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As the sun sets on Microsoft's Sunrise, here are the best alternative calendar apps for iOS

Microsoft announced this week that by the end of August it will discontinue Sunrise, a popular calendar app it acquired. For existing Sunrise users, here are some of the best alternative third-party calendar apps, offering similar functionality and push notifications.




tl;dr: If you enjoyed Microsoft's Sunrise app, use Fantastical 2. If you don't want to pay a fee, you can try Google Calendar and see if it's a good alternative to Apple's Calendar.

Microsoft has offered a compelling free calendar option for iOS through its Sunrise app for a few years now with a clutter-free design, cross-platform functionality, notification support and event integration. Though it proved popular with its event integration and ease of use, Microsoft will end-of-life of the app on August 31, 2016.

If you're a current Sunrise user wondering where to turn next, AppleInsider offers a roundup of the best alternatives for use across web and mobile iOS platforms.

Best Sunrise replacement: Fantastical 2



Fantastical 2 has an an effective natural language engine that quickly picks up calendar events for easy integration, including Facebook, Google Calendar and iCloud.




For example, if you type in "meeting with Amanda at 3 p.m.," Fantastical will begin creating a calendar entry for the next afternoon on your calendar. It will also suggest people named Amanda from your iOS Contacts application.

After you have confirmed information with a tap, the app can send Amanda an email to attend the event.

The natural processing works so well that you can type in "Haircut at four on Nov. 6 at Squire Barbershop," and Fantastical will create the event for you. You can pull up a map of the event location for directions.


Event creation in Fantastical 2 for Mac. Gif via Geekwire.


Fantastical also includes a Quick Access menu option and you can view maps of where events occur and even set geofence alerts.

The app also recognizes repeating or future events such as "every weekend" or "second Tuesday of the month."

As the winner of the 2015 Apple Design Award for Mac, Fantastical 2 has one of the best designs for calendars with a clean user interface. Events are represented with colored dots similar to the native iOS Calendar app.



You can view a range of calendars from day to week, month and year options in both landscape and portrait mode.

Unlike Sunrise, which was free, Fantastical 2 is priced at $4.99 for the iPhone version, $9.99 for the iPad and $49.99 for the desktop.

The best free option: Google Calendar





Google Calendar is free and works if you simply need to know what's on your agenda. It looks virtually the same across both iOS and Android versions. The web and mobile versions match up for easy familiarity.

Google Calendar however does not offer many options for personalization. If you have a lot of events, the calendar can quickly get too cluttered.

Other alternatives: Calendars 5, Outlook, Tiny Calendar and Week Calendar




Calendars 5.


The main competitor to Fantastical is Calendars 5, which also offers natural language processing and has a task manager. It also has an excellent week view and syncs with iOS calendars, Google Calendar and your reminders.

Users can also set up recurring events and also tie in to locations for meetings using Google or Apple maps.

Calendars 5
is $6.99 and offers one universal version for use across iPhones and iPads.


Outlook for iOS.


Many of the existing features of Sunrise are already integrated into the official Microsoft Outlook app for iOS. Microsoft also recently added Facebook, Evernote, and Wunderlist support to the Outlook app as well as Touch ID support as of March. However, Outlook is intended as a full-service client including email, and does not function as a standalone calendar app.


Tiny Calendar.


There's also Tiny Calendar, which has a clean, simple UI similar to iOS and integrates with both iOS and Google Calendars.

The app provides both natural language processing and drag and drop features. It also offers eight different views, including day, week, month, 4-day, mini-month, week agenda, agenda and year.

Tiny Calendar comes with both a free and in-app paid version at $6.99.

Finally, Week Calendar offers different features such as language support and alternate calendars in Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Islamic and Persian. It also syncs with TomTom and other navigation devices.

Week Calendar integrates with all iOS calendar functions and Google Calendar. It also comes with the option to add events with icons for easy recognition.

Among the least expensive paid calendar apps at $1.99, Week Calendar is also one of the most popular. However, it does not offer a clutter-free design, and could benefit from a redesign of the user interface to be more attractive. Additional integrations are available via in-app purchase.