Thursday, 10 January 2013

Smooth Calendar update not so smooth

Little widget with lots of info

I like my calendar widget to cram a lot of useful information into a tiny space. In my current setup my homescreen shows my next five appointments in a tiny 2x1 widget. This leaves plenty of space for more important things on my main homescreen, such as my music player widget.

The widget that comes with Jorte Calendar has more customization options than any other calendar widget. There's one problem, though. The Jorte widget opens Jorte Calendar when tapped, and there's no way to change that. As long as Jorte doesn't add custom reminder time entry to its calendar app I keep my appointments in Business Calendar Free. So I need another app to throw a calendar widget on my screen.

My current weapon of choice is Smooth Calendar. Its widget can be as big or as small as you like, there are plenty of ways to customize the calendar text, and lots of other options to tweak its appearance.

More options

A recent update added even more options to change the looks of Smooth Calendar.

The new Smooth Calendar removed the limits on how many calendar entries you could throw into your widget. More entries need bigger widgets, unless you make the text smaller. The update lets you choose your own font size, so you can put lots of small text into a tiny space, or big text into a big area. The amount of unused space around the widget text got reduced too, although Smooth Calendar still wastes valuable screen estate on the left side when you switch off the calendar color bar.

More goodies: separate layout settings for widgets in portrait and landscape mode, and a new widget background. Of course you can still leave the background transparent. The widgets are not scrollable yet, but who knows what future updates will bring?

Bugs ate the new features

Too bad the new features introduced a jungle full of new bugs. The option to select your own calendar app to launch upon tapping the widget broke, but was quickly fixed. Widget text can spill beyond the "original style" background, and this did not get fixed. Force-closes when choosing a background color for your widget remained a problem, too.

These issues (and others) resulted in a flood of negative Google Play Store comments, which were addressed by an update that removed most of the new features. The version that works for me is version, which has most the new features but not many of the new bugs. Unfortunately the current play Store version is v1.1.0.6, which has most new features removed in an attempt to squash the bugs. The Play Store doesn't let you roll back to older versions (something that Google should fix!). If you have an older version with the new features still in them and it doesn't keep crashing, hang on to your backups until the app gets sorted out.

Smooth Calendar

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