Skip to main content

Sunrise Calendar 101: Knowing Microsoft's latest acquisition

Microsoft's latest acquisition, while not officially announced by the company, is said to be Sunrise Calendar. Anyone who's ever spent any time with Android or iOS may well be familiar with i already. It's massively popular and all the while has remained free to download.

But what is it that makes this calendar app a potential $100 million investment? Why is it so good? Read on and we'll try to break it down for you.

When is a calendar app more than just a calendar

Sunrise is a calendar. That much is a given. It has days, weeks, months, years, just like every other calendar. But what's one of the main purposes of a calendar app? To help you plan the day. To record meetings, tasks, appointments, to keep you where you need to be at the time you need to be there.

Sunrise takes it a little further. Through partnerships with other services such as Evernote and Todoist, Sunrise Calendar really can be your one-stop daily planner. Got a Todoist task due at 3pm? No problem, have it automatically added to your calendar. Likewise with your Evernote reminders.

Think of it as a hub to manage your entire day.

So, what can plug in to Sunrise Calendar

This is where the true power of the app is unlocked. Bringing some of your favorite services right into your calendar, and keeping them all synced across your devices. Here's what's currently supported.

  • Google calendars
  • iCloud calendars
  • Facebook events and birthdays
  • Foursquare checkins
  • Google tasks
  • Twitter, showing last tweets of people you're meeting with
  • Linkedin information about meeting attendees
  • Producteev tasks
  • Evernote reminders
  • GitHub milestones
  • Songkick to track your favorite bands
  • Asana tasks
  • TripIt travel itinerary
  • Todoist tasks
  • Eventbrite tickets
  • Exchange calendars

Calendar apps are a plenty, but it's this ever growing list of partners which has helped Sunrise become so popular, and also such a quality tool. And it takes away the need to spend the time manually updating your calendar with deadlines, reminders, even birthdays. Once you've used these features it's hard to use anything else.

What platforms is it currently available on

Here's the kicker. Presumably with a Microsoft purchase either the full Sunrise app or all of the good stuff inside would be made available on Windows platforms. As it currently stands there are apps available for iOS, Android, Mac, Google Chrome and there is also a general web app that everyone can use.

Find out more

Our buddies at iMore have been living with Sunrise Calendar for some time, now. So, if you want to go a little further and find out a little more about Microsoft's latest purchase, hit the link below.

  • All you need to know about Sunrise Calendar

The future plans aren't at all clear right now, but it's something we'll be following closely.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

