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I've just bought an entry-level Samsung Europa, running version 2.2. I'm technically-minded but new to this OS. I'd like to find a calendar that runs in limited security permissions, so that my calender isn't synced to anywhere over the internet. I am happy to take responsibility for my own backups.

I have signed up for a Google account to run the stock Calendar app (it mandates it), to access Google Maps and to access the market. I've set the Google account to "Sync is OFF" in General Sync Settings, and I've turned off Auto Sync. I've kept Background Data turned on, and turned off Google syncing in the Calendar options. I am hoping this combination of settings means that my calendar will not be copied off the device, though I'm not confident this is the case.

I wasn't aware until after purchasing that app-level security permissions could not be modified in Android - some light research just now suggests that one needs to root the device to get that feature. (I may well do that, but I want to get a working set-up first). Since the sandbox permissions for Calendar are do what you want, I've been looking at alternatives. Jorte Calendar requires wide permissions, and Smooth Calendar looks like it just relies on the standard Calendar app as storage, as I think does GO Calendar Widget.

I'm okay with limited data flowing to Google/Microsoft/BigCorp - such as map usage or market searches. But I'd plan to avoid using remote storage for private data: my contacts, texts, calendaring and so forth (there's something about Calendar refusing to start without a Google or FB account that is a touch irksome). I could use a local calendar on my old Sony K660 without wondering if it was being copied without consent - are there calendar apps that will do this? Or is rooting & resetting perms for Calendar my best option?

Addendum: in Privacy Settings, I've turned off Back Up My Data. Turning it on then off again reveals this dialogue box message: Are you sure you want to stop backing up your settings and application data and erase all copies on Google servers?. So that's a reassurance that file system data won't get synched by the stock OS - just Contacts and Calendar to go :-)

Post Addendum: I suggested in the comments that I might use the Corporate feature, in which one can add a Microsoft Exchange account. However this appears sadly to be subject to similar privacy objections that I apply to the Google account requirement. The user is asked for an email and password, and is confronted with this message:

By activating this application you accept that part of your mobile phone data (comprising IMEI and model name) will be stored, processed and used by Samsung for the purpose of reporting activation of the application to the licensors of the application software itself. Such data held by Samsung will be dealt with strictly in accordance with Samsung's privacy policy. A copy of the policy is available upon request. Continue?

Admittedly this is a small privacy risk compared to the wholesale copying of a calendar or contacts, but it still emphasises the point that the corporate storage of ones data is essentially mandatory. (Added here for the benefit of search engines on this topic.)

That said, it may still be worth a go. For those of us without access to a real private Exchange server, one would need to find something to emulate one, so that the Google account can be removed. Once I've settled into using the phone, I will look into these alternatives - and this in particular. Also of interest is package support in some Linux distributions - not much for OS X yet, but I will keep on looking!

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What permissions does Jorte require that you feel are unjustified? Removing permissions may cause crashes in applications as they can lead to unhandled exceptions. There's a way to remove permissions from apps without root though. –  Richard Borcsik Jun 10 '12 at 20:26
    
Thanks for your reply. Jorte requires Storage (which an offline calendar would require, so that's fine). Also it requests System Tools (prevent phone from sleeping, start at boot), which sound harmless. Phone Calls is not so good (my number, my IMEI, who I call) and neither is Network Communication (web access) or Your Accounts (access to registered sync accounts like Google). To be clear, I'm not of the view that there's malicious code in Jorte or Calendar - just trying to lock down the machine as if it were a laptop (or as close as one can get). Us programmers are cautious types! :) –  halfer Jun 10 '12 at 21:06
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There's a way to remove permissions from apps without root though - ooh, cool. Can you supply a link? –  halfer Jun 10 '12 at 21:07
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I haven't seen it written anywhere, I'll write it up tonight. I can perfectly understand your caution, android permission system is really flawed. It's also weird that you can't use calendar without an account,though I can understand their reasoning. –  Richard Borcsik Jun 11 '12 at 15:35
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Here it is. I ended up writing it as a question so it doesn't get lost. If you need some clarifications feel free to ask it there. –  Richard Borcsik Jun 12 '12 at 9:23
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3 Answers

To answer my original question, I've found aCalendar, which has very limited sandbox requirements. It just asks for Your Personal Information, which it needs to write to the shared calendar store - impressive! As I've said elsewhere, this leaves calendar items prone to accidental synchronisation with Google, but for most people this is acceptable.

Happily, the UI of this calendar is excellent, with only a couple of niggles (in particular, the small screen of the Europa makes it very difficult, occasionally impossible, to touch on calendar items in the 7-day view). Issues aside, I am likely to settle on this app, unless a better one comes along!

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Although my original question was to source a calendar that did not have wide security permissions, the purpose was to avoid having to sync with remote cloud services. I've found a Windows product that will do this locally, and the site makes it look pretty polished. This approach (afaik) makes use of the built-in calendar, so one just has to trust that it doesn't sync elsewhere regardless of which sync provider you select.

(Side note: I'm nothing to do with this product/company. I've not tried it, as I'm on OS X).

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I'm not sure if this is the answer you seek, but if you want a calendar app that does not sync unless you set it up to do so, check out ColorNote. I use the note stuff for jotting down stuff on the run. If you tap the upper-left corner it shows a menu from which you can select calendar. I don't use calendar extensively so can't comment much on it.

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Thanks @dutara. I don't think I've seen that one, will take a look. One of the things about the stock Calendar is it has a very polished UI, and a couple that implement their own widgets look a bit 'home made'. I'll see what ColorNote feels like. –  halfer Jun 14 '12 at 8:16
    
Just tried it. Very impressed with the sync approach, which is very permission based (requires sign-up) and encrypts with AES prior to sending. The month-level calendar view is arguably clearer than the stock Calendar (in terms of blobs representing appointments). However the day view is a bit limited (you can only see the first 10 chars of each item, and you have to drill down to read it) and appointments cannot have a time, only a reminder time. Still good though, and an excellent stop-gap until I find a better non-Google alternative. –  halfer Jun 24 '12 at 10:48
    
@halfer It encrypts with AES but with whose key? Yours or theirs? –  Richard Borcsik Jun 26 '12 at 20:54
    
@RichardBorcsik: yours, I presume - you supply a passphrase in the Options panel, from which a key is derived. –  halfer Jun 26 '12 at 20:59
    
@halfer well I just checked, they're not asking for a passphrase if you don't already have one so I guess it's theirs. The passphrase is used for sdcard backups. Oh and they're using Google app engine so all data goes to daddy anyway :D –  Richard Borcsik Jun 26 '12 at 21:15
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