I hate this skin but I don't know why...

So I was trying to come up with a snarky title for this; OEM skins are literally Hitler, Give me Holo or give me death, TouchWiz gave me cancer...

But, I decided against that in favour of the above as I believe it's a reflection of a few people I encounter in various forums and blog comment sections.

I recall that a common occurrence on XDA and the /r/android section of Reddit was the inexperienced user who had picked up the community vibe that he was supposed to hate OEM skins with a passion. He eventually adopted this hatred and would bash skins at every opportunity. Then, he would take the plunge, and without really knowing what he was doing, he'd flash a custom ROM like CM10. If he's lucky he manages this without bricking his device, he even manages to get the Google apps installed with no issue.

Then comes the inevitable;

"Why doesn't my phone do that thing it used to do?" - referring to some oft overlooked "gimmick" that the OEM added that the community told him was simply bloat but he used all the time.

"How come this accessory doesn't work anymore?" - referring to some hardware made by the phone manufacturer that requires proprietary firmware that isn't included in AOSP ROMs.

"Why does my phone keep restarting?" - referring to the common instability that will come with custom ROMs despite the community swearing hand on heart with all sincerity that the ROM is "rock solid" and used as their "daily driver" *

*bluetooth, Wifi, camera, video recording, GPS and LTE broken. Don't whine to me, I don't get paid for this - Dev

So it was little surprise to see the same community sentiment rear it's head at the news that Google has released their calendar app on the Play Store. At last, those poor saps stuck on those ghastly skins could free themselves of the dreaded TouchWiz, Sense or Moto Blur.

Even I was caught up in the hype, excitedly running to the store to install my copy of the calendar app. Oh joy!

But then I actually opened it.

It's good looking. Way better looking than the S Planner I use on my Galaxy S3. That looks like garbage. It's brown for one. We've all seen how much people hate brown from Ubuntu. The first Zune got nothing but grief for being brown. People don't want to be reminded of feces when planning their day out.

But...in any given view of S Planner I have all the information I need right up front, whereas with Google's calendar I have to drill into specific days or scroll through several hours to get all the details I want.

Let's compare them:


So there's my whole October in view. I can click on individual days and get an agenda list below. I can at a glance see what each day with an appointment probably has in store for me. On the first you can also see the calendar is integrated with my task list.


Now we look at the exact same view in the Google app. Yep, all my appointments are there alright...and boy it is good looking. But, I have no idea what any of those lines are at a glance. I have to actually click on each day to read what appointments are there.

Now we'll look at the week:


As before, I can see all my appointments with additional details, the hours when each will be taking place. I have to drill down into them to see additional detail like location or set reminders, but from a quick glance I know what's happening.


This is the same week, but Google has chosen to show the hours vertically rather than next to each appointment. While this gives you a better visual overview of your day it makes it impossible to fit the whole 24 hours in one view.


You have to scroll further down to see appointments happening in the evening.

Then there's the widgets:


I get a full view of the whole month at a glance right on one of my home screens. I can even scroll through the months in view.

Compare this with the default Google widget:


Today...and something coming soon. No ability to scroll to next month, no ability to quickly add an item on any given day. Just a static list. But hey...it looks good.

With the S Planner I'm able to do things at a glance and in more places than the default calendar. I have the same ability to zoom in and out of each view with pinch to zoom bur with the added ability to zoom out to a year view:


Yes, it looks bad with it's brown tone and faux leather headings with gradient buttons, but it's functional. More functional than the default.