I switched from Apple’s default Calendar app to Fantastical for iPhone over a year ago, and I haven’t found a viable third-party alternative until I started beta testing today’s release of Sunrise 2.0. Completely redesigned with iOS 7 in mind, Sunrise has added support for direct iCloud calendar integration on top of the existing Gmail support.
Besides its gorgeous, lightweight design, Sunrise 2.0 sets itself apart from the competition by incorporating Google Calendar, iCloud, and Facebook events with social data gathered from services like Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s a creative, refreshing calendar experience for the iPhone that looks great in iOS 7.
Sunrise is more than a traditional calendar app. The main window is fairly familiar; you have a month view at the top (that can be slid down to expand) and a day view underneath. As you can see in the screenshots, Sunrise specializes in utilizing social, weather, and location data to enrich your schedule.
Tapping the top orb above the month view reveals a list of pending event invitations from Google Calendar, iCloud and Facebook. You can RVSP in Sunrise from there, and it works beautifully. The app integrates with Google Maps for directions, and tapping a location for an event can also open it in Apple Maps.
Events that are added in a calendar tent to involve other people, and Sunrise taps into social networks to inform your relationships. Facebook birthdays, avatars, Twitter handles, and location tagging can all inform what you put in Sunrise—it depends on what you connect. The app cleverly uses weather info to show you how the forecast will change throughout the day, or if you’ll need an umbrella when you leave the house for that appointment later.
Fantastical-style natural language parsing is only supported for adding Google Calendar events by tapping and holding on the “+” button, which is unfortunate in version 2.0. There is support for timezone conversion and Reminders. Syncing works very well because Sunrise doesn’t integrate with iOS’s calendar info like other apps; you have to directly add accounts.
The best part about Sunrise? It’s totally free and available now in the App Store. With Fantastical 2 in the works, it’s an interesting time for iOS calendar apps.
Source: App Store.