After bringing natural language input to the mobile calendar experience with Fantastical for iPhone last November, Flexibits today released a brand new version of what was already my absolute favorite calendar app.

Fantastical 2 delivers an all new design made just for iOS 7 as well as numerous new features like Reminders support, dark and light themes, landscape support for week view, and much more.

I’ve been using Fantastical 2 for the past few weeks, and below I’ll show you why it’s my go-to calendar for iPhone.

Typically, I’m not crazy about replacing default apps with third party offerings (especially since iOS doesn’t allow setting default apps yet), but I happily make a huge exception for Fantastical for iPhone.

Simply put, it’s the calendar Apple should have built, and with it’s iOS 7-inspired redesign and new features, Flexibits has delivered the most powerful, yet straightforward calendar again.

In redesigning Fantastical for iPhone, Flexibits preserved the established look and feel of the app while showcasing the details that matter most.

For example, the glass viewer in the horizontal DayTicker now focuses on the left rather than the center allowing you to see more upcoming dates. When you scroll vertically through your appointments, the focus is almost always on the left, so while this change seems trivial on the surface, in practice it’s quite pleasant.

Before & After

Before & After

Overall, the new user interface feels much more polished and modern. For someone who appreciates the design language of iOS 7, it’s a valuable update.

In the spirit of choice, Fantastical 2 brings support for dark and light themes as well. I’ve been using the light theme, which is a toggle found in the settings, but the dark theme (which is default) is really slick and keeps with the character of the previous generation and current Mac app.

Fantastical 2 also brings support for landscape orientation with a scrollable week view. This view is quite similar to the native Calendar app, but adds support for Reminders, something new to version 2.

Aside from the new design, Fantastical 2 includes an extended keyboard on 4″ display devices that makes accessing numbers, slash, and colon really seamless. The benefit of accessing numerals and the colon is obvious for inputting times, but the slash is especially helpful if you input entries for calendars other than your default calendar. (It’s amazing how much more swift your workflow is when you save a few taps.)

Creating a new event now features numbers, slash, and colon for improved date input

Creating a new event now features numbers, slash, and colon for improved date input

If you don’t dig the new cards layout in Reminders on iOS 7, Fantastical 2 also brings integration for managing your reminders items. Simply begin a text line with “todo/task/reminder/remind me to” or use the calendar/reminder toggle seen in the screen shot above, and you have the function of two apps in one. From natural language input to viewing tasks with appointments, this addition the Fantastical is really exciting and worth checking out.

Overall, Fantastical 2 is a very polished and feature-packed successor to the initial version that brought Fantastical to the iPhone. It requires iOS 7 which means it supports features like Background App Refresh, Dynamic Type, and 64-bit optimization.

With its brand-new design and feature set, Fantastical 2 is a new app purchase for $2.99 at launch and $4.99 soon after, so grab it from the App Store while it’s on sale!

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50 Responses to “Fantastical 2: The calendar Apple should have built… again”

  1. Tima says:

    Definitely worth checking out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. cwoloszynski says:

    What a crock! A UI update for iOS7 and they want me to buy the app again. What a ripoff!!!

    • Zac Hall says:

      Luckily if you feel that way, