While we do our best to record and remember the birthdays of our friends and family, we could still use some help to know about upcoming birthdays in time to send a card or plan an event. Enter Birthdays by Giorgio Calderolla, a straightforward and useful app that will remind you of upcoming birthdays via local push notifications (no internet connection required).
Birthdays is particularly useful if you already store birth dates in the Contacts app, whether these were entered manually or sync’ed over from your computer, since it pulls these dates automatically and will notify you of birthdays using local push notifications on the day of, by default.
If you’re the type to call friends and family on their birthdays, this default set-up will work perfectly for you without the need to make any changes to the app’s settings – all you’ll need to do is open the app once to let it pull in birth date information and you’re done.
If you want a little more advance notice, you can change the default notification timing to as far as 30 days before a birthday, as well as set the time of day the notification should show up. If you don’t want to be notified of a birthday for a specific contact, you can easily turn this off for individual contacts as well.
You can also enter birthdays manually within the app. Entering a birthday for someone who isn’t already in your Contacts will add a new Contacts entry for that person. You can also add a birthday for someone already in your Contacts within the app by scrolling down to the Unknown section where people without birthdays saved are listed, and the birthday you enter will automatically update the Contacts entry for that person as well.
While we find the Unknown list to be very helpful, there’s no way to search for a specific name, requiring you to scroll through it which can be tedious if you have a lot of contacts.
If you rely on Facebook for your birthday information, the app can also import birthdays directly from Facebook. This feature offers two settings to simply pull all of your contacts from Facebook, though this could create duplicates in your Contacts. Or, if you have more confidence in the birthday information on Facebook, you can let the app simply overwrite the birthdays you have already stored.
We use Facebook but we have friends who haven’t entered their birthdays or who intentionally put an incorrect date to avoid sharing too much personal information and a more selective Facebook import function would be nice, though we’re not sure if Facebook allows this sort of interaction with 3rd-party apps.
At $.99, Birthdays is an inexpensive and easy-to-use app that will keep you on top of every single birthday. Our wish list is fairly short – we’d like a little more customizability to set different notification alert timing for certain people to allow for special situations like longer delivery times for a birthday card to make it to someone in another country and for a search function to more easily find a specific person. The app’s description indicates that Calderolla already has a number of feature additions planned for the next version, including the ability to add notes to each birthday to record gift ideas or other items, and a “today” section with shortcuts to quickly contact someone to say happy birthday and we look forward to these new features.