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The sun sets on standalone Sunrise calendar app


Three months after the announcement it would be shutting down, the standalone Sunrise calendar app has disappeared from Android and iOS app stores. Now, the application’s capabilities will only be available to users of the mobile version of Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft acquired Sunrise in October 2015 and quickly announced its plans to merge the calendar app’s features with the mobile versions of Outlook. As noted in a Sunrise blog post from three months ago, the Sunrise team has been working alongside Microsoft’s Outlook team to integrate its features and functionality into Outlook.

Microsoft pulled the plug on Sunrise on August 31 as planned. That means Sunrise is no longer being supported as a standalone app. This is unfortunate for fans of the app, but it may provide partners with an opportunity to bring more users into Office 365 and, more specifically, the Outlook mobile email application.

An article on The Verge indicated Sunrise as “a more socially adept calendar” that has no replacement. As the article noted, calendar apps haven’t changed much over the years. The folks at Sunrise aimed to change that with the release of their app in 2014. Part of what made Sunrise different was a more robust feature set that also linked in capabilities from Google Maps and Facebook.

Now, these features will be available exclusively to Outlook users. It’s a good selling feature for Microsoft’s mobile email client. It may not be a perfect technological marriage, as noted by The Verge (the article’s author indicated a more frustrating experience), but it may give Microsoft partners an edge when discussing calendaring options with customers.

Sunrise was one of two acquisitions Microsoft made in the last two years to beef up Outlook’s capabilities. The other was Acompli, a popular email app. Microsoft bought the start up in December 2014 as a way to accelerate its cross-platform email application strategy.