[Mac OS X] Candles lets you track birthdays and anniversaries better, integrates with iCal

Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 11.41.08 AMBack when I first started using Facebook, one of the features I loved the most was the ability to see who was having a birthday today, tomorrow, later this week, or later this month. Just because you’re not close enough to someone to remember their birthday doesn’t mean that you don’t want to send them some good wishes. For people who live in iCal, however, tracking birthdays on that calendar is better than using Facebook notifications. If you want to track birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates in iCal, the Mac App Candles is a good tool to consider.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Candles is a Mac App that imports birthdays from your Address Book into iCal and add alarm functionality. Candles allows you to see all of these dates in order, or sort them by name.


  • Simple interface
  • Great sorting ability
  • Plays nice with iCal (obviously)
  • Set different alarms sounds, and customize when the sound will go off (7 days before the birthday, day of, etc.)
  • App stores both the calendar date of an anniversary/birthday, as well as the original date (so you can see how old someone is, or how many years a couple has been together.)


  • Hasn’t been updated since version 1.1 (which was back in 2011)
  • Some users might prefer a more “designed” app with a more colorful UI
  • As with a lot of freeware, Candles does not operate under a warranty


Developed by Cocoa Sublime, Candles is a very simple app that boasts an equally simple, spare, and fairly spartan interface. It is very easy to add your birthday or anniversary. It also appears that you can AppleScript functionality as well.

You also have a lot of flexibility when it comes to setting up your birthday and anniversary alarms. You can arrange to be reminded of an event in almost any custom range of days before the event takes place. Alternatively, you can ask to be reminded, the day before, the same day as the scheduled event, or even a set number of days after, if you tend to send your well-wishes as belated greetings (or just want a backup reminder in case you miss the event entirely.)

Overall, Candles is a pretty simple tool. Some users might prefer an app that has a bit more color or panache to the overall design. However, if you want a very simple tool, this is a solid option to consider.

Conclusion and download link

Candles may not have been updated in two years, but this app is a pretty decent tool for tracking birthdays and anniversaries of all stripes. I really like that you can see both the calendar date of an event and the original date, which makes it easy to know right away how many years have past since the original date. The interface is a bit bare bones, but the functionality is nice. Candles is a good tool to augment your iCal experience.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.1

Supported OS: OS X 10.6.6 or later

Download size: 2.3 MB

Candles on Mac App Store

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