Text and screenshots by Federico Viticci
Sunrise’s Meet in Messages, Safari, and the Sunrise app.
I first tried Meet, Sunrise’s latest addition to their popular calendar app, I didn’t think it made much sense as a custom keyboard. Now, a few months later, Meet has become my favorite way to check on my availability from any app and create one-to-one meetings. With Meet, the Sunrise team has created one of the most innovative mobile calendar features I’ve seen in years.
Sunrise, part of Microsoft since February, rarely shied away from subverting traditional calendar features found in most clients for smartphones and tablets. As I explored last year, Sunrise’s biggest strengths lie in excellent integration with web services, prolific use of icons to quickly discern events, weather support, external calendars, and the ability to show details for event participants. At its core, Sunrise aims to reimagine the calendar by expanding it beyond a list of days and events, but Pierre Valade and his team know that it’s a tall order when you’re dealing with the world’s most valuable and personal asset – time. Sunrise’s focus on integrations is, ultimately, imbued with the idea that everyone manages their schedule differently, so flexibility is the only way to eschew a one-size-fits-all approach.
It’s not surprising, then, that Sunrise’s next integration is the operating system itself, using a common denominator across iOS and Android: a custom keyboard that works with any text field.
Meet is a keyboard that lets you group available time slots together, generate a link, and send it to someone to confirm the best time for a meeting. Unlike other Sunrise integrations, Meet doesn’t pull content into your calendar; Meet is a scheduling utility that pushes your calendar into other apps.
Here’s how it works: whenever you’re talking to someone and decide to arrange a meeting, you can switch to the Meet keyboard to take a look at your schedule. Meet is a custom keyboard that requires full access in the iOS settings and that works on the iPhone and iPad. By default, the keyboard shows Sunrise’s week view with a horizontal visualization of your schedule that you can scroll by day and hour. Once you’ve found available time slots, you can tap to create a potential event, indicated with a blue block. Tap as many slots as you want, hit Confirm, and you’ll get a sunrise.am link; usually, this link is automatically inserted in the text field of the app you’re using, whether it’s Messages, Mail, Slack – you name it.1
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