It seems there’s been a small surge in pretty productivity apps that aim to “revolutionize” how we handle some every day chore. Mailbox for email. Clear for todos. And the past day or two was abuzz about Sunrise for your calendar. (I thought Cue disrupted the calendar…? No?)
This past week I’ve been struggling to make Mailbox work – and it’s probably more deserving of my ire – but Sunrise really sent me for a loop today. I downloaded it this afternoon and deleted it immediately because of FB Connect. Later I decided to forge ahead, just to see what the fuss was about just to realize it’s an overhyped app with a pretty color palette. I found myself going to different parts of the app and wondering “Did they even add any functionality?”
The TL;DR is: A couple of cool gestures and pretty colors isn’t enough to make a great application. People primarily use productivity apps for their utility not their aesthetic. Utility should be the first concern.
I’ll just list (a small number of) the thoughts that Sunrise apparently never cared to have:
My calendar is not on Facebook, why do I need to attach my FB? My FB friends’ birthdays is not a good answer.
In that same vein if you’re cool with sharing: How many people downloaded the app and never signed up? How many customers did you lose to your decision to use FB Connect? (I am legitimately curious and would love this data.)
What is the point of the slide down calendar? Nothing is marked on it. It’s just a reference of where the dates line up for each month? What do I do in that area?
Why is there no at-a-glance for the week/month? What calendar doesn’t have that? Why didn’t you display something like that if I rotate the device?
Why did you not put any event information in the calendar you show when I try to add a new event? What if I’m about to make a conflict? (This one is mind boggling. It’s like there was no thought put into * actual calendar work. At a bare minimum I need to know if I am busy or not before I schedule an appointment. This is the point of a calendar.)
It’s neat you found the word “skype” in my event and used the Skype icon in the event marker. Oh wait, that’s all you did. I can’t open Skype. I can’t find their Skype username. All I can do is get * directions to Skype. Like, the actual office. Really, what’s going on here? I’m at a loss with this one too. Adding tiny icon actually made the experience bad for me.
- I connected LinkedIn, but what are you doing with that entire API besides pulling the names and photos? Is there nothing else that can be done to make this useful?
- What is happening under the hood that drained 5% 7% of my battery while I wrote this post?
I would like to see this app work for me, and I now know that at least one of these things is going to be addressed. But on the whole, this app doesn’t do anything special. It barely has an functionality. It’s just a nice wrapper on a weak calendar app. I don’t think much time was even spent trying to solve any real calendar issue, or for that matter, if any calendar users were asked what they want in an app.
Which brings me to my final question: Are you planning to listen to all those reviews in the App Store and make this thing worth keeping on my phone for more than 20 minutes?