Apple Watch gym partnerships give you perks for working out

Apple is launching a partnership program for gyms today called “Apple Watch Connected” that’s meant to highlight chains that integrate with its wearable and offer perks for owners. In some cases, perks include discounted membership fees and gift cards for people who regularly work out, according to CNBC.

For a gym to get the Apple Watch Connected branding, it’ll have to offer four things:

  1. An app for iPhones and Apple Watches that offers information like class times
  2. Support for Apple Pay to buy things at the gym
  3. Some kind of perk for wearers, like membership discounts
  4. Fitness equipment that supports GymKit, Apple’s system for syncing an Apple Watch with equipment like treadmills and ellipticals

(There’s a limited exception to that last one, for gyms focused on equipment that isn’t supported by GymKit. Generally, an unstated percentage of all equipment must support GymKit.)

The partnership is, in theory, a win for everyone involved. Apple Watch owners get a better experience at gyms (and potentially some discounts); Apple gets gyms that not only better support its product, but go out of their way to offer perks to its customers; and gyms get customers who may be more likely to stay with them due to the incentivized workouts.

It’s free for gyms to join the program, though I’m a little skeptical about how much benefit there really is to a program that mostly boils down to “give discounts to Apple customers.” If Apple, in turn, offers promotion for these gyms, then they could certainly see more people headed their way. But at least for now, there’s no word on these gyms being highlighted in, say, Apple Maps or Apple’s Health app.

At launch today, there are four Apple Watch Connected gym partners: YMCA, Crunch Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, and Orange Theory. It’ll also only be live at select locations for each. Crunch is the only gym offering membership discounts for people who work out regularly; Orange Theory is offering gift card perks; and the YMCA will donate classes to kids. Basecamp is advertising a program it already offers that can give subscribers an Apple Watch for free.

The tie-in with gyms is Apple’s latest attempt to associate wearing an Apple Watch and being fit with saving money. It’s also worked in the past with health insurers to offer discounts to people who wear the Watch. The integrations make sense given the focus on fitness, but they also mean that people who can’t afford a watch that starts at $200 that connects to a phone that starts at $449 miss out on these discounts.

Correction January 23rd, 11:50AM ET: Apple clarified that some amount of GymKit support is required, though there are exceptions. This story initially stated that GymKit support was not required at all gyms.

Ted Cruz now has an impeachment podcast, too

Impeachment podcasts are the hot new thing in podcasting, and now one of the actual impeachment jurors is getting in on the boom. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) launched a podcast today called Verdict with Ted Cruz, in which he sits across from a stupendously softball interviewer (“you are not only a senator, you are a constitutional lawyer, one of the brightest legal minds in the country”) and opines on the day’s impeachment proceedings.

It sounds as though Verdict will be publishing daily throughout the trial. Cruz said today’s episode was recorded shortly after he left the first day of Senate proceedings, bringing him to the podcast studio at 2:42AM ET. Episodes will be recorded “as soon as I leave the Senate floor,” Cruz wrote on Twitter.

With the immense interest around President Trump’s impeachment proceedings, many podcast studios and news outlets have found impeachment shows to be a quick way to build an audience. The audience built up on those podcast feeds will remain even after the proceedings end, and networks may be able to later redirect listeners to new political shows.

Verdict gives Cruz a way to tap into that interest and offer what will certainly be a more slanted take on the day’s events than a traditional news podcast might. So far, the podcast has 879 subscribers on YouTube. It’s also available on Spotify, which doesn’t provide subscriber numbers.

Eight Senators snuck Apple Watches into impeachment hearings despite electronics ban

Eight senators have been spotted wearing Apple Watches to President Trump’s impeachment trial, seemingly breaking the chamber’s ban on electronics during the proceedings. The apparent violations were spotted by Roll Call, which saw Apple Watches on the wrists of six Republican senators and two Democratic senators, as well as an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Under rules published last week, senators are prohibited from bringing any electronics into the chamber. “No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber. All electronics should be left in the Cloakroom in the storage provided,” the rules read.

No specific reason was given for the ban — whether it’s a concern about senators recording private conversations, causing a commotion on social media, or just being distracted during an important proceeding. Apple Watches include messaging and recording features, and newer models can come with LTE to keep users connected even when there’s no Wi-Fi. They’re a lot harder to tweet from and read emails on than a smartphone, though.

Senator Ted Cruz — or at least, his social media manager — mocked the ban, tweeting an image of an iPhone that says “come and take it” after he was accused of tweeting during the proceedings. But Cruz hasn’t been spotted with an iPhone on the Senate floor, and a Cruz spokesperson later confirmed to The Verge that he didn’t bring his phone onto the Senate floor.

Taking photos, videos, or audio recordings has been banned in the House of Representatives since 2017, with violators paying up to a $2,500 fine starting on their second offense. The Senate’s ban is broader than that, prohibiting electronics even when they’re not in use. But it doesn’t appear to have implemented a fine like in the House, so it may be trickier to enforce — especially for something as low profile as a smartwatch.

Update, 8:35 PM ET: Added confirmation from a spokesperson for Sen. Cruz that he did not bring his phone onto the floor.

Google reportedly working on Steam support for Chromebooks

Chrome OS may one day be able to play games from Steam. In an interview with Android Police, a Chrome OS product leader said that Google is working to allow Chromebooks to run Valve’s game platform, seemingly with help from Valve. No timeline was given on when support might arrive.

It’s an intriguing but odd announcement. Google has been focused on expanding Chrome OS’s capabilities over the last few years by allowing it to run native apps from Android, so that it’s not entirely reliant on the web. Adding Steam would push that even further, opening up Chromebooks to the hundreds of games that offer support for Linux, which Chrome OS is based on.

But Chromebooks are by and large low-power devices, designed to run a web browser and not much more. It’s hard to imagine that games would run well on the vast majority of Chromebooks currently out there, although Steam does offer a wide selection of smaller indie titles that are less graphically demanding. Still, Steam support will likely be useful only to the highest-end devices right now.

Kan Liu, the Chrome OS product director who spoke with Android Police, said that more powerful Chromebooks are coming, particularly those that will feature AMD processors.

Even if its usefulness is limited, it still translates to more things you can do on Chrome OS, and that’s by no means a bad thing. As Android Police points out, casual titles and older games could run just fine on some machines. (Steam also supports streaming games from other computers. It’s possible that’s a focus here, too, though the conversation seemed to be around native gameplay.)

At the same time, it’s a little surprising to see Google prioritizing native gaming on Chrome OS — its cloud-focused operating system — when Google is also building out Stadia, a game streaming service that doesn’t require powerful local hardware. Stadia still comes with a great number of limitations, though (a small game library among them), so the two offerings don’t necessary address the exact same needs.

Samsung copied Apple’s Face ID logo in its CES keynote

It’s not the worst press conference mistake we’ve seen at CES this year, but Samsung revisited a classic during its keynote last night: copying Apple’s work, continuing a seemingly endless pattern of Samsung (and other companies) cloning Apple, intentionally or otherwise.

In this case, Samsung presented an icon for facial recognition that is almost indistinguishable from Apple’s Face ID icon. As iMore indicates, they’re not exactly the same — the lines all seem a bit thicker and closer together, and the corners are perhaps a touch less rounded — but we’re basically looking at Apple’s Face ID icon, which is seemingly slightly adjusted to fit in with the art on the rest of the slide.

Left: Apple’s Face ID icon. Right: Whatever Samsung decided to do.

The icon came up about 50 minutes into Samsung’s press conference — titled, for whatever reason, “Age of Experience” — while H.S. Kim, head of the company’s consumer electronics division, was talking about its investment into cybersecurity. “We’ll stay ahead by investing in identity protection and secure access to your favorite websites and mobile apps through Samsung Pass,” Kim said. The icon was up for all of 15 seconds.

This seems like it was probably a mistake on the part of whoever made this portion of the slideshow. Samsung doesn’t appear to use this icon in its software or packaging; its actual facial recognition icon appears to be an outline of a face, which looks kind of generic.

That would make for the second major error of the show. Yesterday, AMD appeared to reveal details about the upcoming Xbox Series X before admitting that it had used a fan-made render of the console and had not, in fact, shown new details about what ports the machine will include.

There’s a long history of companies borrowing, often very directly, from Apple. Samsung is the most infamous, having been involved in a pair of years-long lawsuits over claims that it had copied the iPhone’s design. More recently, the clones have largely come from Chinese brands. There was a wave of notch copycats after the iPhone X came out. Xiaomi last year almost completely ripped off Apple’s dynamic wallpaper and Memoji avatars, and Huawei and its sub-brand Honor have also taken a crack at versions of Apple’s AirPods.

Brydge’s iPad keyboard with trackpad is coming next month for $200

Brydge will release an iPad keyboard with a built-in trackpad next month, after Apple added support for trackpads to iPadOS back in September. A $199.99 model will be available for the 11-inch iPad Pro and a $229.99 model will be available for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with both models clasping onto the iPad with a hinge that can fold the devices open and closed like a laptop. Initial preorders will ship in late February, with the rest following a month later.

The keyboard, called the Brydge Pro+, was first revealed in October as part of a lawsuit. Byrdge attempted to sue the creator of another iPad keyboard and trackpad for cloning its hinge design, and it included photos of this in-development keyboard as supporting evidence. The competing keyboard, the Libra, eventually had its hinge design changed in an attempt to avoid the lawsuit. The lawsuit has yet to move forward.

Trackpad support on the iPad is still very limited, and the experience isn’t as fluid as you might expect coming from a Mac. But interest still seems to be high: the Libra keyboard received more than $313,000 through crowdfunding and preorders.

Image: Brydge

In addition to the Brydge Pro+, Brydge is also releasing a standalone trackpad. It doesn’t appear to have a name, price, or release date yet, but Brydge did release a mock-up of it — it looks roughly like a black version of Apple’s Magic Trackpad.

Apple began selling Brydge’s regular iPad keyboards at its stores last month. The keyboards clip onto an iPad and fold shut like a laptop, with the whole package looking a lot like a MacBook Pro.

Apple, Google, and Amazon are teaming up to develop an open-source smart home standard

Apple, Google, and Amazon are teaming up to develop an open-source smart home standard that’s meant to ensure that devices work together, make the development of new devices easier, and keep everything secure in the process.

The project is meant to guarantee that any supported smart home device you buy will work in your home, regardless of which smartphone or voice assistant you’re using. If the group succeeds, “customers can be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to setup and control it with their preferred system,” the companies write. Google adds that you’ll be able to “choose between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or other platforms.”

The three tech giants have support from the smart home industry at large. They’re forming a group called Project Connected Home over IP, which will also be joined by the Zigbee Alliance — the maker of another smart home protocol — and its many board members, including Ikea, Samsung SmartThings, and the Signify, the company behind Philips Hue.

Technology from each of the three companies’ smart home systems — Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Weave — will be contributed to the new standard. They intend to release an initial draft in “late 2020.” Google says that, for developers, the system will simplify product development and reduce costs “by giving them one standard for building their products.”

The standard will work alongside existing connectivity protocols — like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — rather than seeking to replace them. In fact, the group says devices will likely have to support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, or Thread (a much-discussed but little-used smart home protocol) in order to work with the system at all. Exactly how a device connects will be up to its manufacturer.

The standard will also be based around IP, or internet protocol. That doesn’t mean all of the devices will connect directly to the internet; instead, it’s meant to simplify the process of getting messages from one place to another by relying on a well-known protocol. The group says it’s “ideal” for sending messages from a smart home device to “another device, app, or service” with “end-to-end security and privacy.”

For now, it’s hard to say exactly what the standard will be capable of doing. Will it simply give devices a way to connect to smart assistants like Siri and Alexa? Or will it standardize a wide range of smart home commands, like dimming lights, changing the temperature, and unlocking a door, ensuring assistants are capable of the same feats and can perhaps even be controlled in the same ways?

Wherever it ends up, the immediate goal of ensuring devices work across all three tech giants’ ecosystems is already a big win for customers who should have an easier time figuring out whether any given gadget will actually work for them once this standard arrives. Recent smart home gadgets do tend to work across multiple smart home systems already, but they don’t always support all three big ones, and setup processes and feature support can vary across systems.

The group will initially focus on physical safety devices, according to CNBC. That includes smoke alarms, door locks, smart plugs, security systems, and heating / air conditioning controls. Other consumer and even commercial devices would come after that.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: Android’s best foe to the iPad Pro

I am in productivity hell. For the past week, I’ve been using Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 to read Twitter, correspond on Slack, and write articles for this website. The Tab S3 is capable of doing all these things — in some cases, it’s even capable of doing them quite well — but it’s not capable of doing them anywhere near as well as a proper laptop. And in the week I’ve had it, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I’d use this tablet as a portable work device instead of a cheaper, more functional computer like a Chromebook.

The Tab S3 is a direct shot from Samsung at Apple’s latest iPad Pro. On description alone, the two match up beat for beat: they have 9.7-inch, high-resolution displays (both 2048 x 1536), nearly top-of-the-line processors, 32GB of internal storage, fingerprint sensors, four speakers, measure 0.24 inches deep at their thickest, weigh just shy of one pound, sell for $599, and support both a stylus and keyboard case.

That means that, like the iPad Pro, the Tab S3 is pitched as more than just a tablet. It’s good for laying in bed and watching Netflix, of course, but it’s also supposed to be great for bringing to the coffee shop, propping up on a tray table, or firing off a quick email while you’re on the go. That’s a much more challenging task. And it’s one that, combined with the full $730 asking price for this tablet and its keyboard case (sold separately), Samsung has a fairly challenging bar to meet.

Galaxy Tab S3

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

But first, let’s talk about the Tab S3 as merely a tablet, because that’s where it shines the most. On hardware alone, this is a really nice device. It’s thin and light. The back has a seamless design that looks like some futuristic sheet of paper. And while the front is plain, it’s the AMOLED display at the center of this thing that you’re here for: it’s sharp, vibrant, and gets bright enough to hurt.

I’ve found the tablet’s performance to be quite good, too. The Tab S3 was able to run casual games like Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers without issue, and I was able to pull up two apps at once without seeing either start to lag (though there are other problems with multitasking, which I’ll get to later). I’ve only had the tablet for a week, and performance may deteriorate with time. But I’m not seeing any immediate cause for concern, and the tablet’s relatively modern specs should keep it running smoothly for a while.

One of the Tab S3’s weaker points is its cameras. Both the front and rear cameras on the Tab S3 are a functional but muddy mess — pretty much every photo I’ve taken looks like it’s been softened and smudged. It’s kind of surprising given how nice some of Samsung’s recent smartphone cameras have been. These’ll do for video chatting, but that’s it.

The bigger disappointment for me was the tablet’s four speakers. The speakers are located on the top and bottom of the tablet, so when you position it in landscape to watch a YouTube video or a movie on Netflix, all the audio gets blasted way out to the left and right of you. In some cases, this creates a really exaggerated stereo effect, where it can sound like people are only talking out of one side of the tablet, and in the worst cases, well off to the side of where they ought to be.

The speakers get plenty loud, and the issue isn’t always that noticeable — during a fight sequence in Captain America: Civil War, the effect almost came off as immersive — but films’ quieter sequences and, really, most YouTube clips I’ve watched have been kind of annoying to listen to. The fact that the speakers are directed to the side of you is clearly part of the reason this is happening, but I also suspect that Samsung is being too aggressive in the way it splits up audio channels, resulting in sounds that should be coming from a center channel ending up shifted way off to the side.

Galaxy Tab S3

One of Samsung’s big differentiators for years now has been its styluses. A stylus is included in the box with the Tab S3 (which is notable, since Apple’s Pencil costs an extra $99), though you’ll need to buy a case to find a place to store it — unlike the Note line, there’s no slot to slip this S Pen into when you’re not using it. But, fair enough. This is a full-size stylus and not one of those short, skinny ones that comes with Samsung’s Chromebooks and phones.

The stylus is one of the best things the Tab S3 has going for it. I’m not usually a huge fan of them, but Samsung has integrated the S Pen into Android enough that it feels like a natural extension of the tablet, rather than some grafted-on poking device. You can use the S Pen just for navigating around the operating system and tapping through apps — which is nicer than it sounds, especially when you have the tablet propped up in Samsung’s keyboard case. Or you can use it for drawing and note taking.

Galaxy Tab S3 S Pen

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Galaxy Tab S3

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

I’m not much of an illustrator, so I can’t say how well the S Pen works for drawing (my guess is: fine for sketching, not so good for anything detailed), but it’s great for jotting down notes and making goofy doodles to send people. Samsung has some fun and useful features built in to help with this, including an option to mark up screenshots, automatically pull people or objects out of images, and create GIFs by dragging a box over a video that’s playing.

Samsung has been doing styluses long enough to really nail the correct feeling when using one. The S Pen’s tip has the perfect balance between gripping the tablet’s screen when you want to touch something and gliding over it when you want to write. It makes note taking far more pleasant than on other tablets — though, a word of warning, it only goes so far to improve already-illegible handwriting like my own.

The Tab S3’s keyboard case sells for an extra $129.99, but you’re really not getting the full experience of this tablet without it. The case makes the tablet a little more heavy and a lot more ugly, and it picked up smudges quickly; but it works well as a case, a pen holster, and a stand for the tablet.

As far as the actual keyboard goes, I’m not as much of a fan. While I’ve been able to type this entire review on the Tab S3’s keyboard case, I have to tell you that my hands are feeling a little cramped and uncomfortable at this point. This is only a 9.7-inch device, after all, and it can’t fit the kind of keyboard we expect from a 13-inch laptop.

Galaxy Tab S3

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Galaxy Tab S3

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

It’s too bad. Samsung made a mostly good keyboard here, but it’s largely held back by its size. The keys have great travel and are easy to type on — they make a nice, soft clicky sound, too, which I see as a bonus — and after several days of use, I don’t even make all that many typos. But the keys are just too close together to be comfortable unless you have particularly small hands. And honestly, it’s starting to hurt.

Samsung doesn’t do itself any favors with some strange key and shortcut placements, either. There’s a search key right next to the Control key, which has made me accidentally call up Now on Tap every other time I try to italicize something. And for some reason, you can’t hold Shift at the same time that you press the space bar, which it turns out is a thing I do pretty often. Samsung seems to have mapped this to be a shortcut for switching languages, which is frustrating, since the keyboard also has a dedicated language key.

Galaxy Tab S3

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Samsung’s keyboard case would be perfectly fine for limited use: writing an email, responding to tweets, filling out a spreadsheet. But all of those things can be done just fine with an on-screen keyboard, too. And I have to wonder, if you’re writing something longer, why you wouldn’t just switch to a laptop.

Galaxy Tab S3

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Because the real frustration of this tablet is just how close it gets to a “real” computing experience, and just how far away the gap still is. Even though Android still doesn’t have the tablet app selection that iOS does, I was able to run basically everything I needed to on the Tab S3, including work apps like Trello and Slack to more powerful sketching apps like Adobe Draw. I was able to keep up two apps at once. And I was able to research and publish articles to this website without major issue.

But unfortunately, multitasking is still far from elegant, and it’s what separates this device the most from a “real” computer. One issue I ran into immediately: even though Slack supports multitasking, the app only pulled in new messages when I was engaged with it; if I tapped on the other app I was running alongside it, Slack would sit idle and refuse to show new messages that were added to the conversation until I tapped on it. That made it impossible for me to write an article and keep up with our busy newsroom chats at the same time.

Other apps just don’t play nice with multitasking yet. Facebook’s app, for some reason, falls to pieces when you try to run it in split-screen. And others, like Instagram, Dark Sky, Snapchat, and Uber, don’t support landscape layout at all, let alone multitasking. (In fairness to those developers, Google hasn’t made Android’s initial setup screen work in landscape mode either, which makes for an unpleasant introduction to a new tablet.)

Even when split-screen works, it still feels clear that you’re trapped in something that’s not quite a computer. Basics like copy and paste are still designed for a keyboard and mouse more than a touchscreen and stylus — why do I still have to drag tiny little markers around each character I want to highlight instead of being able to drag the S Pen around something and have it magically carry over to another app? Samsung has some features that begin to get at this, but they don’t work with much consistency.

The best calendar app for Android

Calendar apps have a tough job. Everyone needs one, but everyone is looking for something different out of them. I want a concise look at the day ahead, but you might want a spaced-out view of your week, and someone else might want a super-dense look at their entire month.

The best calendar apps do a good job presenting your schedule no matter how you want to view it. They make it easy to understand your day and to plan out the weeks and months ahead.

Google’s app store is filled with a ton of strange, dense, and downright challenging calendar apps designed for some mythical, godlike superuser. But in between all of those are a few gems — apps with clean, customizable designs that are a pleasure to use. And it just so happens that the best of them is made by Google itself.

Using an iPhone? Check out our picks for the best calendar apps for iPhone!

The Winner

Google has long had one of the better calendar apps for Android, and with Sunrise — our old favorite — out of the way, it’s hard to say anything else does it better.

