Apple release iOS 7.1 today. The improvement I was most coveting was the return of "list view" to the default calendar app. Folks whose schedule only has a few events per day tend to like having a view where they can see all the events of the next week or so at a glance. iOS 7 had something like this -- if you did a search but didn't enter any search terms -- but it felt odd to navigate that way. (And as we'll discuss, the month view didn't have a list view at all, you had to drill down to a day.)
So Apple dropped the ball, or at least confused the hell out of me. I could only get a "month list" view; a list view of a day's events underneath the month grid. No matter what I tapped or swiped or held, there was no way to see a simple list of events for multiple days. Sites describing the new 7.1 features in detail talked about this view, but getting there proved a mystery!
Similarly, my friend Diane was complaining how the update didn't include a "month list" view. Clicking on a day on the month grid just zoomed in on that day... checking multiple days then required bouncing back and forth.
Finally I figured it out: "You can't theah from heah", as they say in Maine. At least not directly. There are 4 fundamental states to the calendar, but you have to get back to the "plain month" view in order to see them. Here's a diagram that should make things more clear, or confuzzle them completely:
Like I said, I think this is crazily confusing: the two toggles are just too similar. Also, it seems like the "month plus day list" is semantically closer to the "flat list" view, so having to navigate back to the "plain month" is counter-intuitive. (and Diane proved that it's not obvious that the icons are toggles at all, though I think that's a side effect of flat design without affordances to hint at function)
State machines can be very useful for programmers, but they should be easier for your users to mentally model than this!
Anyway, when I was in semi-despair about having my flat list view, I decided to experiment with alternate calendar apps. One popular one is "Fantastical 2". It's a good app, and has a kind of brilliant plain-text mode for new events (you can type "meet Fred for drinks thursday at 6 PM", or even speak it via Siri, and it does the right thing). But, man, the choice of colors: