Sunrise Calendar 1If you are a Google Calendar user in search of something new that will connect you with multiple social networking sites as well as iCloud, you are in luck.

Sunrise Calendar may have only been for Google Calendar in the past, but now it is also compatible with your iCloud, so you will always know when your anniversary is, no matter which device you are using…

Design

The design is what makes version 2.0 of this app so astounding. It has been completely redone to look great with iOS 7. All of the squares and grids of iOS 6 have been replaced with a flatter, cleaner calendar. Now, instead of highlighting the date with a “depression” in the calendar, a brightly colored dot lets you know what the date is.

All icons have been rounded off. The font is tighter, clearer, and easy to read. The background is white with subtle shades of light gray.

Adding an event is simple. Tap the plus (+) icon in the upper right corner of the screen to enter all of the details of a new calendar event, including start time, end time, location, and more. Or, to create a quick event, similar to Google Calendar, touch and hold the plus icon to call up a window that allows you to quickly add an event so you can fill in the details later.

You can switch displays by dragging your finger up or down on the screen. To view daily events on the majority of the screen, drag your finger upward. To see the entire month’s calendar view, drag your finger downward.

Each event will have an icon next to it that represents where it was originally located. For example, if you have an event on your “Work” calendar that is orange in Google Calendars, there will be an orange dot next to the event in Sunrise Calendar. If the event was posted on Facebook, a blue icon with an “F” will be next to it.

Sunrise Calendar 2App Use

The first thing you will need to do is log into your calendar. You’ll be asked to log into either your Google account, Facebook account, or to sign up using your email address. Your account information will be populated and then you can start planning your life.

The next thing you should do is go to the Settings section and add more connections. When you log into Facebook, you can RSVP to events, send birthday wishes to friends, and more. Log into LinkedIn to connect to people you have meetings with. Tap the Settings icon in the upper left corner of the screen and select “Add Account” to add more of your social networking connections. You can connect to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Producteev. This section is also where you add your iCloud account information so that you can use your Apple calendar, too. Yes, you can add multiple Google accounts.

When all of your accounts are linked, you’ll be in business. To see what is going on for any given day, tap the date on the calendar. The bottom portion of the screen will list the day’s events. You can scroll down the list to view events for upcoming dates, and previous days.

To view an event’s details, tap it. The event will show you the date, time, location, and additional information. If it is a birthday event on Facebook, you can send birthday greetings right from within the app. You can also send a text message or email for any event by tapping the “Share” button in the details section. The message will include the title, date, and time of the event.

To add a new event, tap the plus (+) symbol in the upper right corner of the screen. Then, add the event name, the start and end time, and the location. Invite people to your event by tapping the “People” tab. You can allow access to your iOS device’s contacts for quick auto-fill of friends, family, and coworkers.

Add an alert to remind you of the event. You can set the reminder to the time of the event, five, 15, 30 minutes ahead, one or two hours ahead, or one or two days before.

To set an event to recur, tap the “More” button at the bottom of the event creation page. You can add notes to the event, and create a recurrence between every day, week, two weeks, month, or year. You can also set an end to the recurrence, or have it repeat indefinitely.

This app also features smart enput. Under the quick event option, you could type something like, “Lunch with Dave tomorrow at noon,” and the event will automatically set the date and time of the event. Plus, it will add a food icon to represent your lunch category.

Sunrise Calendar 3The Good

I love the Facebook event connection. I can check out events I’ve joined to see who else is going, post a comment, and get directions (which are automatically sent to Google Maps). When a friend’s birthday pops up, I can quickly send them birthday wishes without having to go to Facebook, which is a serious time sucker for me.

The Bad

I’m having a hard time finding anything wrong with this app at all. However, I’m sure some people are going to be grumpy about the fact that it only connects with Google and iCloud calendars.

Value

Since Sunrise Calendar is free, and does not include advertisement support, the value is through the roof. You can easily connect to your Google and iCloud calendars, plus have access to Facebook events and relevant LinkedIn information from your contacts. That is a pretty good deal for free.

Conclusion

I’ve been using Cal by Any.Do for a while now, and have been very happy with that app. Sunrise Calendar is the first app that has made me think about switching. If you are looking for something that offers more than just date and time reminders, check this one out. Version 2.0 is available in the App Store today.

Related Apps

As I mentioned above, Cal by Any.Do is a great calendar app. Calendars 5 is also useful. It is the best-looking calendar app for iPad.

What is your favorite calendar app?