Tag Archives: Calendars

The Sunrise Calendar App Officially Shuts Down at the End of August

The Sunrise Calendar App Officially Shuts Down at the End of August

Sunrise, the calendar app that was bought by Microsoft last year, is officially sunsetting on August 31. You won’t be able to download it anymore, and the app will stop working altogether.

In a blog post that went up today, the Sunrise team explained that they won’t be able to support or update the Sunrise app anymore since they’ll be busy working on the Outlook app for iOS and Android. That means no new features, no more bug fixes, and the app is being removed from app stores in the next few days. Come August 31, the app will officially shut down and stop working altogether. So even if you download it before it disappears, it won’t do you any good. Sunrise was our previous pick for best calendar app on iPhone, but when Microsoft bought Sunrise and announced that it would be merging the app with Outlook, we made the switch to Fantastical 2.


It’s almost time to say goodbye | Sunrise Blog via The Verge

The Best Calendar App for iPhone

The Best Calendar App for iPhone

You have tons of options for calendars on iPhone, many that are free, but when it comes to the best, we recommend Fantastical 2, even if you have to shell out $5 to use it.

Fantastical 2

Platform: iPhone (and iPad)
Price: $4.99
Download Page


  • Compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange
  • Quickly add new events with natural language (“Lunch with Alan tomorrow”)
  • Notification Center support
  • Map view for event locations
  • Week view in landscape mode
  • Integration with Facebook events
  • Widget support
  • Quick Actions on iPhone 6s
  • Light and dark themes
  • Reminders integration with notifications

Where It Excels

A lot of things are great about Fantastical 2, but what separates it from the pack the most comes down to its design. Fantastical 2 is incredibly easy to use, fast, and it’s powerful enough for most people. As a basic calendar, you can view your events on a calendar and they’re visualized in a readable and easy to understand way. You can add new events without a lot of taps and the natural language entry means you can type out an event just like you’d say it out loud.

Fantastical also offers up just enough options for viewing your calendar to make it useful for a variety of people. You can check out a list view in portrait mode that offers both a week ticker and a month calendar at the top, or flip your phone to landscape view to see a more detailed look at your week. These three views make it pretty easy to glance at your calendar to get a gist of your schedule at any given moment.

Fantastical 2 is updated consistently with new features, but more importantly it’s always kept up to date for new versions of iOS and any new features that might come along with a new iPhone (like Quick Actions on the iPhone 6s) or in the operating system itself (like widget support). Finally, Fantastical 2 is just as reliable as Apple’s built-in options, which, when it boils down to it, is one of the most important aspects of a calendar. Syncing always works, crashes are very rare, and notifications always happen when they’re supposed to.

Where It Falls Short

The most obvious downside of Fantastical is the $5 price tag. While paying for the app means you’ll get continued support and you don’t have to worry as much about the app getting acquired by another company (which are oddly common in calendar apps), not everyone wants to shell out cash for a calendar app. We do cover some free options below though.

Beyond that, Fantastical is missing some of the social or third-party integrations that you’ll find in other calendar apps. While it does support Facebook events, that’s pretty much it. You won’t find detailed views of your weather, Evernote reminders, or anything else here. On one end, that means Fantastical is a solid calendar app on its own, but on another, it means you can’t auto populate your calendar using other services.

The Competition

You have a lot of good competition in the calendar space on the iPhone, so if you don’t feel like shelling out the $5 for Fantastical, don’t worry.

Let’s start with Sunrise Calendar (Free). Sunrise Calendar was our previous pick for the best calendar on iPhone. It’s free, supports the big three calendar services, integrates weather forecasts, and links up with tons of other services. The problem is the app’s now dead after Microsoft acquired the team who made it. A lot of the Sunrise features are now being integrated into Microsoft’s Outlook app, but the iOS app for Sunrise will never get updated again.

Any.Do Cal (Free) is another decent free option, but it hasn’t seen an update in a year. Cal is a little more fun and playful then Fantastical, integrating a lot of images into its design as well as working well with the Any.do to-do list app. As a calendar, it does everything it needs to, but doesn’t go too far out of its way to do anything new.

Finally, as far as free options go, it’s worth mentioning Google Calendar (Free). If you’re deep into Google’s ecosystem, the Google Calendar app is great. It shows you events from Gmail, to-dos, and even gives you little added features like flight information. The problem, of course, is that most of the usefulness relies on other Google services, so if you’re not using any of them, Google Calendar is far less useful.

