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For as much as we ask of our calendars on our phones, they’re really only as smart as we make them. If we forget our friend’s birthday, it’s because we didn’t input it; if we’re late to a meeting, it means we messed up an alert. Tempo Smart Calendar, the first of what is sure to be a new generation of calendar apps, aims to take user error out of the equation. It also integrates with your social schedule like no other calendar. Along with usual iCloud and Google syncing, Tempo scans your email, contacts, and Facebook friends to generate a complete picture of your life, from tomorrow’s presentation to next month’s ski trip.
It’s not just appointments that Tempo’s after; once let loose on your iPhone, it will scour the ends of your apps to grab anything you might need throughout your day. It’s kind of like a personal assistant, so it’s no surprise that it was built by the people who brought us Siri. When entering the deadline for this review assignment, for example, Tempo automatically pulled all related email correspondence between us and the app's developers, along with any relevant contacts. It was all a bit like magic.
Even without its smarts, we'd still be charmed by Tempo's interface, which incorporates some fantastic visual flourishes, including weather forecasts and a customizable background picture. You can send emails and make calls without leaving the app, and Tempo will even compose an "I'm running late" message should the need arise. Calendars can be viewed in a variety of different days, but we mostly stayed with "Agenda," which gave us a neat snapshot of the day's events.
Fantastical's natural language engine has pretty much ruined us for all other input screens, so Tempo gets somewhat of a pass here, but we were definitely surprised that an app from Siri's creators didn't include some kind of voice assistance. Also, we would have liked to add more than two email addresses, but Tempo’s hard cap forced us to prioritize.
The bottom line. Tempo Smart Calendar understands the rhythm of your life like no other calendar and doesn't let you miss a beat.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later
Incredible syncing with email and contacts. In-app messaging. Gorgeous interface.
Standard input method seems stale. Email limit is somewhat frustrating.