I hate Fantastical. And I hate Fantastical 2 even more. Except I kinda love them. And I hate that most of all. Thing is, I don't like calendars. They remind me of everything I have to do, and I have far too many of those things, and I don't want to do most of them. I don't even want to enter them into my calendar. I want them to leave me alone. But I don't have that option. So, since I have to do them, and I need a way to remember to do them, I also need a way to make that as quick and painless as possible. And that brings me right back to Fantastical, the one calendar app that's actually quick and painless enough that I have no excuse not to use it. More precisely, Fantastical 2, and even quicker, more painless, flat out better way than even the original. With an iOS 7 redesign. And Reminders integration. And a landscape week view. Dammit.
Originally crafted by Flexibits - Michael Simmons and Kent Sutherland - for the Mac, Fantastical came to the iPhone just under a year ago and pretty much reverse-Sherlocked the built-in Calendar app. The basic mechanics of Fantastical haven't changed since then. There's still the buttery smooth day ticker on the top that somehow stays in perfect, perpendicular sync with the events listed below it. It's flatter now, of course, in iOS 7 fashion, but it works just as well. So does the pull down gesture to switch between the day ticker and month ticker. The lone buttons - Settings and Add - blessedly remain glyphs. If you want borderless buttons, you'll need to tap into the New Event screen.
If you do that, you'll also see a new switch control. Toggle it and you're taken from New Event to New Reminder. And yeah, Fantastical is as good for Reminders entry as it is for Calendar. Settings let you enable them, decide if you want to show completed items, and whether or not you want to organize by list, as well which lists you want to make available, and what you want to set as the default list.
Another new addition to the Fantastical repertoire is week view. Simply rotate from portrait to landscape and the ticker will spin around, zoom in, and become the week view. Rotate back to portrait and it'll spin, zoom, and transfer back into the ticker.
Again, I'm not a power calendar user. I'm just a busy person, working crazy hours, with way more stuff to do than I can reliably remember. In other words, I'm a normal person these days. I need tools to make my life easier, which means tools that save me time and don't take even more time away. Fantastical fits that bill, and Fantastical 2 fits it even better. I've been beta testing it for several weeks, and it's worked fantastically well, both for calendaring as usual, and, now, reminders as well.
I know some people who find it hard to use invitations at scale with Fantastical - a dozen a day or more - but I get maybe a few a week and I've been totally fine. Being able to enter appointment and tasks using the even better than before natural language parser - like a human being! - is ridiculously easy, and finding them again using the ticker and list is insanely fast. Seriously.
Fantastical was the absolute best calendar app on iOS. Now Fantastical 2 is not only the absolute best calendar app on iOS, but the best reminders app as well.
Fantastical 2 is a new, iOS 7-only app. It costs $4.99 but is currently on sale for $2.99 for a limited time. For something I use all day, every day, it's worth easily 10 times that (and I wish I could pay 10 times that to help make sure I get a Fantastical 3, but not only does Apple still not provide a mechanism for upgrades, App Store pricing is so depressed, software so devalued, that it costs more these days to pay for an hour of parking than it does something that took months to design and develop). But it is what it is. If you like Fantastical 2, if it provides the slightest value and joy to you, pay Flexibits the pittance they're asking and recommend your friends do likewise.
After all, Fantastical 2 will check all your existing Fantastical 1 settings and mirror them, so you're all set up and ready to go right from the start. That alone is more than worth the price of admission.
- $2.99 on sale - Download now
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