glance through your schedule or agenda in the usual way? There is a little label on the right side that you can tap on, which gives you the same layout but on 2D flat view with option to view the same using a 3 Day side scrolling view as well. Simply tap on a calendar item to get access to get more details or edit the event.

There are additional features that make this more interesting.

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You can change the font of a particular event to make it look special or standout in the default timeline view. You can change the colour of the tile in agenda view, add a sticker to a repeated event and it will show up as a label in the main calendar. The labels work as identifiers, but it just looks way too impressive, cooler and somehow makes more sense than a dead, boring grid. In fact, it does feel skeuomorphic in more ways than one, which takes me back to the good old days of iOS apps that were loaded to the brim with textures (and not flat, dull and Spartan like today).

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You can even change the theme of the calendar, six in all, with a new Bistro theme that gives it a homely feel.

Coming to how everything is pulled off, Vantage simply draws data from your native iOS calendar app and relays the same in what I think is a better, smarter layout.

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What 3D Touch on default Calendar app icon gets you (left) and what Vantage gives you (right).

If you happen to own a device with 3D Touch, pressing down on the app icon will give you shortcuts to ‘today’ view, create (an event) along with a glance of the app widget that gives you a view of the current day along with the next three days.

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A cool detail to note here is how the theme of your calendar carries on to the widget as well.

The app is available in the App Store for Rs 300, weighs in at 76.7MB and scales perfectly with bigger screens like the iPhone 7 Plus as well, letting you see more and do more. The app is also available for iPad and iPod.

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