We’ve reviewed Day by Day in the past, a pretty comprehensive and complete solution for managing not only your calendar, but also tasks and other neat features. Today, we’re going to compare Day by Day to a couple of other popular alternatives, aCalendar+ and Business Calendar. In the interest of fairness, all of these calendars rely on Google Calendar sync and I’ve put together a couple of weeks in December with events and such to test them out. All three apps have been tested on the same device with the same amount of calendar content etc. Hopefully, our comparison will help you decide which one of these three apps will be the best for you.
How they Compare: It’s worth stating straightaway that these three apps – Day by Day, Business Calendar and aCalendar+ – all rely on Google Calendar, so you’ll need to have a Google Calendar set up first in order to use any of them. I’ve set up some events for December, along with all the birthdays from my Google+ contacts, online and below is a look at the apps’ default views for the month of December, with no special view options chosen.
On the left is aCalendar, with Day by Day in the middle and Business Calendar on the right. aCalendar seemed to make better use of my Xperia Z2’s large display, but when you expand a day’s events or tasks, they take over your display, which isn’t the case in Day by Day as they’re shown using the space at the bottom of the display. A closer look at the day views can be seen below for Monday the 8th of December, in the same order.
With Day by Day in the center again, I think it makes the most use of my display, with aCalendar going for more style over substance and Business Calendar trying to keep a full month’s view. All three of the apps have similar settings to control their calendars and such, with things differing very little on that front. Setting Day by Day and aCalendar up was much easy than Business Calendar, which feels quite clunky overall to me. In terms of speed though, they all ran really quite smoothly.
While I didn’t find that either aCalendar or Business Calendar were lacking in features, the former handles locations in events really rather well, I found that they didn’t offer a full spectrum quite the way that Day by Day does. For instance, below are a couple of shots adding a task to Day by Day, with the ability to split notes into subtasks, something that even Google Calendar doesn’t offer itself.
Another feature that just isn’t present in either Business Calendar or Day by Day is the ability to create profiles. Below I’ve created a profile for work stuff and for my personal life, with the ability to select which calendars I want to display in each profile. In aCalendar and Business Calendar I was only left with the option to choose which calendars I wanted to display at any given time. It’s also worth nothing that these profiles can be applied to any of the plethora of homescreen widgets available in Day by Day.
You can see I’ve culled birthdays from my work stuff, and vice-versa here. A nice feature for those with busy lives, indeed. That’s not all though, as Day by Day features the ability to add reminders to tasks as well as easily set them to report at smart intervals.
With Day by Day you can also adjust the calendar view to a number of different views, like a text view that displays tasks as text.
When it comes to syncing, these three apps do offer similar features and they all essentially rely on Google Calendar and Google Tasks. However, Business Calendar takes an odd approach with the need for the separate Business Tasks app (which does look good on tablets) to be downloaded to see your tasks. While aCalendar is pretty standard fare, which isn’t too bad for an app that doesn’t cost a thing. However, Day by Day has one ace up its sleeve, which is a Chrome Extension, making this a service you can use with your PC no matter what platform you’re running.
Pricing: These are what I suppose we could call “high-end” calendars, with each of them offering you something beyond what Google’s free option can, but they’re not all equal in their approach to pricing. aCalendar+ and Day by Day have it right in my book, with aCalendar being completely free with no ads, but holding back more advanced options for aCalendar+. Meanwhile, Day by Day gives you 21 days to try out all of the premium, paid for content in the premium version, that’s almost a month to see how it works for you. While all three calendars have free versions, I focused on the paid options here, and Day by Day has perhaps some of the most added value for its price tag. It relies on Google Calendar, but by paying for the premium version, Day by Day offers all of the features outlined above which add to the Google Calendar experience and make things a whole lot easier.
Final Verdict: Comparing these three calendars together clearly leaves Business Calendar behind, which feels comprehensive, if not a little clunky and dated. Meanwhile, both aCalendar and Day by Day have some excellent features and if you choose either one you won’t be disappointed. Day by Day though, for someone like myself who uses a computer all day is a clear winner. I get the same sort of experience using the Chrome extension as I do the Android app, meaning I don’t need to relearn how to use the app when I go from Google Calendar to aCalendar, with Day by Day I get a complete solution. Not to mention the ability to have a profile for my personal life separate from my work life without the need to create a whole other calendar.