What makes Google so successful is that it focuses on what matters — making your schedule easy to read, making the app easy to navigate, and making events easy to add — and does what matters better than anybody else.

Amelia Krales

The app has viewing options that’ll please everyone, and Google makes it easy to jump between them without digging through menus. This is great if you want to quickly dive into a broader or more detailed view of your schedule. Google Calendar is also the only Android app I tested that supports natural language-style event entry (“Lunch with Dan on Wednesday at Two Boots”), which is a huge advantage if you’re frequently making plans while mobile.

There are still some areas that Google Calendar could do better. Integration with third-party apps, like Sunrise used to have, would make it much more flexible for serious digital organizers. And the ability to add helpful calendars, like sports schedules, and to view embedded maps seem like obvious and simple additions.

The Runner-Up

If you want to go a step up from Google Calendar, without getting too much more complicated, DigiCal is your answer.

DigiCal is basically Google Calendar with more features: interesting calendars — ranging from TV schedules to moon phases — additional view options, and weather info for up to two weeks ahead. One small touch that I love: in week view, you can tap on an event to get a pop-up with more info, without requiring you to dive into a new screen.

There are a lot of places that DigiCal takes a narrow edge over Google Calendar. But it has a few drawbacks. The biggest being that there’s no natural language entry for new events, which is a major drawback if you enter new events from your phone. You also have to pay extra to use all of DigiCal’s best features. Removing ads costs $5, which isn’t much. But weather is an extra $1.50 per year, and interesting calendars are an extra $3.50 per year.

If you think those features are worth paying for, then get DigiCal, it’s great. But without them, it’s just Google Calendar with ads.

The Others

The best calendar app for iPhone

Calendar apps have a tough job. Everyone needs one, but everyone is looking for something different out of them. I want a concise look at the day ahead, but you might want a spaced-out view of your week, and someone else might want a super-dense look at their entire month.

The best calendar apps do a good job presenting your schedule no matter how you want to view it. They make it easy to understand your day and to plan out the weeks and months ahead.

There’s no shortage of gorgeous, inventive, and capable calendar apps for the iPhone. But by and large, it’s the apps that nail the basics that come off the best. We’re disappointed to say that no app can match our old, dearly departed favorite — Sunrise — but there is one app that’s such a classic, it’s easy to overlook how good it’s become. That’s Google Calendar.

Using an Android phone? Check out our picks for the best calendar apps for Android!

The Winner

Seriously. If you haven’t opened up Google Calendar in a while, it’s time to check again. Because Google Calendar has become the most solid option out there. It’s not an app that’ll wow you with home runs, but it reliably knocks back single after single — and that’s what matters with something as fundamental as a calendar.

Google Calendar nails what matters: presenting your schedule and adding new events. It’s clear and easy to read no matter how you want to see it (including in often-cluttered week and month views), and many views will even let you jump directly into another way of looking at the calendar, without digging through menus.

Adding events couldn’t be much easier either. You can type events in natural language (“Brunch with Lori at Cent’Anni this Sunday at 8”), and Google will pull in the contacts, locations, dates, and times as you type. The app can also automatically pencil in time for you to clean and work out, if you’re the kind of person (aren’t we all?) who needs some encouragement.

Yes, those are simple features. But few other apps can claim to make your calendar quite as easy to modify and read. And ultimately, that’s what you’re here for.

Google does miss a few opportunities, though. The biggest is its lack of a widget for iOS 10 — something that a lot of other calendar apps already have. Nor does it include weather or time-to-leave alerts, or the ability to add useful calendars (like religious holidays or sports schedules) or connect with third-party apps. Most other apps can’t do these things either, but there’s some low-hanging fruit here that Google Calendar could pick up in Sunrise’s wake.

The Runner-Up

So you want something a little more serious? Fantastical might be the answer.

Fantastical has long been one of the best calendar apps for the iPhone, and that holds true today. It has a customizable widget and icon badge, a dense display of your upcoming events, and even better natural language support than Google Calendar when it comes to entering events.

The same reason some people love Fantastical is the same reason the app isn’t for everyone: it essentially only has one view in portrait mode — an agenda view — and that view can be really hard to read. If what you’re looking for is a no-frills list of what’s coming up on your schedule, Fantastical might just do it for you. But if you prefer weekly views or just a friendlier list, you’re going to have to pass.

The Others