112 Comments
  • Sounds like an evil plan. Lol.
  • 1. Buy rival stuff
    2. ??????
    3. Profit
  • Integrate it with Cortana and pull it from rival's store.
  • Pull it from rival's store? No way!
    MS's plan is to make their apps available across platforms (and as usual their apps are much better on ios&Android than their own platform).
  • No, integrate it with Cortana and get everyone on all supported platforms using Cortana instead of their products.
  • why just integrate, have cortana installed as an app there. We are no unique. They now have office, outlook. What else? I actually don't mind, but when I see them advertising lumias they focus on office(current version), don't the advertisers now it is no longer a plus point for current windows phones.
  • It may become W10 default Calendar with Cortana integration.  It would be the best.
  • Now I get Microsoft's strategy. Make every phone a Microsoft phone. http://mashable.com/2015/02/05/microsoft-wants-to-own-your-phone/
  • does anyone else find it strange that the developer made time to develop an app for Mac but not Windows (maybe even a universal app to include WP).
    guess it's not all about market share. :|
  • It's not strange. He's probably apple fan boy.
  • Or he just knows MS are desperate enough to buy it from him if he doesn't make it for their ecosystem. ;)
  • He would have needed a Mac to make the iPhone version. Then he probably wanted it on desktop for himself. Same with apps like Slack, which have a native desktop app for Mac but only a Chrome app for Windows (though recently they are hiring devs to build a universal Windows app). People who have Macs often surround themselves with others that have Macs and then get a warped perception of their market share.
  • Your 2nd paragraph is spot on. People who use Apple products tend to come under some cloud of distortion field which warps their perception of reality around them.
  • Not realy, potential reason is stated in the article; "This is where the true power of the app is unlocked. Bringing some of your favorite services right into your calendar, and keeping them all synced across your devices. " To be able to sync all that information from varying siources, the developer knew they had to do some work on the desktop/laptop portion of those mobile devices. Think about it, Windows 10 is being designed to work across all windows based form facors and that what you do on any form factor can be continued and fully synced on all others, as such those codes have to exist on those form factors for Apple and Google to facilitate just that.
  • My next phone will be Android.
  • M'kay.
  • if good apps are not available on WP, microsoft buys it :P
  • Call me from your Android honey
  • I planned to buy an Android phone too. But that doesn't mean I'm dumping my WP...
  • i have android phone ... its my primary ... and 925 its for development ... I dont think I can ever shift to WP as primary phone
  • Then change your name and be gone!
  • You criticize others for being fanboys of other systems while being one yourself for WP. 
  • I don't know how to make an android as my primary phone. I have tried but my needs are less app wise, and often I was unable some apps in android store which luckily I found on windows phone. My friends with android know that two, so far I have covinced couple of my sisters, a professor, 5-6 friends. In the end it's the need that matters I guess.
  • Hahahahahaha wish u luck
  • Cool. Can you do us a favor and find an android site to whine at all day? I know you're very sad in life but no need to take it out on all of us.
  • Microsoft is investing in Cyanogen and that may be telling you there is no need to switch.
  • Better read that news again... and this time have somebody intelligent explain it to you because you obviously did not comprehend it.
  • So... from Win DroidPhone to DroidPhone??? Best wishes :-)
  • The user interface is alright, but there's nothing to do with the modern MSFT thing. Hope they know what they're doing!
  • Oh, that's gone now. Sad isn't it.
  • Something that has nothing to do with Microsoft or Windows/Windows Phone right now doesn't look like something Microsoft would design?!
  • Bout to try it out on my Android m8. Should be a great addition to windows
  • I'm sure they have a plan, but it seems like this is a redundant purchase after Acompli.
  • Yeah, because a calendar app company and an email app company are the same exact things right?
  • @TechmelN64:
    Because a certain amount of overlap makes two products (completely) redundant?!
  • Buy the best, integrate it in your product and let it come alive as the best mail program there is on any platform and we call it Outlook.
  • If you can't beat them, buy them...
  • It's not about beating them. They could easily copy the app and all its functionality, probably even faster than Sunrise could add new features, but then they're have to convince people to use it. Instead they bought Sunrise's users, and now they can study their behaviour and gain insights in a segment of the market they don't yet have access to. This is the exact same reason Facebook bought WhatsApp, for example.
  • correct Microsoft could also have made Minecraft by themselves then y did they go for it spending 2 billion on it. Customers matter.
  • "what's that? You're not going to make a Windows Phone app? No problem. We'll just buy you" -Microsoft 2014-2015
  • Amen
  • Buy it to implement everything into the system, no app will be needed... Great.
  • Yessss, like skype on Windows 10
  • Windows 10 for phone is probably colse to being finished. If the calendar is part of the OS, then I doubt features from this Sunrise app will be seen for a while.
