I’ve been using the new version of Fantastical for a few weeks now, and if you liked the first version, you’re going to love the new version. Fantastical has always been designed for ease of use and worked like a dream, but Fantastical 2 builds on those strengths and takes advantage of some key iOS 7 capabilities that anyone who uses their calendar daily will appreciate.
Perhaps the biggest example of a key iOS 7 tech: background refreshing. With Fantastical 2, you won’t need to take a trip to Apple’s calendar any more. Fanastical will simply update automatically even if you don’t launch Fantastical. I’m constantly adding items to my calendar at my computer (using Fantastical for Mac, but sometimes I’m accepting invites to my Google calendar). Having the app automatically refresh without me doing anything extra is a huge time saver.
Then there are some design refreshes, like text size (controlled by iOS 7 Dynamic Text), a week view in landscape mode (super handy, especially on Mondays) and for larger 4-inch iDevices, there’s an extended keyboard with handy buttons for calendar-specific symbols.
The reason I bought the first Fantastical, however, is the parser. Being able to type in plain English, as though talking to an assistant, was magical and Fantastical did it before Siri was around to listen. In version 2, the parser has been beefed up. Since reminders are now fully integrated in 2, you can set an appointment or reminder by just using those terms. Even better, you can use “task” or “todo” in your phrasing and Fantastical will put your item in the right place. Plus, repeating events are easier to input so you could say something like “third Wednesday of each month” or “every two weeks” and Fantastical will figure it out. But my favorite is being able to say when a calendar item should alert you — because the default is rarely adequate for me.
Calendar apps litter the App Store, and we’re unfortunately in a world where users gripe (often loudly) about having to “buy this app again.” So first of all Flexibits is making Fantastical 2 US$2.99 for a limited time, and it will go up to $4.99 afterward. Second of all, even at full price we’re talking about less than the price of most toys. This is not a toy, it’s a tool. Tools aren’t free to make and they shouldn’t be free to steal. Let me explain.
Flexibits is not made of volunteer designers and coders. It is a business. When you go to a business to buy something, you pay money for the value it provides to you. Sounds simple, but if the launch of Tweetbot 3 taught me anything, it’s that people do not understand this simple concept. Developers work hard to redesign and add new features to apps, especially when Apple introduces a ton of new capabilities in an OS. iOS 7 added a lot of new capabilities. Tweetbot 3 took advantage mostly of those whiz-bang visual features (blurring, physics, etc.). Fantastical 2 takes advantage of a few new design techniques, but really pours it on with functionality. If you start typing into the parser with German, it’ll understand. If you use Reminders, they work great. If you don’t open Fantastical 2 for a couple of days, your calendar is still in sync.
Features like those don’t grow in groves of hot dog trees in the land of Dairy Queen. They require people to show up to work and make them happen. Fantastical 2 may look like its predecessor, but the value you will derive from the new version if you’re using iOS 7 is completely worth it. Plus, if you’re cheap or using an older iOS, guess what? Fantastical version 1 still works. This isn’t planned obsolescence, this is simple math and basic business.
Buy Fantastical 2 — it will make dealing with appointments, calendars and reminders so much easier it’s worth far more than what they are charging for it. Note that it is designed for iPhone. Full PR below.
DANVILLE, California – October 30, 2013 – Flexibits today introduced Fantastical 2 for iPhone, an all-new app exclusively for iOS 7, building on their award-winning calendar app.
Completely redesigned for iOS 7, Fantastical 2 for iPhone includes many new features including reminders, an improved parser, a new light theme, a week view in landscape mode, background app refresh, TextExpander support, birthday reminders/greetings, and much more.
Reminders are fully featured and allow users see their events and dated reminders together in the main list. Reminders can be added directly from their Reminders list or new event screen – a simple flip of the item switch will toggle between events and reminders. Users can even set dates, times, and geofences (when I arrive/when I leave) to their reminders.
The parser improvements in Fantastical 2 for iPhone are significant, including the ability to create reminders by starting sentences with “reminder”, “todo”, “task”, or “remind me to.” Also new are expanded, expressive repeating events such as third Thursday of every month, every weekend, last weekday of the month, and more. Plus, users can now add alerts with phrases such as “remind me tomorrow at 3PM”, “alert 1 hour before”, or “alarm 3PM.”
Fantastical 2 takes full advantage of iOS 7, including support for Background App Refresh, Dynamic Type, and 64-bit support for the iPhone 5s. Background App Refresh ensures events, reminders, and alerts are up to date even when Fantastical isn’t open. Support for Dynamic Type ensures Fantastical shows text larger or smaller, depending on the user’s preferred text size. Also new (and exclusive to devices with 4″ screens) is an extended keyboard when creating new events or reminders, providing instant access to numbers and symbols for dates and times.
“We wanted to make an iOS 7 iPhone calendar app worthy of the name Fantastical,” said Michael Simmons, Co-Founder of Flexibits. “With its beautiful iOS 7 design and functionality, we’re confident users are going to be love Fantastical 2 for iPhone.”
With Fantastical 2 for iPhone, users will quickly and easily create, view, and search all of their events and reminders. The advanced natural language engine is extremely expressive, enabling users to enter event or reminder details in their own style. For example, users can enter sentences such as “Lunch with Elon at 123 Main Street on Tuesday” and Fantastical 2 for iPhone translates the sentence into an event and adds it to their calendar. And with support for reminders, users can enter sentences such as “todo Pick up dry cleaning” and the user will have a reminder, ready to check off.
Fantastical 2 for iPhone is localized in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, letting users enter events in their preferred language. Best of all, Fantastical automagically detects the entered language for an event or reminder regardless of the system’s language setting. On devices supporting dictation, events or reminders can be created simply by speaking.
With its powerful natural language event and reminder creation, DayTicker, calendar, beautiful week view, event list, and much, much more, Fantastical 2 for iPhone is the fastest and friendliest calendar app for iOS 7.
Pricing & Availability
Download Fantastical 2 for iPhone on the App Store for a limited-time price of $2.99 (US). The standard price will be $4.99 (US). Fantastical 2 requires iOS 7.
For further information, please visit: http://flexibits.com/fantastical-iphone
To download Fantastical 2 for iPhone on the App Store, please visit: http://flexibits.com/fantastical-iphone/download
Flexibits creates apps that are enjoyable and flexible. Apps that make your life better. Apps that remove frustration. With many years of experience working on many popular apps, our hope is that our experience and passion comes through in everything we do. Flexibits: Flexible bits.
Download the Flexibits Press Kit here:
Fantastical 2 re-designed and re-engineered for iOS 7 originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.