Back in October, we took a look at Sunrise Calendar for the iPhone. Its direct connection with social networking apps, like Facebook and Twitter, makes it convenient for sending birthday wishes, getting event info, and a whole lot more.
Sunrise Calendar has received a major update that brings iPad support and a weekly view that will make your schedule easier to see than ever before…
Although it is similar in look to its predecessor, Sunrise’s user interface has been completely redesigned. The minimalistic look of the iPhone version has been replaced with a more utilitarian look that is similar to Apple’s native Calendar app. On the iPhone, users still see the monthly view with the simplistic calendar, followed by a list of the day’s events. However, the iPad view looks more like Apple’s Calendar in that the days of the month are displayed on a grid.
Instead of dots to represent an event on any given day, the events are simply listed inside that day’s space. Tap on a day to see a list of the events. Tap an event to see the details.
The biggest change comes with the addition of the weekly view. If you tap the week view icon in the upper right corner, which looks like three vertical lines, the calendar will switch from the monthly grid to a weekly schedule. On the iPhone, you can see today and the next two days after. On the iPad, you can see five days in portrait mode and seven days in landscape mode.
The weekly mode is somewhat similar to Apple’s native Calendar app, but not as messy looking. There are less lines and textures, giving the overall design a cleaner look.
Just like with version 1.0, users log into their Google and/or Facebook accounts to access their respective calendars. Once logged in, you will be asked which calendars you would like to see. At this point, you can add additional Google calendars and log into Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Producteev. Log into iCloud to add your Apple Calendar and you will be totally connected. My go-to calendar app on the iPhone is Cal by Any.Do. Because Cal syncs with the Apple Calendar app and Google, I was able to see everything I add in Cal on Sunrise. As much as I love Cal, it is not supported on the iPad, so I like being able to combine the two.
Much of Sunrise’s features are the same in version 2.0. To add an event, tap the plus (+) symbol in the upper right corner of the screen. Type in the event title, add the start and end time, include a location, invite others to the event, and set notification reminders. Sunrise does not support smart typing. You will have to manually add the information relative to the event. However, certain words will trigger a matching icon. For example, if you type “dinner with mom” an icon of a fork and knife will appear next to it. If you type in “take car to mechanic’s” an icon of a car will appear.
The app features Google connectivity. If you want to add a location to an event, you can search for it using Google’s search engine. For example, if you are meeting a friend for lunch at your favorite sushi restaurant, begin typing in the name and it will appear in the list of locations. Tap it and the address will be saved to the event. Then, when you view the event, you will see the location on a map in the details. You can also set the app to use Google Maps as the default mapping service instead of Apple Maps. When you tap the address, it will bring up the option to give you directions.
Obviously, the best part is that this app now supports the larger iPad screen. There are very few good third-party calendar apps available on the iPad. Now I can add another to my list.
I love the new weekly view. On the iPhone, it is easy to see the next three days at a glance. On the iPad, I love being able to see the full week ahead like a weekly planner. It is very easy to check out my schedule and know what is coming in next few days.
I’ve started to really get used to Smart Type. Apple’s native Calendar app for the iPad includes the feature and it seriously makes adding an event much faster. I’d love to see that feature added to Sunrise in a future update.
[Update: It turns out that Smart Type is still available when you activate the Quick Event feature. However, Quick Event is currently not available on the iPad, so you can only use it on the iPhone at this time.]
Sunrise Calendar is free for all. Now that it is universal, it is easy to sync to all of your mobile devices. If you already like Sunrise, having it available on the iPad just makes it that much more valuable.
If you are still on the hunt for a good third-party calendar app for your iPad, Sunrise might be your perfect fit. It syncs with Google, Facebook and iCloud. Plus, you can connect to a variety of social networking sites for more access to your contacts. Fans of previous versions of Sunrise Calendar will appreciate the new weekly view. This app is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store for free.