If you’ve ever forgotten someone’s birthday or worse an anniversary, then you’ll appreciate this app. Upcoming Events has a basic function and that is to keep track of upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. The cool part is that it picks up the birthdays from your Contacts automatically. However, you can still make manual entries too. So it’s the best of both worlds.
I’m a visual guy! So I really like that it uses the contact photo instead of just a list of names like other apps. It also shows you how old the person will be and how many days away their birthday (or anniversary) is. When you tap the app icon to load it, it takes a couple of seconds to come up with the list of upcoming events. This time delay will be dependent on how many contacts you have. I have over 1,000 so I expect it to take a second or two to go through that list.
Once you tap on a particular upcoming event you are then taken to the contact’s record in Upcoming Events so that you can call the person, send them an email or SMS message. Very convenient! I wish it had a tie in directly to 1-800-flowers so that I can just order the flowers too.
The one draw back
The app works exactly as advertised. However, the one missing piece is that although the app can show you a numeric badge of upcoming events that are less than 7 days away, it has no other way of alerting you. That number is only updated each time you launch the app.
This problem is the same with all iPhone apps. It’s not the fault of the developer. Apple doesn’t yet allow for background processing or background notification in 3rd party apps. For example, Apple’s built-in Mail app can check for new messages in the background and update the badge with a new email count without having to actually open the Mail app. This feature is not currently accessible by 3rd party apps. Therefore Upcoming Events has no way of working when you’re not in the app. The badge of “2” upcoming events you see on the screen shot above means that I have 2 birthdays/anniversaries coming up within 7 days. However, that number 2 will not change until I launch the app again. So if I don’t launch the app for 2 weeks, that 2 will never change.
The Bottom Line
This app has a very basic yet important function. Although I would love for it to be free, I also appreciate the fact that time and effort goes into app developement and the developers should be compensated. However, I think $2.99 would be the right price for this app. Nonetheless, it does what I need it to do and I had no problem paying the $4.99 asking price at the time because I simply like the way it works. I will be even happier with it once Apple allows for background processing so that the app can actually alert you/sound alarms when an event is getting closer. Again, this limitation is not the fault of the developer. Their hands are tied until Apple rolls out this important feature. So to really stay on top of things, you need to launch the app and check it on a regular basis.
Upcoming Events works on the iPhone and iPod touch. It goes for $4.99 and you can check it out at the App Store.