The developers behind Sunrise shared some sad news today. The popular calendar app will be pulled from app stores any day now, and will stop working completely as of August 31. There is a silver lining, though. The reason they can’t support Sunrise is that they’re too busy incorporating the features and capabilities that make Sunrise awesome into the Outlook app.
The Sunrise calendar app will officially stop working as of August 31 of this year. Sunrise was acquired by Microsoft last year, and the developers have been merged into the Outlook for iOS and Android team. A post on the Sunrise blog explains that they simply don’t have the bandwidth to provide adequate support for Sunrise as well, so the app will be removed from app stores in the next few days, and that by the end of summer it will be dead.
The Sunrise team describes why they feel it’s time to pull the plug on the popular calendar app. In a nutshell, they want your experience with the app to be a good one, and they don’t feel like they can continue to provide an exceptional user experience while their primary focus is on Outlook. “No new features. No bug fixes. For us, that’s the definition of a lousy app and it’s not a user experience we want to leave you with.”
As far as I’m concerned, the move makes perfect sense. Microsoft acquired Sunrise, and other popular apps like Acompli, Wunderlist, and MileIQ for what they can contribute to Outlook and the Microsoft app ecosystem. I don’t think there was ever any intention of also continuing to operate them as standalone entities that compete with Outlook as well.
Not to suggest it’s easy to fold an app into an existing product or service, and do so in a way that doesn’t betray what made that app popular in the first place, and alienate its existing user base. For example, Facebook owns Instagram, but still maintains it as a completely separate app. It also owns WhatsApp—which is a direct competitor for its own Facebook Messenger app.
I prefer the way Microsoft is handling it, though. I would rather see the best features and capabilities of the acquired apps integrated into the primary app—in this case Outlook. There are unique features of Sunrise that contributed to its popularity, and those features should be woven into the Outlook app experience. That’s the whole point of the acquisition.
According to the Sunrise blog post, that is exactly what they plan to do. “As heartbreaking as this sounds, we’re hard at work bringing the magic of Sunrise to the Outlook apps, with all your most loved features – interesting calendars, event icons and calendar apps. We’re confident you’ll be able to find our special touch there too.”
Read the full story on Forbes: The Sun Is Setting On Microsoft’s Sunrise Calendar App.