Despite naysayers as famous as Mark Zuckerberg crying out that email’s end is nigh — it’s not. Email is wildly convenient (attachments, reply all, Boomerang!) and still handles the majority of our current work and personal communication processes. It might need a significant redesign, as German designer Tobias Van Schneider has recently pointed out, but it still still rules the Internet.
Here at The Next Web, we’ve been quite vocal about our love of Timehop, a daily email and nostalgia kick that includes your Foursquare check-ins, tweets, Instagram photos and Facebook posts from every day, a year ago. We also love daily emails from news-brewing Percolate and weekly emails from fashion startups Of a Kind and the yet-to-launch, YC-backed Thread.
Now, there’s a new kid in our inbox and he’s reinventing what it means to be a calendar by integrating with popular utility services. Meet Sunrise, a daily digest of everything you need to know about your day.
Sunrise connects with Google calendar (supporting multiple accounts) to provide an overview of the day ahead as well features you’ve selected like national holidays or phases of the moon. Connect Sunrise with Facebook to see your friends’ birthdays and events you’ve RSVPed yes to, and connect Linkedin to get a picture of who you’re meeting with (like Rapportive for your calendar!).
Here’s what it looks like:
Sunrise co-founder Pierre Valade first hit the tech stratosphere with Agora, a service he built during a Foursquare hackathon in February 2011 that’s designed to connect you with likeminded folk when you check in at a specific location. Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley scooped Valade as a full-time employee shortly after. While he hasn’t done much to Agora since joining, he’s currently a lead UX Designer on the Foursquare Activity Stream that was introduced in version 4.0. Sunrise’s second co-founder, Jeremy Le Van is also a designer at Foursquare working on Explore.
Despite possible revenue streams from event marketing or daily deals, Valade doesn’t have plans to make or raise money with the Sunrise app. So, what does Sunrise’s future look like? While Sunrise doesn’t currently interact with Foursquare, Valade hints at a future integration, suggesting that Foursquare will power the day’s planned locations and suggest nearby places of interest.
He also says that iCloud integration is at the top of his list and that his users — 55% of which engage with Sunrise on a daily basis –want to be able to connect with other services such as ticketing apps like Songkick or task management apps like Wunderlist.
So, when it comes to daily emails, we now open two every morning before getting out of bed: Timehop and Sunrise, one provides us with look into the past and the other, a look into the future. Valade is a huge fan of Timehop too. “I think it’s great,” he says. “It’s the only email with Sunrise that I open every morning. They share with Sunrise the same principles: simplicity, email-first and special attention to design. I’m looking forward to see how they will move from being email-based to the web.”
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