Sunrise for Android makes Google Calendar look ugly

May 29, 2014
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Following a stint as an iOS exclusive,  calendar app Sunrise launched today on the Play Store and on the web. It was well worth the wait.

Sunrise for Android syncs with Google’s Calendar and Apple’s iCloud, so you can continue to use your old calendars with it. Support for other calendars may be coming in the future, and the app also supports adding events from Facebook, Foursquare, and other apps. You can even add the birthdays of your Facebook friends so you won’t ever forget to call or buy a gift. Integration with more services is coming in the future, including with some used by professionals, like Github and Trello.

Firing up the Sunrise Android app lets you connect with Google, Facebook, or just your email. After you give your permission for offline use, you can connect Google Calendar, iCloud Calendar, or Facebook, and away you go. Synchronization is fast and easy, and you can select which calendars you want to import.

The interface doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines, but it’s still delightful. The attention to detail that went into creating it is visible everywhere, from the small weather icons, to the indicator that tells you where the current day is in the calendar, to the way the month view expands when you drag on the preview.

You can switch from the summary window to a conventional daily view with the button at the top or by swiping right and left. When you add an event, you can pick the location from Google’s Maps database, and when you open the event, you are presented with a map to the location. You also get nice thumbnails of any contacts you assigned to the event and you can quickly send emails to get in touch with everyone.

There are a few missing things. There’s no Exchange support, which is a must-have for many people that use Exchange at work (support for Exchange is coming in the future, though). There’s no search box for events, which can be frustrating, to say the least. In month view, there’s no indicator of which days are busy. But these, along with a few other small issues, can easily be fixed in future updates.

In the nice to have category, you get a widget, though it’s a bit limited in functionality and customizability. More importantly, Sunrise offers a web interface, which is similar to Google Calendar’s but more polished and better looking, and a Chrome web app with offline support, that Chromebook users will really appreciate. For the future, the Sunrise teams plans a dedicated Android tablet app.

Available in the Play Store here, Sunrise Calendar is completely free. If you’re using calendars on your device even occasionally, we strongly recommend that you give it a try.

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