Peek.

Website:
http://www.peekcalendar.com/

Platforms:
iOS

Price:
Free

What is this even?

Peek is a super basic and extremely minimalistic calendar app that’s designed to allow you to have a quick glance at the upcoming events on your calendar. While you can add new events from the app, there’s intentionally no edit functionality, because the app is designed to be as minimal as possible.

The app’s clean and brightly minimalistic design is a pleasure to use, and as a designer I have to say I’m very much taken with the interesting UI elements sprinkled throughout the app. The discovery process is a bit of an adventure though, with the bulk of the functionality tucked away behind a complicated UI that’s trying just a bit too hard to be clever.

Each day has a bar on the right that indicates the busy-ness of that day, and tapping each day reveals the events you have on the list.

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The app’s functionality is very much gesture-based; the main screen consists only of a list of days in the upcoming week, followed by a list of upcoming months. Swiping right reveals the Settings menu, the first item of which is the full gesture list.

 

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To add a new event, press and hold on the day of the event.

 

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At first glance, it’s all pretty standard stuff, which is probably why none of it comes labelled at all, but… there’re some actually rather non-standard bits in here. For one, tapping on the time settings does nothing unless you tap and hold. For another, rather than picking a start time and an end time, Peek has you pick a start time and a duration, which I think I like better in terms of how thinking about an event is structured.

Picking a time is interesting as well, in that pressing and hold opens a time picker view with a very much non-standard selector. The time picker has just two columns with 12 numbers apiece, one for hours and one for minutes, and a round button right at the bottom to give you the next set of 12 hours in the day. So if you’ve yet to master military time, you’re SOOL.

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The duration picker is interesting as well; you drag a thick bar down the screen. Handily, this bar comes with an indicator at the base telling you what time your new event will end. Letting go at any point automatically saves the duration to your event.

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As I was happily dragging my green column up and down the page, I noticed a duller green section at the bottom of the screen. When my bright green bar made contact with the dull green bar, it flipped me over to a similar page, only now instead of selecting duration in units of 15 minutes, I was now selecting duration in units of days. The principle holds though, I still always know exactly when my event will end.

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My one complaint with the duration picker is that if I change my mind and decide that I don’t want my event to last days, there’s no obvious way to go back to selecting minutes. Dragging my bar back to the top of the screen didn’t let me go back, and eventually I slid my finger too high up and off the screen and wound up saving the duration as a day.

Another nice touch is the time zone picker; I love the idea of scrubbing along the map until I land on the appropriate country. However… not being the most geographically savvy, I can also see this being massively complicated for me. Also, while the blue and white is very soothing, I automatically assumed blue = water, which really didn’t help with my already dodgy map-reading.

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Event creation aside, there’s also a handy clock feature, which can be accessed by cupping your hand over the top of your phone, casting enough of a shadow over the front-facing camera that it slides down a clock.

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This shading feature doesn’t come turned on by default though, and I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t work at first… until I thought to check the Settings. Which… makes it hard to tell at first glance which settings are on/off. After tapping a bunch of settings at random, turns out the toggle is indicated by the icon in the circle, which is just UI being too clever, really.

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On the whole, it’s a pretty little app that I’m sure someone had a lot of fun designing, and I really like the bars indicating each day’s packedness, but the lack of an edit ability is a killer for me. It’s too much of a hassle to have to keep another calendar app around for when plan changes inevitably crop up.

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