Microsoft bakes the best features of Sunrise into its Outlook app

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It was a sad sight to see the sun set on the most efficient calendar app ever. When Microsoft acquired Sunrise, it promised to bring over the best features of the app eventually to Outlook, the company’s own email and calendar app. And finally, Microsoft has delivered on that promise.

Starting from today, Outlook for iOS and Android are slated to receive a big update incorporating everything (well, almost) that was best in Sunrise.

Simultaneously, even after a stay-order on the execution on August 31st, Sunrise is finally being euthanized today. But not before the app’s best features come down to Outlook to make it into a robust productivity booster.

The most significant update is the implementation of Sunrise’s design. Your event agenda will now be converted to easy-to-understand icons. Coffee will turn into a coffee cup. Groceries will show a shopping cart while a bike ride will turn into a bicycle icon.

Also, when you are putting in the address for your event, Microsoft will auto complete it and add a map as well. Tap on the map and you will be redirected either to Apple Maps or Google Maps, based on what you prefer.

Sunrise’s date and time pickers are also brought onboard. Tap on an empty time slot in your calendar and a pop up will come up with the time and date already filled in. Change the length of the meeting by simply dragging the bars up or down. Provided there are people who have RSVP’d to your event, they will receive a notification about the changes made.

There is also a new feature called ‘interesting calendars’ which is nothing but a list of important dates like a sporting event that Outlook knows you like. An option of adding recurring meetings will also come to Outlook.

But Outlook still has a long way to go in becoming the best calendar client there is, primarily because the calendar services are still nothing but a tab within the email client, instead of a standalone, fully featured app.

Microsoft’s Javier Soltero who is in charge of Outlook told The Verge, “We haven’t fully explored or exhausted the interplay between email and calendar. When we truly feel like we have drained the swamp on the range of things that make the email and calendar experience, especially on mobile, dramatically more powerful and sophisticated, then we can reconsider this. By that point we’ll have proved that Outlook isn’t just bundling this for convenience — that there’s a real rhyme and reason to why these things belong together on a phone.”

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