Launching on iPhone in February 2013, Sunrise changed our perception of calendar apps with its ability to provide more context to daily events. By connecting to Google, iCloud, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts, Sunrise can intelligently integrate appointments, birthdays and even checkins into its slick calendar UI, giving users a complete picture of what they've done in the past and the things they need to do in the future.
Despite its iPhone-only availability, the free app has grown to become one of the most popular third-party iOS calendar apps, consistently ranking in the App Store's top 100 productivity apps in the final quarter of last year. Almost a year on, Sunrise developers Pierre Valade and Jeremy Le Van have decided it's finally time to bring the stylish calendar app to iPad, complete with visualization and synchronization improvements.
Like its iPhone counterpart, the Sunrise iPad app will immediately request that you connect your cloud accounts when you open it for the first time, helping to feed it with information it'll need to remind you about later. Valade says the team has worked hard to bring the best Sunrise experience to the iPad, and so it's created two new weekly and monthly views that "make it easier to plan from your iPad and navigate in time quickly."
If you've used Google Calendar or Apple's Mac Calendar.app, you'll be familiar with Sunrise's time-based views, although Sunrise will deliver more information at-a-glance. If you see that you have a particularly busy day coming up, the week view will let you dive deeper and see how much free time you have outside of those events. The new week view has also been ported to the iPhone app and can be selected by tapping the week icon next to the new event button.
Tapping on a day will generate a new pop-up tab that displays all of your appointments and reminders. Drawing from the original iPhone UI, Sunrise for iPad not only chronologically lists events, it also categorizes them by assigning them a small icon related to the activity you have planned (or the service they are connected to). As you can see from the screenshot above, if you've planned a movie night, the app will assign a little movie ticket icon to the entry. If there's a location attached to an appointment, Sunrise will provide directions, although Apple Maps, Google Maps or Waze will do the heavy lifting. It's little things like this that make this that make Sunrise really stand out from other calendar apps.
In the past, if you wanted to ensure Sunrise had an up-to-date list of your upcoming appointments, you'd have to open the app and have it download them, which is especially annoying if you add events from different devices. Sunrise version 2.1 eliminates that frustration by integrating background updates that will synchronize all of your connected cloud accounts every hour by default, or at 30 or 15 minute intervals (if you need tasks to show up a little quicker).
While there's no shortage of productivity apps on the App Store, Sunrise's slick user interface and iterative features consistently continue to push the bar for iOS calendar apps. Soon, Apple users won't be the only ones enjoying the app: desktop and Android versions are expected later this year. Today's update, however, sees the app go universal while remaining free to download -- hit the source link below to try it for your yourself.