Everyone uses his or her calendar differently. For example, my calendar gives me a quick picture of anything important and unusual in my day, while my task-management app tells me what I need to actually get done. But some people put their tasks in their calendar. Other people rely on their calendar heavily throughout the day as they schedule appointments and meetings. The app you need depends on how you want to use your calendar.
Fortunately, Android users are spoiled for choice when it comes to great calendar apps. To find the one that's right for you means first thinking about how and why you use your calendar in the first place. Let's say you spend way too much of your time referring to your calendar, and you want an app that will help you get away from that habit. You need a calendar with a wide array of widgets so that the information you need is right on your phone screen.
Widgets are just one example of the kinds of criteria that might be important to you in an Android calendar app, however. A few others are design, email integration, and task management integration.
Below, I've recommended some of my favorite apps that meet each of those requirements. You'll notice one or two of the apps show up in multiple categories, suggesting their versatility as well as their overall excellence.
Three calendar apps have caught my attention for their strong design, but they're all a little different.
Let's get Google Calendar out of the way first. It deserves a mention because it has a clean and contemporary design, both in terms of looks and user interface, and it's an excellent calendar app overall. But if you're on the hunt for the best calendar app for Android, it implies that you don't want to use Google Calendar, seeing as it usually comes preinstalled on most Android devices. If you haven't explored the most recent version of it, take a look at my tips for using Google Calendar because it does have a wealth of new features and design as of 2016.
The second Android calendar app that stands out for its design is Cal - Google Calendar + Widget, which I'll just refer to as Cal by Any.do. It's even sleeker looking than Google Calendar, with a large photo display for each day view (you can disable it if you don't like it). And as with Google Calendar, Cal by Any.do also has a lovely user interface.
SolCalendar - Calendar / To do is my last pick for design, but for a different reason. It's best for people who like a lot of visual stimulation and options. It has a number of different views, so you can customize how you look at what's on your plate for the day or week ahead. It also contains stickers for customizing your appointments and tasks. If you're visually oriented, SolCalendar is definitely worth a look.
To find a great calendar app that includes integration with your email, you're better off looking for an email app that offers a calendar, counterintuitive as it may sound. Two come to mind.
The first is Microsoft Outlook. Tab-like options at the bottom of the screen let you quickly flip between your email and your calendar, which is a huge boon for anyone who spends a lot of their email time scheduling appointments and meetings.
The second app is Boxer (called VMWare Boxer in the Google Play store). There's a free Lite version, but otherwise this app costs $4.99. Boxer is a highly customizable email client that includes an integrated calendar.
The point of widgets is to give you access to something you need, whether it's information or an action, without forcing you to open an app. The best Android calendar for widgets is the aforementioned SolCalendar, which has more than any other calendar app I've seen—18 in all.
One of its signature widgets is a T-minus or rather D-minus (for date) countdown. When vacation is only 5 days away, your widget will read "Vacation / D-5." A variation on that widget is a countdown to when an important task is due.
Quite a few Android calendar apps offer a built-in to-do list or integration with another task-management app. But a few excel at it.
Cal by Any.do is my first pick here. Cal was created as a tandem app for the company's first app, Any.do, which is a to-do list app. It has excellent features, such geo-location reminders (which prompt you to do a task when you reach a specific spot), especially if you have a Premium membership (which costs $2.99 per month). The two work closely together, making it easy to view both your tasks and appointments. Both apps have a light and airy feel.
I have one more pick for an Android calendar app that tightly integrates a to-do list, and it's SolCalendar. Its Agenda tab shows both to-dos and appointments in the same view, displayed by day. Previously, I noted that SolCalendar has an extensive array of widgets. Some of the widgets include to-dos, making it even more useful in both categories.
For more productivity tools, please check out my roundup of The Best Productivity Apps, and for PCMag's top Android picks, you should read our 100 Best Android Apps story.