Microsoft Adds Outlook Calendar Features as Sunrise is Killed

The Sunrise app was one of the most popular mobile calendar apps, with a beautiful interface and the ability to combine Google, Apple and Microsoft calendars into one place. Microsoft bought Sunrise in 2015 and, as many speculated, announced this year that Sunrise would not just be unsupported, but entirely decommissioned. The original date for disabling Sunrise was August 31, but that was then delayed by two weeks until now, presumably to give Microsoft a little extra time to add a few of the capabilities from Sunrise it had planned for its Outlook Calendar app.

The update to Outlook, available now, adds some new features that will be familiar to anyone that used Sunrise extensively. Similar to Google Calendar, Microsoft is using text analysis to add a small icon to an appointment when it thinks it knows what type of meeting it is. So, if you include the word ‘dinner’ for example, the appointment in the calendar will include a small icon of a knife and fork. Map details are now included, so when you add a location for a meeting a small map will be shown and you can tap on the map to get directions. The date and time selectors have also been updated.

'Interesting Calendars' is a feature that allows you to add an existing public calendar into your own calendar. It will only be for sports teams initially, but with TV Shows and others promised to follow. Interesting Calendars is also iOS-only at the moment, and only for those with an Office 365 email address. The ability to add sports team information is already available in Google Calendar.

Overall these changes should add up to reasonable improvements if you are already using the Outlook calendar functionality, although with Interesting Calendars not available yet on Android it does feel like a limited update. These are also features that are already available in other calendar apps. If you are searching for a replacement for Sunrise, Microsoft are promising more features to come but it would definitely be worth checking out the alternatives too.

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About the Author
Writer, photographer and gadget fan since the Commodore 64, Psion organizers and earliest cell phones. Born on the south coast of England with Scottish blood, I moved to Paris, then New York. A fan of Nexus phones, a good sci-fi epic, street photography and small soccer team called Raith Rovers. Quietly optimistic and full of ideas.
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