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Why You Should Be Using the Native Calendar App [Just-A-Tip]

In my early iOS days, I was good at keeping up with my calendar—honestly. I can’t remember exactly when I started slacking but I believe it was right after iOS 8 was released. I found it hard to get used to the new layout and overall color scheme, so I pouted and stopped using a few native apps here and there.

Now that I’ve gotten used to major changes in iOS 8 and 9, I’m acting like an adult again and engaging with the native Calendar app more and more.

It seems as though the break I took has allowed me to see a side to the native Calendar app I never knew existed. Now that we’re on speaking terms again, I’d like to share with you some of the great features and functions the native Calendar app has to offer you on a daily basis.

Calendar & Siri

If you’re not letting Siri input information on your calendar, you’re truly missing out! Make sure to add a calendar you know you’ll use a lot, I’ll explain shy shortly when sharing a calendar, mine is “Work”, and set it is your default calendar (Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Default Calendar). Activate Siri and say “Schedule work on Monday January 18th from 7am – 3pm.” She immediately springs into action adding this event to your default calendar.

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Drag & Drop Rescheduling

Sometimes your schedule changes and you need to make some minor adjustments. Easily make changes by lightly pressing and holding your finger over the appointment time until it recognizes you want to move it and then drag and drop to a new time.

If the change includes moving it to a completely different day simply move the appointment time to the left side of your screen to access an earlier date or move it to the right side of your screen to access a later date.

Pro tip for all you iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users out there: make sure to lightly press on the screen so as to not engage 3D Touch. Too much pressure and you’ll engage the preview of the scheduled event and not the drag and drop function. In this case, less is more.

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Edit Calendar Using Siri

If you’re like me, you like to let Siri do some work for you (we have so much in common, we should hangout). In order to have Siri make changes for you, you’ll need to be specific on what you want accomplished, especially if it’s on a different date. To make these changes activate Siri and say “Change my 7am appointment to 9am.” Immediately Siri will make the changes and ask you to confirm the new information.

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If you’re making changes to your calendar for a date other than the current day, you must provide Siri with the date you need the changes for at the beginning of your request. If you fail to do so, Siri could possibly move an appointment you have on the current day if something is currently scheduled at the time you’re trying to edit.

Calendar Start Day

Do you have an alternate work schedule like I me (Air Traffic Controller here)? You might want adjust the starting day of the week on your calendar. Instead of a Sunday – Saturday setup, which is the default for US iOS devices, you might want your week to start say on Monday since you work Tuesday – Saturday. Now when you input your work schedule your work week falls in the middle of the calendar days as if you were working the typical  Monday – Friday schedule.

Check out our review of a shift work calendar app!

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In the past I setup my calendar similar to this and it did take some getting used to since your mind instinctually sees a calendar as Sunday – Saturday. Actions become habit and I eventually got used to it.

To change this setting got to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > scroll down till you see “Start Week On” and select a new start day for your weeks.

Add Travel Time to Your Events

If you add a location to your scheduled events you can integrate travel times into your appointments. If you’ve already scheduled your appointment, simply go back and edit it and add the location. Next scroll down and tap Travel Time. Here you’re able setup notifications on when to leave based on travel times.

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Share Calendars

No matter how many calendars you have saved on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, I’d be willing to bet there’s at least one you’ll want or need to share with others.

Whether it’s the upcoming “Spring Soccer” calendar or the progress check meetings on “App Development Collaborations” calendar, you can quickly and easily share each and everyone one of them with your contacts if you’d like.

To share a calendar, open the native Calendar app and in the middle of the screen at the bottom tap Calendars. Here you’ll see a list of your calendars and scroll to select the appropriate calendar you need to share. Locate and tap the “i” on the right side of the calendar name. Near the top of the screen you’ll notice Shared With and underneath there’s an Add Person function; tap to select this option. Start typing those names of the contacts you’d like to share this calendar with and select them as they populate.calendar, iOS calendar, iPhone calendar, iPad calendar,

Once all contacts are added for sharing tap Add in the upper right hand corner of the screen and an invite to view this calendar will be sent to them.

Do you want any or all of these contacts to have editing rights to this calendar? If not, you’re going to want to select View and Edit next to each persons name you invited and edit their editing rights (see gif above for more information).

The native Calendar app has come a long way over the years across many different iOS updates. I always seem to wax and wane on using it but thanks to recent updates and a noticeable increase in use, it’s going to be hard to break free from it again. Actions become habit and I’m really getting used to ordering Siri around inside my iPhone 6s Plus with “Hey Siri”. Now if I could just get used to using “Hey Siri” on my Apple Watch out in public without feeling like a tool!

About Author

Jeremy McGinty

Jeremy McGinty is an iOS expert and has written over 350 articles relating to Apple and their products over the past two years. Writing about iPhones, iPads, and anything relating to Apple is what Jeremy does in his free time and you’re going to love reading how he’s a normal guy just like you. Jeremy is the most approachable person you’ll ever meet and you should try it out for yourself, send him a message here!

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