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This article was published on September 13, 2016

Microsoft sunsets Sunrise Calendar, but the best features show up in Outlook

Microsoft sunsets Sunrise Calendar, but the best features show up in Outlook Image by: Napier Lopez
Justin Pot
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Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a freelance technology journalist based in Portland Oregon with a passion for tech, nature, and starting conversations. Join h Justin Pot is a freelance technology journalist based in Portland Oregon with a passion for tech, nature, and starting conversations. Join him on Twitter if you'd like to chat.

Microsoft is shutting down Sunrise today, but the best features live on. An update out today for Microsoft’s combined calendar and email app for iOS and Android adds a few fan-favorites.

After the update, Outlook will offer icons that automatically match the text in your appointments. So if your calendar says “Coffee with that jerk Bryan,” a coffee icon is automatically added, giving you a quick visual reference for your day.

Outlook’s calendar will now auto-complete addresses, and give you a map to the location of an appointment. There’s also a list of “Interneting Calendars” that Sunrise features long enjoyed. This gives you a quick way to add things like the schedule for your favorite sports team.

Microsoft bought Sunset a year ago, and quickly announced that Sunset features would be folded into Outlook. A blog post back in May announced that Sunset would shut down at the end of August, but Microsoft extended the deadline until today.

All these improvements will undoubtedly make Outlook a better calendar, but anyone who wants Sunset’s features without having to switch email clients is going to be disappointed. Smartphone apps, as a rule, do one thing well, and Outlook is trying to serve two very different functions here.

Combining your calendar with your email made sense on your desktop computer in 1997, when email was the primary means of communication. On a modern smartphone, email is just one communication tool among many, and there’s no particular reason for your calendar to be combined with email instead of, say, Facebook Messenger. Microsoft should seriously consider spinning the calendar off into a separate app

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