Cloud Calendar (Syncs With Google Calendar) ($2.99) by Clean Cut Code is a fully featured Calendar replacement app for your iPad.
While the iPad comes with a nice Calendar app already, the design may not be for everyone. That's why there are alternatives. A nice alternative that I've recently stumbled upon is Cloud Calendar, which I'm finding fantastic for those that are like me and use Google Calendars to sync their calendar data with. The app can also be used alone, without Google Calendar if that's how you roll.
On the initial launch, you'll be prompted to setup your Google Account with it, or you can skip that. If you choose to sync with Google, the app will start downloading your calendar data, which may take a minute or two, depending on how much stuff is in your calendar.
Cloud Calendar can be used in both portrait and landscape mode, and switches between them smoothly, which is nice. The app lets you switch between Day, Week, Month, and List views. Both the Day and List views get a split pane screen, which I found to be pretty cool. Week and Month views get full screen treatment, with your events in colored blocks and the current day highlighted in yellow in Month view. On any of the view modes, you can navigate through days, weeks, and months by swiping left and right. You can also navigate between dates using the bottom bar.
Which calendars should be shown in Cloud Calendar can be toggled with the button in the top left corner. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a way to change the colors corresponding to each calendar, so it's stuck with whatever default colors they were set to in Google Calendar.
Events can be edited by simply tapping on them in whichever view mode you're in. You can also add new events by simply tapping the spot of when the event should happen, or you can use the + button at the bottom right corner. The app gives you the default details, such as title, location, calendar, start and end times or all day, reminders, notes, privacy, and even lets you invite guests.
I'm not sure why, but whenever I attempt to use the "invite guests" feature in any third party calendar, it doesn't seem to work for me. I've tried sending myself two invitations to different emails and I don't get anything in the inbox. Not sure what the problem is, but for those that are constantly inviting people to events through calendars, be wary.
Events can be searched for in the app, via that good ol' search button in the top right. There is a button to access the user manual in case you need more guidance (button with the lifesaver icon). You can even switch accounts if you need too, from that button with a person on it. The most important button of all, however, is the Sync button, represented with a "refresh" symbol. This is the most important button because without it, your changes will not be synced in the cloud immediately.
There are plenty of settings that can be found for Cloud Calendar, but they are buried under the device Settings, not within the app. The settings include stuff like behavior settings (pinch to zoom in and out and switch views), badge counts, week starts on day, sync range, and other fun stuff.
The app will automatically sync changes on launch or when you hit the button, but there are settings that can change how frequently the app will sync on launch. I believe for the best results, Every Time should be selected, but you can choose the last hour, 8 hours, day, or week.
I hope that the developers can add a way for the app to sync changes immediately, so that there shouldn't be that "oh dang, did I sync my changes?" moment. From what I noticed, I had to manually sync to get my new event to show up in all my other apps that use Google Calendar. So having timed intervals for automatic syncing or even just immediate syncing when a change is made should be there.
Another thing I did notice was that if you tap an event to view the details and then want to close it, you have to physically tap "Cancel" before you can just go back to the main view. I think it would be nice if you can just tap anywhere outside of the Details window to close it, like I've experienced in some other calendar apps. It feels like an unnecessary step to close out of a small window, so I hope to see a change in the future.
Besides the little annoyances, the app works great and I have not had any problems with syncing conflicts or duplicates. I absolutely love the interface of Cloud Calendar, which is minimal yet aesthetically pleasing. It's smooth and works. With a few changes that should be made, the app can be a great calendar app for your iPad.
Even at $3, it's still a pretty good app to use on a daily basis. So if you're not a fan of how the default Calendar on the iPad looks, then give Cloud Calendar a try.