The Calendar App, in any previous version of iOS, was a very limited tool which made users search for alternatives in the iOS App Store. This app serves as a basic organizer that allows you to store and edit your appointments and obligations, use different labels, and sync all of that information via iCloud. There were also some hidden tricks and some other interesting features like sharing calendar entries via iCloud, but many were unaware of that. Even though many hoped that revamped Calendar app in iOS7 will change this, it only brought a nicely looking interface, but its functionality remained the same. There are some critics who say that Apple will never offer some game changing features in any of its iOS apps, since this leaves an open space for third party developers to offer their applications in the iOS App Store. Instead, Apple is creating a very stable, basic and functional working environment, but if you want advanced functionality you’ll need to look into its App Store.
Sunrise Calendar is one of those alternatives to Apple’s own Calendar app which had its ups and downs. Even though it was always known as a nicely designed app, it always brought somewhat limited functionality and never reached its full potential. Today we are going to take a look at its 2.0 version which brings a lot of new features and a completely overhauled interface.
When you open Sunrise Calendar for the first time, you’ll get three login options: Facebook, Google account, and a standalone e-mail account. If you want you can include all three options, and this will make this app pull all your Google calendar entries as well as Facebook invites, appointments, and birthdays. You can also associate iCloud, Twitter, and Foursquare accounts.
The main view will show you a two week preview, with a list of various calendar entries underneath. You can swipe down to reveal a month view, and if you click on any of those entries you’ll get to a new window which shows details like appointed time, map coordinates, contact photos, and more. Also, in the main list view you’ll get to see small icons used to quickly identify a kind of calendar entry, so you can see if that’s a call or a meeting, as well as from which account that particular entry came from.
If you sign-in with your iCloud credentials you’ll be able to share and send out event invites. This way, all your event invites will show up as a Calendar notifications to those invited individuals. It’s nice to see that a third party calendar app successfully implemented Apple’s API in terms of Calendar app data exchange.
Finally, there’s one concern when it comes to Sunrise Calendar. This app is very capable and offers a lot of great features, and even uses its own servers to support some of those features, but it’s completely free of charge. Also there are no ads, so it makes me wonder what kind of business model it’s using. This goes hand in hand with some security and privacy concerns, since your iCloud credentials are going to be stored on Sunrise’s servers. This leaves me with some questions regarding this app, which are hard to answer, so you’ll need to go with your own instinct.