  • I think the calendar and mail are going to be Apps in Windows 10 (The Outlook Mail and Calendar they showed at the event in January), rather than built into the OS (For easier updating) It's possible they give us the option to choose Default apps for certain tasks, like in Windows on PC's - I think in WP 8.1 you can choose a default GPS/Nav application but I don't think you can choose any other defaults....Could change in Windows 10 maybe?
  • what? not even lol, just a couple weeks ago we saw how "finished" Windows 10 for phones was, its barely got its basic ground work done, there is plenty of time to add stuff, that said, I doubt they'll add this in W10 as i doubt it was in the plans (hard to plan an os feature you dont have yet)
  • Interesting. Nice work Richard
  • Sounds like a plan that will fit well into Microsoft's vision for cloud first mobile first world. And it week benefits it's customers.
  • Why should we believe that MS will make this available to WP users?
  • Windows 10: Good times are coming.
  • Umm, I hope. I used outlook on ios today and frankly, the windows phone application is a joke in comparison. They could have released outlook as a separate application on windows phone to download. I know that people say that windows 10 will fix everything, I'm hoping too, but, it's frustrating to see great applications released on other platforms by Microsoft ahead of it's own platform. Hopefully this calender application will be integrated in the stock calendar application for windows 10.
  • Except for the glaring oversight where it stores your exchange credentials in the cloud. I don't want it until that outside is resolved.
  • The Outlook mail app on iOS looks pretty much the same as the one they showed coming to Windows 10 on phones. It almost looks like they've use Xamarin to develop a lot of the shared code - The iOS app seems to have all the features they showed off at the January event.
  • Well considering they bought Accompli in December, how do you think they'd release a full app for Windows in two months of summer holidays? It's impressive they even for the rebranding and Microsoft integration done in that time.
  • This all fits with Microsoft's "universal" strategy. One app - all devices, one OS - all devices, one task - all devices... I like it!
  • One World Order
  • And if you cant beat them, eat them...
  • Ok thats nice of them but I also wish that Microsoft would bring that to us (now whole windows ecosystem) also!!!
  • Overpriced but awesome calendar apps btw...
  • Clever move! :D
  • They must integrate this into the current calendar and with Cortana!!!!!
  • MS will release first on android/iphone like they did with office and outlook, with a release on their own platform sometime after. And with no new flagship to stir interest any time soon, I keep asking myself why I keep bothering with WP, especially when MS definitely gives the impression they aren't really bothering with it either.
  • Sunrise is already on iOS and Android. So by that definition you are indeed correct. But it had nothing to do with Microsoft.
  • What I mean is whatever they release with MS branding and features will just be android/iPhone first just like the outlook app they just did. Does not instill a lot of confidence that they are behind their own platform
  • They bought the Outlook app pre-made in Dec 2014, just like this one. They merely rebranded it to outlook. They still need to make and perfect the WP companion app, just like this one.
  • Why not??? Let beta test on iOS and Android and then give a stable app on Windows :-P   On a serious note, I think all that release first on other devices might be because they wanted those apps to be in Windows 10 and thus reduce the redundancy of developing for Windows Phone 8, maintain it as well as develop for Windows 10 universe and then deliver. If that is not the case, I would say Microsoft became a service oriented company rather than software oriented :-)
  • I would have to disagree with you. Take a close look at what ships with a Lumia phone compared to iPhone and Android and you will see that the Lumia has a lot more features out of the box. It’s not Microsoft fault that other developers won’t build for an ecosystem that only has 3% of the market and shrinking.   I love Windows phone for many reasons and to be honest I think Microsoft is a much better company than both Apple and Google. People praise Apple all the time but it’s easy when you have the world media pushing every product that you make for you. When you watch news or business shows like I do all you hear about is Apple. So Apple don’t have to do anything just update a cpu or gpu and the world line up to buy their products. Then you have Microsoft that actually make software for everyone even Amazons’ fire phone. Ask yourself how many Apple apps are available to you on Windows phone or PC. The answer is just one that I can think of and that is iTunes. That is why I say Microsoft care much more about all customers than Apple and the story is the same for Google, think YouTube. Then there is price I have a lot of friends and family in the Philippines and at $700 iPhone is not even close to an option but a $29 Lumia 520 is a very capable phone for them. On websites like this people always talk about the biggest and best but there are millions of people who can’t afford a L830 or a Galaxy S5. So to me the smart choice is to buy a Windows phone because you will know the software you use on Windows phone will move with you when you are able to buy a more expensive phone if you want later. Only Microsoft can say that. The other two try to lock you into their ecosystem while MS say use our software wherever you go.
