Is the dream of an “excellent calendar app” really dead?

Sunrise is dead, and so is the dream of an excellent calendar app:

I mostly agree with this Casey Newton piece — especially that there’s probably no money to be made on calendar apps, or at least that no one found yet the right way to turn this kind of app profitable. This may explain why no real breakthroughs in calendar apps has been made since 2007.

But I also disagree on some aspects of his article.

There’s a calendar app that comes pre-installed on your smartphone, and it works just fine.

I disagree with that. The stock Calendar app is more than “fine”.

Yes, it doesn’t have a brilliant interface, nor any killer feature. But it does the job pretty well — at least for me.

And what makes it stand outside the crowd (again, at least for me) is the way it handles travel duration between appointments; in fact, this feature is the very reason why I still use it, despite having tried a lot of other apps (including Fantastical).

My future calendar should know I prefer to walk to meetings within a mile or so of my office, and time my alerts accordingly. My calendar should be tactical, finding me time for my stated priorities. (Google, to its credit, has begun to work on this.) It should offer analytics on the time I spend on meetings, and with whom, and follow up with me on any action items.

In the last few years, Apple spent huge money to build Maps. And with iOS 10, some sort of automatic sorting will be applied to photos — but only through computations made on the device.

So what if this killer future calendar would be the Calendar app? Things are “as if” Apple prepare herself to be an industry leader in artificial intelligence. And her investment in Maps, well, it speaks for itself.

Another thing I wonder about is if the technology is actually ready for this kind of disruptive calendar app. Not sure it’s the case (just a hunch) — and this could also explain why so few make profits on calendar apps: because there’s so few new features to sell.

Nevertheless, seeing Sunrise definitely going away and being “integrated” within Outlook is a bit sad. I hope Microsoft will find an elegant way not to miss this integration. We’ll see.

Via The Verge