When somebody says they use iCal for their scheduling needs, its usually all about convenience.
The app comes standard on every iOS platform, sitting right on your home screen to give you the impression that you don’t need a calendar – there’s already one right on your phone!
But we want to challenge that impression, by comparing iCal to our two-time champion, Allcal. Let’s get started!
Cost and Availability
Allcal is free and available on all major platforms such as iPhone, iPad, Android, and Desktop. iCal is available for free on any Apple product (they kind of force it on you). iCal is not available on Android or PC computers while Allcal is, and allcal is free on all platforms.
Because Allcal is free and available on all platforms, Allcal wins the round!
Sharing Calendars and Events
The ability to share entire calendars and single events is something revolutionary that is only available to online calendar solutions. Both Allcal and iCal say they can share calendars and events; however, iCal’s sharing calendars and events feature takes several hours and sometimes days to update!
After multiple rounds of (mostly) unbiased team testing – we did our research okay – we’ve found that even though it’s possible to invite other people onto iCal calendars and events, they often don’t see the events until days later. In some cases, they would get the event only after it had passed. We tried several times and have decided that you guys deserve more than endless sharing bugs.
Allcal’s innovative mobile and web-based app specializes in sharing calendars and events. Unlike other solutions like iCal, Microsoft Outlook, and Google Calendar, our team has tried to create a calendar and scheduling system that truly lets people collaborate and plan in a group.
First, as soon as you share a calendar or event with another user, they’ll receive a notification directly in the app. After the user accepts the invitation, they can see the calendar, edit the events, add more events, and share the calendar or event with other people (you can’t do that on iCal).
Because sharing calendars and events are consistent, automatic and, include real-time updates, this round goes to Allcal!
iCal and Allcal both have the ability to create and share public calendars.
In order to add a public calendar to your account on iCal, you need direct access. iCal does not have a place where you can search for public calendars you like and add them to your account.
Instead, you have to get the creator of the account to send you the link to the public calendar – so in other words – a “public” calendar is just a private calendar with a bow tied around it. Sure, anyone with a link can access the calendar, but those people have to first get the link from the calendar creator, so it’s essentially the same as a private calendar.
On Allcal, you have several ways to find, access, and look at public calendars.
First, you can browse through our public calendars section and find many public calendars that relate to your interests. Once you find something that interests you, Allcal lets you add the entire calendar or individual events to your account.
You can also create your own public calendar to promote events and share them with other users. Although there are some security differences between public and private calendars, the main functions work very much the same. For example, any updates you make on your public calendar will show up on everyone’s device, so you can feel confident any last-minute changes will show up in the right hands.
Allcal has a superior Public Calendars solution so the winner of this round is: Allcal!
And the Winner is:
After winning for three straight rounds, Allcal, the free shared calendar solution wins against the challenger: iCal. Allcal’s sharing abilities, advanced public calendars, and multi-platform database make it a clear winner.
Obviously this is a blog focusing on promoting our app, Allcal. But we did our research! Below are sources we checked out before breaking down the differences Allcal and iCal.
1. Mac Basics: iCal
2. iCloud: Share a calendar
3. iCloud: Calendar sharing overview
4. Get more out of iCal