If you ever have tough time managing and remembering birthdays, then you are not alone. Apple’s Contacts application does have a section to add a birthday, but that requires you manually enter it within the application or in Address Book. Not only is this time consuming, but at times near impossible, depending upon the number of contacts you manage. I at times find it tough to remember my wife’s birthday. Luckily for me, she’s not an avid everythingiCafe reader and I might just have found an app that will solve my dilemma. In our MyCalendar Mobile for iPhone review, we look at an app that will help gather, manage and notify you of upcoming birthdays.
The name of the application is a bit misleading, having you think it’s something more then a birthday reminder. When you first launch the app, it will offer the option to add birthdays from your contacts. The dialog is a bit confusing, since it automatically pulls birthdays from the ‘Contacts’ app and denotes this with an ‘Imported’ message next to the contact. Other contacts will have a check sign next to them. They are all pre-checked. If you are like me, then you have a number of companies, restaurants and people whom you aren’t interested in remembering their birthday. This meant unchecking the bulk of my contacts.
When finished, I had about ten or so contacts that I wanted to ‘Import’. Now I knew I didn’t have their birthday field completed, but I went along for the ride. As it turns out, myCalendar Mobile then sends a group text message to these friends and family to provide their birthday. A throughly tested app be damned, since I was not about to send this sort of text to this group. I’d rather miss their birthday, then send out what seems kinda spammy in a weird way. I know people do this sort of stuff using Facebook (MyCalendar app on Facebook boasts of over 100 million users), but doing so using a group text message didn’t sit right with me. That being said, this is an effective way to collect birthday data that you might not have on hand.
The next method of importing is via Facebook. The app will ask you to login to Facebook and then authorize MyCalendar Mobile. From there, I immediately had all of my friends birthdays with myCalendar Mobile. And I mean all. Again, it depends on how you use Facebook and more importantly, if you have a need to remember the birthdays of that entire friend pool.
Facebook notifies me when a birthday is upcoming, so there is some level of task duplication with MyCalendar Mobile. The advantage here is centralizing the management of your birthdays with one app, pooling data from Facebook and Contacts.
MyCalendar Mobile has settings for ‘reminders’ that allow you to be reminded both on the day of the birthday and a select number of days before. You can also set the time to your liking.
All in all, this application does a fair job of merging birthdays from your contacts and Facebook friends. The request feature is still too intrusive for my taste, but I presume it might be the most efficient method of getting birthday data in bulk. Once the dates are set, myCalendar Mobile’s reminders and ‘tap’ to send a birthday wish are useful. It will improve upon your ability to manage and remember birthdays, but it’s far from the perfect solution.