Remembering birthdays and events has never really been my strength, and often I had to chase after irritated friends and family members trying to make it up to them for forgetting their special day. As Facebook infiltrated our lives more, it became easier to keep track of such events, but Facebook does not really remind you of birthdays as events – it merely displays them. On the other hand, smartphones, being the powerful personal data platform they are, can be the best reminder resource for birthdays, anniversaries, and the like.
Lately, I came across this neat iOS application, Coming Up that simplifies the task of birthday and anniversary reminders on the iPhone with an easy-to-use interface and a pretty vast set of options. This $0.99 app picks up stored birthdays from your contacts and puts them in a browse-able interface supporting configurable reminders, notification badges, adding events to calendar and a few other useful options. Join us after the break for a complete rundown of how you can set up birthday reminders on your iPhone using Coming Up.
Coming Up offers a three-tabbed interface listing Birthdays, Anniversaries and Settings. On first launch, it will scan your contacts and pull any birthday/anniversary information that may be stored in there.
With every contact, you get to see which birthday they’re celebrating, the date and day for the event and the number of days left between the current date and the big day. Similar is the case with Anniversaries tab. Hitting the + button will let you add a birthday reminder, either in the form of a new contact or update an existing one.
Tap a birthday item from the list to access more options pertaining to that event.
In this menu, you have the choice of marking a birthday reminder as lunar (so the app will adjust the days remaining based on lunar cycle calculation), adding an event to the calendar, call or text the contact or send them a birthday card (more on this later).
Hitting ‘More Info’ pulls up all of the stored contact information.
When you choose to add a birthday reminder to your calendar, you can control and modify it just like you would do with any other calendar event. Depending on how many calendars you have, you can change the storing calendar for the event as well.
The most interesting feature that I found was the ability to send Birthday Cards from within the app. Selecting this option will first ask you to input a personalized birthday message:
You can separate the text line with line breaks.
After you’ve entered your message, you can choose from a good selection of background images to impose the message on. The editor also allows you to play with the message’s font size and color.
Hit the envelope icon when you’re done, and your e-card will be loaded in a new email message, ready to be sent.
The app also offers a Settings interface which can be used to modify certain parameters like notification times, whether to show the badge or not, date format, etc. Have a look at the screenshot below.
All in all, Coming Up is a highly useful and makes it really easy to manage birthday reminders on the iPhone, which will make your life much easier when it comes to remembering the special days of the people that matter in your life. Agree or disagree, your comments will let us know.