iPad mini calendar technical test: Bugs and issues

1. February 2014

In our user tests, we tested a German version of the iPad Calendar app. In this technical test, we look at both language versions, English and German. We did not notice any additional bugs or issues in the German translation that would be absent in the English version.

This is a part of our comparative test of tablets for blind users. An introduction is provided in Tablet test with blind users: Overview.

Compared to the other calendars apps, there are a few issues and hardly any bugs in the iPad calendar (as far as we can tell). One serious issue is that the pop-up for event entry can easily be closed accidentally, which leads to the loss of data entered so far (see below). Of all three calendars, this is clearly the most mature implementation, even though some issues remain.

Legend for bugs / issues:

  • (MB) / (MI): minor bug / minor issue
  • (SB) / (SI): significant bug or issue
  • (CB) / (CI): critical bug / critical  issue

Note: This report of bugs and issues cannot claim to be comprehensive. Whether something is registered as issue or as bug and wether the issue/bug is minor, significant or critical has been determined by personal judgement; others may draw the line differently.

Month view

  • (MI) The button text add / hinzufügen is too terse to be easily understood as the element to add a new calendar event. In user tests, several users searched for some time before they found the function for creating a calendar entry. (Once function and label are known, this problem is negligible)
  • (MI) Swiping right enters the day grid but this is not reversible to refocus on menu elements. While it is perfectly logical that a swipe left on the first day of the month leads to the last day of the prior month, users may experience the problem of not getting back to the controls. When VoiceOver focus is within the grid, a vertical swipe up is necessary to focus first on first day shown in grid, and another swipe to focus the first item of interface elements in the header. For users familiar with the VoiceOver gestures this is less of a problem
  • (MB) Days in the month grid are not spoken on touching the large target, the day block; the touch has to exactly meet the tiny number in the top-right corner of the day block for the date to be spoken
  • (MI) A double-tap on a day in the grid does not open day view or create a new event. The latter is the behavior both in the Nexus calendar (but this only works on week view or day view) and the Windows 8 calendar

Week view

  • (MI) In the week view,  a double-tap on an hour cell in the grid does not create a new event with the day and time pre-filled (or we missed the gesture). The latter is the behavior both in the Nexus calendar (but this only works on week view or day view) and the Windows 8 calendar. (Without VoiceOver, a longer press on the hour inserts a new event – is there any good reason to disable that behavior?)

Day view

  • (MI) In the day view, hours can be focused with swiping or touch explore but new event can only be made via add / hinzufügen – does not take over the selected time (has 8:00 as default). (Without VoiceOver, a longer press on the hour inserts a new event – is there any good reason to disable that behavior?)

New event

  • (MI) Swiping after text entry moves to adjacent keys in virtual keyboard which is hardly useful behavior. Textfield entry submission needs explicit confirmation via the virtual keyboard return key or touch explore and then a double-tap selection of the next input field. For swiping to apply to the pop-up, it needs to be explicitly touched
  • (SI) An accidental closing of the event entry pop-up / Einblendfenster can easily happen by tapping outside of it. When the screen has been touched anywhere, a double tap outside the pop-up / Einblendfenster has the immediate effect of closing the pop-up and discarding the event data already entered. (The touch outside the pop-up / Einblendfenster actually announces this behavior, but users may often not wait to hear it.) There is no dialogue asking the user whether to dismiss or save data already entered (as in Windows 8; in the Nexus Calendar, the view has to be cancelled explicitly or confirmed (Done); using the back button saves the entry by default)
  • (MI) Labels (Titel / title, Ort / location URL, Notizen / notes) of the various text inputs disappear as soon as something has been entered, which may cause problems of identifying the appropriate input when changing or correcting entries
  • (MI) The swiping focus moves from the end of the pop-up to the virtual keyboard, not to the logical place, the "Done" button (which is at the top of the pop-up)

Edit event

  • (MI) This is a similar pop-up as the create event pop-up but in a different location. The first pop-up after selecting an event has now Abbrechen / Cancel and Fertig / Done buttons in the header. Closing just by selecting outside the pop-up, then double-tapping.