Editor’s note: Beginning today, we’re sharing the stories of the apps and developers who are being given early access to the Layer service.

Today’s Q&A is with Sunrise Calender CEO and co-founder Pierre Valade. Sunrise is a much lauded, beautifully designed calendar app that has attracted more than a quarter million users in the seven months since it launched. We chose Sunrise to be among the first apps with access to Layer because we believe the calendaring function will be made infinitely more powerful by incorporating rich messaging. The Sunrise team has done a fantastic job building the app, and we think adding the ability to communicate richly inside the calendar will unlock a new level of productivity for its users. This use case, in particular, will alone demonstrate the critical importance of having an open communications layer for the Internet.


Layer: What does Sunrise do?
PV: Sunrise is a Calendar app for iPhone. We are building what we think is the best calendar for mobile.

Layer: What do your users love most about Sunrise?
PV: Users love the fact that we are making calendar a tool they love. A lot of people everyday use their calendars, but they are usually unhappy about it. Sunrise Calendar is well designed, works perfectly with Google Calendar and iCloud, and make things you do everyday a lot easier.

Layer: Why is now the time for Sunrise? What outside trends have enabled its success?
PV: Mobile is huge for us. People are moving from web (or paper) calendars from the past to calendars on their phones. This enables a lot of innovation that was not possible before.

Layer: How will rich communications make Sunrise better?
PV: Calendars are very social. People have meetings with other people. Social means communication. How can a user let someone know that they’re running late? How can rich communications make a meeting better? It’s huge for our users.

Layer: How will Layer enable that?
PV: We are in the business of building the best calendar, not building a communication layer. I think Layer will help us focus on what we do best, and take care of the hard work on building rich communications into Sunrise, so that we can focus on designing the best user experience around it.

Download Sunrise here to see why so many people favor it.