  • I am stuck on iOS due to my job. I hate it. I really want a 930 (which I do plan on getting soon). Sure some apps are nicer, but everything else about WP is much better. Go get your iPhone, its not that impressive.
  • Yes.. Ditch Android and IOS
  • And try to recoup the investment offering it to 3% of the market only..... Excellent strategy. /s
  • The investment is for customers and customers only. But I agree about your "Excellent strategy./s" if it is made Windows only.
  • That won't help WP, all that will do is make people hate microsoft as a company, which will negatively effect sales.   everyone is upset about how mcirosoft is supporting everyone, but in  the long run its genius, it instills confidence in microsoft, people will trust them, and be more willing to buy their products because of that. Everyone is looking in such a short term way, this whole ordeal, W8 til now, has been a very far sighted strategy, they looked towards the future, they knew theyd get hell for it, but look at whats happening! even C-net is on microsoft's side for once. I'm pretty confident that if we deal with the bad situation for a little longer, we will be rewarded!
  • No I think people will be deserting there products - iPhone has its own unique features and apps, and all the best and better MS apps! Why on earth would someone go buy a MS that has nothing better to offer!
  • @Asskickulater:
    "[...] if we deal with the bad situation for a little longer, we will be rewarded!"
    That has been my hope since the Windows Phone 7.0 days, which is four years now.
    It's finally high time for Microsoft to deliver on this aspiration of a better future.
    Sadly there is no visible silver lining for the promised "Windows best" mantra. The only hope that's left is "Windows finally as good as the competition", but unfortunately years later.
    And don't anyone dare saying the general framework has not been in place on Windows so far.
    Because stuff like APIs etc not being in place is only Microsoft's fault and no one else's.
  • "I'm pretty confident that if we deal with situation for a little longer, we will be rewarded!"  Many of us have been feeling that way for a number of years now yet are continually disappointed. W10 will be an "all in" hand for MS to play with WP and if they don't draw the right hand, it's game over.
  • But, windows 10 is what Microsoft has been building towards since wp8
  • I look forward to it with enthusiasm but do so cautiosly. Let's see what we actually get.
  • Personally I'm pretty happy with 8.1, but, this is the reason Microsoft ditched 7.X this it's what windows 8 and windows phone 8 was all in prep for, this is the realization of a plan put into action 4 years ago, you tell me that gives you no hope at all?
  • Always hopeful but tempered. Regarding the phone, I don't know that it will be enough to make it a better choice overall than Android or iOS. The App Gap beast is still very much alive....that and the fact that MS seems to be developing for the competion as well if not better than Windows.
  • That's going to save WP on the long run, of Microsoft does what google is doing to welp to everyone else then every one would get upset with Microsoft just as we will fans are with google, by developing for other platforms to, Microsoft is giving themselves the good guy image, which in the long run will make people wanna try them more
  • @Asskickulater:
    I would love more people trying Microsoft's products so that they realize they're usually on par with Google's offerings (or sometimes better).
    But you know: People are la..
  • MS doesn't have an image problem with being seen as the "bad guy"..that is more Google's image. MS' image is the "gang that couldn't shoot straight"...always late to the party and taking three versions to get it right only to be behind again...and not giving customer's what they want but what it thinks they want.
  • Outlook already has everything I need. I hope they don't make it convoluted now.
  • I fully expect to see the Sunrise functions included in the Outlook apps, and for OneNote and OneDrive to be added to the list of services that work with it.
  • What was the Aston Martin in the background for?
  • So... it's something like how I use Cortana, which integrates my calendar, contacts, reminders, OneNote, without having to have Evernote or this todist thing? Will it really bring improvements that $100MM worth of Microsoft internal programmers couldn't? I'm guessing this is maybe going to help Cortana integrate with non-Microsoft products, but since I'm all Microsoft, I don't really see me missing it if it never comes to WP.  To be honest, I'd rather see Microsoft get their own products syncing right (I'm looking at you, Bing Maps Favorites on Desktop vs Bing Maps Saved Locations on Phone) before they tackle apps out on IOS and Android, but what do I know?
  • Microsoft should stand up for current OS platforms but MSFT should think about its own costumers.otherwise people will go to Android,because if you get most of windows app on android with more features than no need of WP.
  • I think its a brilliant move on the part of Microsoft.  Not unlike the work going on at Microsoft Garage with the drop of their new Bing Lock Screen app on android.  This is going to be good.
  • Microsoft launched 2 lock screen apps for Android, almost at the same time. http://www.talkandroid.com/224055-microsoft-garage-launches-two-android-... When you look at their investment in Cyanogen, and all of the new Android apps they now have, I can't help but feel they have an Android phone in the works.