In the paid space, the biggest competitor to Fantastical is Calendars 5 ($6.99). Calendars 5 is a very capable app that includes natural language input, a task manager, and a variety of view options to glance at your calendar. The week view in Calendars 5 is good, better than Fantastical’s in some ways, but the rest of the interface is a bit lacking. Calendars 5 is also a universal app, so if you use your iPad a lot, it’s great to just purchase one app instead of two.

Week Calendar ($1.99) is another app that once sat in our App Directory. It’s packed with a ton of features, including multiple views, your choice of navigation app integration, templates, widgets, and more. It’s also quite possibly the ugliest option available, but that hasn’t prevented it from being one of the most popular calendar apps out there.

Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

Outlook for Android and iOS Adds Facebook, Wunderlist, and Evernote Calendars

Outlook for Android and iOS Adds Facebook, Wunderlist, and Evernote Calendars

Android/iOS: Outlook, our favorite email app on iOS, was updated today with a handy new feature that’ll integrate your Facebook, Wunderlist, and Evernote calendars into the app.


Outlook started integrating calendar features last year and it looks like they’re continuing that trend of adding in stuff from the recently acquired Sunrise Calendar. Now, when you link Outlook to Facebook, Evernote, or Wunderlist, your calendar events from those apps will automatically populate inside the Outlook app. These work as you’d expect. Facebook events allow you to RSVP right in Outlook, while Wunderlist to-dos and Evernote reminders show up as all-day events. More third-party services are promised moving forward.

Microsoft Outlook (Free) | Google Play via Office Blogs
Microsoft Outlook (Free) | iTunes App Store via Office Blogs

Fantastical 2 for Mac Now Fully Supports Exchange, Adds In Printing and New Week Start Views

Mac: Fantastical 2 is a powerful (but pricey) calendar app for Mac, and today it’s getting a lot better for business users with complete support for Exchange servers. Alongside that, it comes with a handful of new features for everyone else.

The big news here is the support for Exchange. Since most big businesses use Exchange, that kept a lot of people away from Fantastical since all you could do previously was look at your calendar. Exchange users can now do everything you’d expect to do, including responding to event invites, look up availability of your colleagues, and find contact info. The same goes for Google Apps integration as well. For the rest of us, the update adds in some other solid new features, including the ability to print calendars, get notifications for shared iCloud calendars, the option to choose which day or week the month view starts on, multiple item selection, and more. As always, if you’re not sure about dumping the $50 on Fantastical, you can check out a 21 day trial from the developer’s site.

Fantastical ($50) | Mac App Store

Set iPhone Calendar Alerts for “Time to Leave” To Avoid Traffic Suprises

Set iPhone Calendar Alerts for "Time to Leave" To Avoid Traffic Suprises

Apple’s been busy touting the “proactive” features in iOS, but one of the most actually useful aspects of that comes in the Calendar app. As Finer Things in Tech reminds us, if you set up an alert in Calendar for “Time to Leave,” your iPhone will keep an eye on traffic conditions between your current location and your next appointment.

Obviously, this is only useful with a couple parameters in play. First off, your calendar events need to include a location in them. Second, you actually need to use the built-in Calendar app for this. To set this all up, create a new event, type in the location, select the “Alert” option, then chose “Time to Leave.” Now, no matter where you’re at, Calendar will send you an alert when you need to leave for your next event using the current traffic conditions. Unfortunately, it only works with driving directions and won’t integrate transit or walking. Still, though this live traffic and location feedback was introduced back in iOS 9, it’s an easy little feature to miss, especially if you use a third-party calendar.

Calendar for iOS Can Alert You When It’s Time to Leave for Your Next Event | Finer Things in Tech

Fantastical Adds Multitasking on iPad and 3D Touch Support for iPhone

iPhone/iPad: Both the iPad and iPhone versions of Fantastical get an update today that bring in a slew of new iOS 9 features, including 3D touch support on the iPhone and multitasking support on the iPad.

The iPhone’s new version gets 3D Touch support so you can get quick actions from the app icon. It also adds in a better designed week view, a new tap and hold gesture to open links in different apps, and a variety of bug fixes. The iPad version gets multitasking support alongside custom keyboard shortcuts, which makes it a heck of a lot easier to use when you’re on a keyboard.

