Google’s suite of apps is often hailed as the best one out there. And yet, we see many Android-based phone makers integrating those apps on their phones. While Google’s solution may work well for the majority folks, but it might fall short for quite a few.
Speaking of Android phone makers, Samsung is right up there with Google to deliver apps on Galaxy devices. The Korean giant has an answer for for almost every Google app for Android phones. Bixby replaces Google Assistant, Bixby Feed for Google Feed, and other Samsung apps compared to Google ones. Reviewers have often criticized the company for duplication of services on Galaxy devices.
All is not lost though. I strongly prefer some of Samsung’s solutions such as Internet and Gallery compared to Chrome and Google Photos. We did compare some of Samsung apps to Google apps earlier. In this post, we are going to pit Samsung Calendar against Google Calendar to see which solution would work better for you.
In terms of calendar apps, cross-platform availability isn’t that important. If you sync event and reminders with Gmail, then all your upcoming stuff is right there with you on every platform. Samsung Calendar is only available on Galaxy devices while you can access Google Calendar on Android, iOS, and Web. The UI is consistent across all platforms, which makes the transition even better.
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Both Google and Samsung Calendar have received fresh coat paint in recent months. Google has updated its calendar app with Material Theme 2.0 design guidelines. The interface is using lots of white background which looks consistent with other Google apps. The company is currently working on a dark theme for their apps. When it is available, you should be able to change that from the settings menu.
My biggest problem with current UI is, it’s still using a hamburger menu. And the navigation is a total mess with Android Q’s full-screen gestures. Yes, I have been using Android Q on my Pixel XL since past few weeks, and when I try to swipe left to open the hamburger menu, the app will detect it as back gesture and close the app. You will need to reach the upper corner to open the menu.
All the options are placed at the top. You can view weekly, monthly, daily view from the side menu. Tap on the month name to reveal a small month view. Select three dots to open the settings menu. Google could have done a better job with the redesign.
Interestingly, Google is encouraging developers to adopt bottom tabs for navigation, but their apps are on different paths.
Samsung has redesigned every stock app with a big banner on the top. They have focused on one-handed reachability with all their apps.
By default, it shows the monthly view. Swipe left and the and the hamburger menu will let you choose from different calendars and reminders. Throughout the UI, you will witness rounded corners in menus and section, which complements the device corners.
I haven’t had a chance to test it with Android Q. However, I expect Samsung to change the UI to make full use of gestures with the upcoming One UI 2.0 (based on Android Q).
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Creating a New Event
Both the apps have covered the usual provisions to add a new event. With Samsung Calendar, you can create a new event and add details such as title, time, location, notes, and attach files.
You can even add stickers and pick a custom color for the events.
With Google, the app will ask you to create event, reminder, or Goal (more on that later). Tap on the event, and the screen will ask you to add title, timer location, notification timer, and event color. You can even add attachments from Google Drive and invite other persons to the event.
The app also lets you create reminders. You can add them via Google Assistant too.
In this department, Samsung edges out Google with more customization options. You can choose from dark/light theme and even play with transparency options. The monthly widget will show the reminders and events in a month view.
With Google Calendar, you can either opt for the upcoming event widget or go with a monthly one. As an added detail, both Samsung and Google show the current date on the app icon.
Google Calendar’s Goal function is excellent. You can select which activity you want to perform daily, and the duration. Quite simple to set up. It will even ask you when you usually perform such action. After setting up, the app will add it to your calendar based on your busy schedule.
As a bonus, you can sync that to Google Fit account too. Some of the examples are fitness-related activity, meditation, call friends and family, and more. It’s useful in building habits and following routines with more punctuality.
With Samsung Calendar, you can switch-on weather forecast from the Settings menu. It will show the temperature for a given day in monthly view. You can tap on any day, and the app will show the day card with all relevant details. I like that.
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Should You Switch?
Samsung Calendar arrives with a lot of options out of the box. Also, in terms of UI, it does seem a bit more colorful than Google’s plain approach. Google’s goal function is something you won’t find on any Calendar app. It’s a game-changer for someone like me tracking time for events and habits. Also, it’s cross-platform, meaning you will feel right at home with Android, iOS, or Web.
Next up: Samsung Notes is more than just a note-taking app. It's feature-rich solution built for note-takers and artists. Read the post below to see how it fared against Google Keep.