Calendar app Sunrise just launched on Android phones and desktop (thanks to a new web app). It’s a major release for the company as the app was only available on the iPhone and iPad until today. On Android, it looks a lot like the existing iPhone app. On the web, it’s like Google Calendar, but much better.
“By launching on the web and Android, we become the first cross-platform calendar app available on the two main mobile platforms and on desktop as well. Apple doesn’t have an Android app, and Google has yet to release Google Calendar in the App Store,” co-founder and CEO Pierre Valade told me in a phone interview.
For now, the Android app only supports Google Calendar and iCloud calendars. The tablet app will come later as well. Other than that, you will find the exact same features in the Android app as on iOS, except Exchange support.
The calendar app on Android features the same scrollable feed with all your events, the smart month grid, the three-day view, integration with your Facebook events and more.
There is also an Android widget to put your events on your home screen. If you use an iPad and Android phone, you will definitely see that it’s the same polished experience on two different platforms.
And then there’s the web version. I’ve been using the beta version for a couple of months now, and it has become my new desktop calendar app — it’s great, period.
Previously, I was using Google Calendar, a product that hasn’t changed in years. When you load Google Calendar, it feels like using the Minitel — it’s practical but not pleasant in any way.
Sunrise on the web features a much more attractive UI with a full width week view, great event editing popups, Facebook events and multiple Google accounts. It looks much better and is very efficient. I would never go back to using Google Calendar now.
The startup also launched a Chrome app, which is exactly like the web app, but in a separate app and with offline support. As on Android, Exchange support will come later.
“Now, when we think about a new feature, we think about it on desktop on mobile platforms at the same time,” Valade said. Sunrise could release its app on multiple platforms because it doesn’t rely on Apple’s calendar local APIs. “We have always said that if you want to really change calendar apps, you have to start from scratch without local APIs — that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Now that Sunrise is available on all these platforms, users can completely ditch Google Calendar or iCloud calendar. The startup has attracted more than 100,000 daily active users on iOS, it should grab even more users with today’s release.
Sunrise is slowly but surely evolving from a neat iPhone app to a full-fledged calendar service. “For us, mobile is important, but it is even more important to have more platforms,” Valade said. “Calendar users still spend a lot of time in front of their computer screen to create events.”