Fantastical for iPhone ($4.99) | iTunes App Store
Fantastical for iPad ($9.99) | iTunes App Store

Moleskine Timepage Is a Sleek, Timeline-Focused Calendar for iOS

Moleskine Timepage Is a Sleek, Timeline-Focused Calendar for iOS

iOS: You have an insane amount of calendar options on iOS, but if you’re looking for something a little different, Moleskine Timepage (yes, that Moleskine), focuses more on the timeline view and combines that with a weather forecast.

Moleskine Timepage is really all about the continuous timeline view. Once your calendars are imported, all your events are in one long, constantly scrolling timeline. There’s no normal calendar view, so if that’s something you prefer, look elsewhere. However, Moleskine Timepage does have a few killer features, including customizable transit time estimates (you can choose your mode of transport, car, public transit, walking, or cycling), a useful notes section, and tailored weather forecasts. Some users have been reporting problems with syncing, but we didn’t notice any problems in our tests. It’s certainly not an app for everyone, but if you’re a big fan of list view style calendars, it does a lot right.

Moleskine Timepage ($4.99) | iTunes App Store

Pick Makes Scheduling Times to Meet or Just Hang Out Easy

Whether you’re planning a meeting with a colleague or you just want to grab dinner with a friend, if everyone’s busy, it can be tough. Pick is a web service that makes it easy. Best of all, you can use it on your own or with other people to pick the best times for all of you to get together, automatically.

Pick works two ways. You can use it to tell other people when the best times to meet with you are, so you can just tie it into your Google Calendar (Outlook and iCloud are coming soon) and let other people know when they should schedule time to meet with you, a lunch, dinner, or whatever. It’s a great way to let other people choose figure out when you’re free without having to go back and forth on the details. You even get a custom Pick URL that you can send to people (or include in your email signature, or whatever) where people can go to schedule time with you.

The second approach works if you and everyone you want to meet with all use Pick together. Then the service can tell you when the best times for all of you are, and then handles the details for you, as long as everyone agrees. The video above does a good job of showing you how the service works. It’s free (for now, premium features are on the way) and you can either use it on the web or from its companion iPhone app (shown in the video, Android is on the way.)


Shifts Manages Your Schedule When You Don’t Work a Nine to Five

Shifts Manages Your Schedule When You Don't Work a Nine to Five

iPhone: You have a ton of options for calendar apps in the iTunes App Store, but Shifts does things a little differently by catering more toward people who don’t have the typical nine to five schedule.

As the name suggests, Shifts allows you to quickly add different hourly shifts to your calendar so it’s easy to keep track of when you work. If you have a specific rotation, you can automatically add shifts, or just do it manually. From there, you can share your schedule with others, add notes, or set up reminders. You can also input your hourly wage to get a better idea of how much you’ll make over the course of a month. It’s a simple app, but it’s a great way to keep track of your work schedule without finagling a regular calendar app to do your bidding.

Shifts ($1.99) | iTunes App Store

Charlie Preps You for Events by Briefing You on Who You’ll Meet

Charlie Preps You for Events by Briefing You on Who You'll Meet

Web: Whether you’re meeting with a company bigwig or attending a conference full of strangers, it helps to know a little about the people you’re going to interact with. Charlie hooks into your calendar and makes sure you’re primed for every meeting with detailed information on the people attending.

Whether it’s just to help you find things in common you can use for conversation, or to help you understand the business or the work of the people you’re going to meet, Charlie does the research so you don’t have to spend time in front of the computer looking through social profiles or published articles about their work or their business. The tool will deliver all of that detailed information to you in a neat little package before you meeting, so you can—for example—see that the guy you’re meeting at a conference just raised a bunch of money in new investment funds for his startup, loves hip-hop, is super into wine, and wrote an article on Medium about a topic you’re passionate about. Charlie will even show you common connections with friends you both have.

The service does that for each person in your meetings, as long as it knows who you’re going to be meeting with and can dig up enough information about them. To do this, it hooks into your Google Calendar (you log in using your Google account via OAuth—Exchange support is coming soon.) To be fair, when it tried to build a briefing on me, it got "Lifehacker" confused with "Gawker" and pulled up a bunch of really irrelevant sources and pretty bad data, but the devs say they’re working on situations like mine where someone works for a group or organization that’s part of another one.

Even so, if you meet a lot of new people, either for work or because you enjoy professional networking, Charlie offers a ton of useful information to help you start a conversation, find some common interests, and build a real relationship without worrying about the awkwardness of small talk or first impressions.