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Getting started with Cal, the Any.Do calendar app

If you use Any.Do to make to-do lists on your iPhone, then you might want to check out Any.Do's new and separate and free calendar app.

Popular iPhone to-do list app Any.Do received a companion calendar app today, a free app called, appropriately, Cal. The Cal app is pretty to look at and slick in operation, but it creates a bit of a bifurcated experience, as some entries can be created in the Cal app, while others require it to boot you out to the to-do list app. I think it'd be easier if the two apps become one.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

At any rate, the Cal app syncs with the Any.Do to-do list app and it can also pull in info from your phone's calendar and contacts. It also imports any tasks you have in the Any.Do to-do list app, though in my case it required me to update my Any.Do app first. (I can't wait for automatic app updates that iOS 7 promises.)

The to-do list app lets you create tasks for today, tomorrow, upcoming, and someday. Tasks I listed for today and tomorrow, the Cal app imported just as you would expect, but the tasks I had listed under the Upcoming section showed up on the Cal app for the day after tomorrow -- Sunday. I should say, those tasks without a reminder attached did. Those with reminders showed up on the day the reminder was set. Meanwhile, I failed to find in the Cal app my task of writing the next great American novel that I had created under the Someday heading in the to-do list. I will try not to take that as a sign.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The Cal app, in and of itself, is well-designed. It boasts a minimalist beauty and intuitive controls. In the week view, you can tap on a day to see its list of tasks and events. Pulling down reveals a month view, where you can see the top two items for the day you have highlighted. You can swipe sideways to move to the next week or month, depending on your current view, while tapping the back arrow in the lower-left corner returns you to the current day. In settings, you can choose from nine photo themes, which are wallpapers that you can catch glimpses of when scrolling about the calendar.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Tap the "+" button in the upper-right corner to add a new entry to your calendar. There are two types of entries: events and tasks. Events you can schedule right within the Cal app, but if you go to schedule a task, it kicks you out to the Any.Do to-do list app. Same thing happens when you go to mark a task as complete. Sure, tasks end up getting synced with the Cal app, but it's rather jarring to bounce between the two apps.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Tell me, faithful readers, which is your iPhone calendar app of choice? And if you use the Any.Do to-do list app with any regularity, what do you think of the new Cal app? Let us discuss it in the comments below.