Blog Post

So what if Apple copies your app? Get to work, like Sunrise did

The Apple iOS(s AAPL) app most badly in need of an upgrade was Calendar — and it’s getting one in iOS 7. And some of the coolest and most useful features in the new Calendar were, as I noted earlier, clearly borrowed from some third-party calendaring apps. One of those that provided some inspiration is Sunrise, and the small New York-based team is fighting back by almost immediately launching a new set of features that iOS Calendar doesn’t have (yet).

Foursquare SunriseOn Monday morning, version 1.4 of Sunrise hit the iOS App Store and with it comes even more useful integration features that help make Sunrise an easy-to-use, all-encompassing, dynamic snapshot of your day.

In addition to integrating Facebook,(s FB) Google Calendar(s GOOG) and LinkedIn(s LNKD) into the app (and local weather and birthdays) Sunrise is adding two more: Foursquare and Crunchbase.(s AOL)

The Foursquare integration is no surprise: Sunrise founders Pierre Valade and Jeremy Le Van are former Foursquare designers. What this will mean for Sunrise users is that check-ins to the Foursquare app on your iPhone will show up retroactively on your Sunrise calendar. So if you ended up at a great late-night spot you can’t remember the name of — but you checked in on Foursquare — if you look back at Sunrise for that day, you’ll see where you were and when.

The Crunchbase integration is aimed at business users. The database of companies will be available right inside the app. So if you’ve entered the name of the company you’re meeting with in Sunrise it will call up additional data about that person/company without forcing you to leave the app.

There’s also going to be a slightly better way of displaying Google Maps information: instead of selecting your meeting’s location and getting pushed out to the Google Maps app, you can now see the location on a map right inside Sunrise.

It’s a small update overall, but I like how quickly the team responded to Apple’s notable advance in native calendaring.

7 Responses to “So what if Apple copies your app? Get to work, like Sunrise did”

  1. Sorry Sunrise guys, I have to agree with the other chaps, a Calendar competitor that does not use iCloud??
    I make a point of doing what I can to prevent Google and FB from tracking me.
    (Does Google pays devs to write these apps as a backdoor into people’s privacy? One has to wonder.)

    Also, with respect, Thomas is not quite right about Apple’s natives apps producing revenue. The native apps are part of the iPhone, which produces more revenue than all of M$’s products. And they work just fine for most people.

    • Sunrise’s limited support is also the reason why it never gained access to my phone. TempoAI is nice but it gives better demo IMO than real work enhancements to my calendar management. I guess if I was in more conference calls that may make a difference.

  2. John S. Wilson

    I don’t see the point of adding check-ins. Adding in Foursquare’s POI database would clearly be helpful. (I haven’t used Sunrise in awhile so maybe that’s already there.)

  3. Thomas Krafft

    Why is Apple making this new move to further protect its own developer teams? The default iOS apps have been terrible for years – and these apps also were the only ones users weren’t allowed to fully replace with better third party apps. Yes, you could install another browser, calendar or email client, but it wouldn’t handle the default actions normally assigned to Apple’s own apps.

    And instead of punishing their own dev teams for years of failure, Apple has instead doubled down to protect them, copied better features from third party apps, while continuing to maintain a wall around their own default apps to prevent people from using better apps. And last I checked, Apple doesn’t make any revenue from the default apps. Seems like a pretty big waste of Apple’s time to me, and/or a management misstep, doubling down to spend more to produce zero-revenue products that the market would immediately move to NOT use, if it weren’t for the protections Apple has built into iOS.

    Allow third party apps to replace default apps, Apple. Otherwise, you’re telling the market that your own dev teams and products that produce zero revenues are more important than allowing users to configure the platform and app ecosystem you helped create, exactly the way that works best for them.

    Safari, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, iTunes, Maps – all have failed to innovate for years. Let the app ecosystem do what it does best for consumers.

    • John S. Wilson

      So instead of fixing default apps Apple should just let people delete them? Doesn’t make much sense. And Sunrise didn’t necessarily create these features either. There are calendar apps that have done similar stuff, including Tempo. So my point really is that devs aren’t guaranteed no one, including Apple, will borrow features or outshine them somehow. Instead, they have to adapt. That’s the difference between having a product and having a brand.

    • Erica Ogg

      I definitely see what you’re saying — it doesn’t seem right to punish the creativity of their third-party developers. But I think for Apple, who is trying to reach new customers in new markets, knows that those new users don’t even know where to start with the 900,000 apps in the App Store. So the company needs to make its devices have good default apps that make the device usable right out of the box.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.