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Review: OurCal provides simple, secure, slick shared calendars

Developer: ONIN LTD.
Price: Free
Size: 69.7 MB
Version: 2024.4.9
Platform: iPhone & iPad


OurCal is a shared calendar app that focuses on simplicity, security and privacy ahead of an extensive roster of features.

While you can use the app as a personal calendar tool, pulling in your entries from Apple’s default Calendar app, that’s not really the point here.

The main calendar screen is nice and clean

The main thrust of OurCal is to set up calendars for multiple participants, whether that’s for your family, your colleagues, your housemates, or any other group that you need to coordinate with.

Adding people to your shared calendars is as easy as sending them a link through Messages, WhatsApp, or any other of the usual methods. Tapping that link will send would-be participants to the app download page whilst copying a specific calendar access link to their clipboards.

Adding contacts to calendars is a simple process

All they need to do is sign up and opt to paste the link, and they’ll gain access to the shared calendar. Any modifications to a shared calendar entry will be logged in the entry, while all participants will be notified.

This focus on simplicity and accessibility extends to the method of adding calendar entries. Hit the + button and you’ll be encouraged to type out a calendar entry using natural language.

Type out entries using natural language

Type out “Dinner at Bravas on Saturday at 7:30” and OurCal with automatically create an entry, complete with the correct time and date, a food-themed sticker, and a location for the local restaurant.

If you prefer to add such details in a more traditional method, you can simply tap on the relevant data point and adjust accordingly. This method doesn’t seem quite as intuitive as in ‘regular’ calendar apps, but it works solidly enough.

Each shared calendar contains a message thread

Participants in shared calendar entries can message one another in their own separate chat channels, with full file and image attachment capabilities.

It’s all very easy to do, yet also very secure. All groups, calendars, events and messages are end-to-end encrypted.

Any modifications will send out notifications

OurCal is completely free to download and use right now but that seems likely to change. The developer plans to release a paid premium version of the app at some unspecified time in the future, though it stresses that it “will never monetize your privacy”.

It might well change its form in the future, then, but right now OurCal’s focus on a streamlined calendar sharing experience is refreshing. If all you want is a straightforward way to share calendar entries with family, friends, or colleagues, it’s one of the most immediately accessible ways to do so.