iOS calendar app Sunrise just received a major 2.0 update. Like many iOS apps, the release brings a new design optimized for iOS 7. It doesn’t look anything like the previous version. Gone is the textured background and heavy branding. Now, it’s all about a pure user interface and neat animations. But the most important addition is iCloud calendar support. Now, Google Calendar as well as iOS calendar users will be able to switch to Sunrise.
“I think many people will be disappointed by the native iOS 7 calendar app,” co-founder and CEO Pierre Valade told me. “iCloud support was by far the most requested feature,” he continued.
Launched in February, Sunrise attracted more than 250,000 users in seven months. According to Valade, most of Sunrise’s users like the app because of its design. The infinite feed of events is a very compelling way to get a clear view of what’s coming next in your calendar.
While the orange color is much more subtle in the interface, the app remains very familiar to existing users. Animations, icons and text alignments turn Sunrise into a true iOS 7 app. The update also brings iOS 7-style multitasking. I asked Valade whether removing a lot of the branding associated with the app would make it look like any other iOS 7 app. His answer was that Sunrise users know that they are using Sunrise because it works differently and the animations are delightful.
But until now, many users refused to switch because the app was only compatible with Google Calendar. Most iPhone users probably already use the default calendar app, Fantastical, Calendars 5 or another app. But all of these apps rely on the default calendar APIs. Sunrise syncs everything to its servers and use the iCloud API, allowing the startup to do more stuff with your events. Exchange support is up next.
The fact that Sunrise is a full-fledged calendar service makes it future-proof. The company doesn’t hide on Twitter that it is working on Android and iPad versions. Sunrise could create a seamless experience across all your devices. While 2.0 is an important milestone, the next step will certainly be another major one for the company as well. It will turn a simple iPhone app startup into a ubiquitous calendar startup, the startup on which the sun never sets.