Best calendar app: Now that Microsoft is finally killing off the beloved Sunrise calendar app, we've put together a list of some of the best alternatives.
It's official. The much-loved Sunrise calendar app is to be pulled from app stores this week and will be history by the end of August.
Microsoft, which bought the application in October last year, has been preparing Sunrise adherents for the app's removal since the acquisition. But now we have a confirmed date when the sun will officially set on Sunrise.
Although the app's features are being built into Outlook, many will miss having that clean interface, integration with other services, and cross-platform support in a stand-alone app.
That's why we've rounded up the best Sunrise alternatives, so you can stay on top of your busy schedule and not let the demise of Sunrise throw your life into disarray.
Whether you're looking for the best calendar app for Android or the best calendar app for iPhone, you're bound to find something here.
1. Fantastical 2
- iOS, Mac, watchOS
Related: Best Android Apps
This one's iOS and Mac only unfortunately, but it's also the next best thing to Sunrise. Many former Sunrise users have already made the switch to Fantastical 2, and for good reason. It's compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange, plus the natural language input makes adding new events easy. And, most importantly, it uses a clean and simple UI.
Fantastical 2 allows you to view your calendar in both portrait and landscape modes. The portrait mode will give you a calendar at the top with a weekly agenda below, while landscape will allow you to get a more in-depth view of the week. There's also notification centre support, integration with Facebook events, and two themes to choose from.
What's more, the developers are great at keeping Fantastical up-to-date with support for new iPhone and iOS features. If you've just picked up an iPhone 6S or iPhone SE and don't mind spending money on a calendar app, Fantastical 2 might just be the one for you.
- iOS, Android
Related: Best iPhone apps
If you're looking for something with a bit of design flair, Cal could be the calendar app for you. Developer Any.do has managed to create one of the classiest apps on this list by using a simple card design overlaid on photo backgrounds.
Cal is best for those who like to keep track of their daily agenda. Once the app launches, it will immediately show you an overview of the day's events and to-dos in chronological order. It's a slight change from the usual monthly, weekly, or daily view but it makes things easy when it comes to seeing what the day has in store. Plus, Cal integrates with Any.do, the to-do app from the same developers.
Unfortunately, there's no weekly view, and the monthly view leaves a lot to be desired. But there's no denying Any.do have made a well-designed and useful app. Why not give it a go?
Related: Best smartphones
SolCalendar is a free app for Android which gives you a load of extra features on top of the standard calendar functionality. The clean and simple month view will give you a quick idea of how your month is looking, while the built-in weather service will give you real-time, location-based weather information. You also get the standard weekly, agenda, and to-do views, and SolCalendar syncs with a variety of other services, including Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google Maps, Yahoo!, and even Foursquare.
If you fancy adding a touch of flair to your calendar, there's also built-in sticker packs, with more available to download, which can be added to events. It's not going to make much difference in terms of functionality, but it looks cool if you like that sort of thing.
Add to all that the fact that SolCalendar is entirely free with no in-app purchases and you've got one of the best calendar apps available on Android.
4. Tiny Calendar
Tiny Calendar takes all the great stuff from Google Calendar and iOS Calendar, and gives you more control over how you view your upcoming schedule. Integrating with both the Google and iOS alternatives, this app gives you the choice between eight different views: day, week, month, 4-days, year, mini-month, week agenda, and agenda. Switching between the various views is easy, and the natural language input makes it similarly straightforward to create an event or agenda item.
The whole experience has been designed to make things easy, with drag-and-drop functionality and gestures allowing you to get things done quickly. Plus, the all-important interface is clutter-free, adding to the user-friendliness. If you like having a bit more control over how you view your calendar, Tiny Calendar is the app for you.
If you've got an Android phone or tablet, you might consider checking out CloudCal's novel approach to calendar organisation. The main selling point here is the ‘magic circles’. Designed to give you a quick indication of how busy you are on a daily basis, each day on the monthly view of the calendar is represented by a circle, or clock face, which fills up with different colours for each task that you’ve scheduled for that day. It's an interesting feature which many will find quite useful.
But it's not all about the magic circles. CloudCal comes with a load of useful features such as Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google Maps, Outlook, and Exchange integration. There's also a natural speech input, so you can type 'dinner with friends this Monday at 9pm' and the app will take the relevant information and create an event.
If you fancy trying something a little different but which retains the easy usability and clean interface that's essential for a good calendar app, give CloudCal a go.
Got any more suggestions? Share them in the comments.