  • @Visa Declined:
    Quite a few people think Microsoft has something Androidy up their sleeves. But only as Plan B.
    Right now there would be no sense to invest in Windows 10 on phones if an Android device was around the corner.
    Funny thing is all these Google sheep clamour onto their "Don't be evil"-mantra. Obviously the Cyanogen people think differently and see Microsoft as the less evil company (if they say they want to take Android out of Google's hands and accept funding from Microsoft).
  • @Visa Declined: The way I look at these latest developments, Microsoft is mounting a offensive to take back its credibility and re-establish itself as the software giant it is to be respected in the industry.  This isn't the first time its reinvented itself and nobody does it better than Microsoft.  Now that the transitions are in place and the new CEO has the team he needs we are beginning to see Microsoft The Juggernaut take names and kick a whole lot of ass.  I saw a post in the forums talking about how CNet (of all sites) are trying to be Microsoft 'fanboys".  Unheard of stuff but something new is happening.  Even this place is now Windows Central and we got a an in-house Microsoft team established. We had lost Sam Sabri in the trade for those guys but there is a much bigger picture happening in real time. Don't sleep. If we get android on our phones, no biggie. Its The Juggernauts way of saying, "we own that too" lol.
  • We don't yet know what Microsoft is buying all these apps for. Still don't know what did they do for Windows Phone with Acompli :(
  • They should replace the calendar app with this (under the Calendar name obviously) or take some features from it, including the design language and add it to the current Calendar app.
    That would be appreciated and enjoyed.
  • Super
  • Sounds good.... Good going MS.... Get all the top rated apps on Android and IOS so that except the OS every one will start using Microsoft services
  • Also buy supercell to get clash of clans bcoz it's a big hit in ios and Android
  • With all these acquisitions, MSFt should be able to demonstrate to us how it's 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' strategy works. Should. But probably won't. More's the pity.
  • "...may well be familiar with i already"
    I'm not familiar with you yet, is it because I didn't get the app? :D Hehe, sorry. Just wanted to report the typo
  • Google chrome? And no Windows?
  • Is my comment too exagerated if I say that sunrise is not enough for windows (phone) 8.x/ windows 10? Comming from the windows side of things the current windows (phone) 8 calendar app in its basics provides more than enough support for me. The only thing I'm misisng is to add reminders, events and appointments from email to the calendar app. That's it. As for design, well the windows phone store offers Chronos for that. The best I've used so far. Todoist and Evernote is something I never use. I've got notes for that and onenote. I can't understand why its so difficult to get a function to more easily add e-mail appointments, reminders and events to the calendar app. It's been there for years in outlook for the desktop program. My company still uses email a lot. No one in the company uses Todoist or Evernote. This app might be to pull more users to windows, that's fine, but I also think their forgetting to meet ends with the current people on board the windows ecosystem.
  • @Wevenhuis:
    "[...] but I also think their forgetting to meet ends with the current people on board the window ecosystem."
    There are people on board the Windows ecosystem actually? Microsoft must have overlooked them. Maybe their usage metrics don't show any remaining Windows users.
  • Anything to improve the God Aweful phone calendar!!!! I am using Chronos Calendar as my primary because the native calender is that bad!
  • Microsoft seems to be in buy mode. They are buying app developers because they are too lazy to fix their own apps (accompli for email and Sunrise for calendar).
  • @pwrof3:
    Or maybe they're not too lazy but need a new infusion of inspiration.
    The Accompli and Sunrise acquisitions are clearly acqui-hires to get new talent onboard of Microsoft (I don't know if startups of that age and size do hold any crucial patents).
  • MS are getting on my nervous. Its like MS are saying buy a WP, but we wont support it so thanks for your money now go and get a Android or iPhone and use our apps
  • Asana. How wonderful is this?! =]
  • @gerzhwin:
    What is Asana? This:
    http://repost.eu/asanas-with-props-the-russian-way.html ?
  • I don't see the point outside of getting a quilt "outlook" so on did and ios quicker. Birth days, events, etc already in my windows Calder so from MS. The twitter integration is interesting but that's why I pin (with live tile) contacts from my people app.
  • What I really want is the ability to attach items to my reminders and calendar events like I can in The Outlook Desktop...
  • I switched from Google Apps to Office 365 because MS supports Android and iOS. Google leaves Windows and Windows Phone in the cold. Apple doesn't support alternative platforms at all. I applaud Microsoft purchasing Acompli and Sunrise Calendar.
  • No IMAP or CalDAV support. Fail. Also doesn't seem to work with the local calendar on Android. Double fail. Also, would be nice to see Webex and GTM integration for business users. In kind of confused on how this and Accompli calendar are supposed to work together.
  • Do companies leave out ALL Windows platforms, hoping to get popular and having Microsoft buy them out?  The "market share" mantra can't apply if they are making Mac but not Windows versions.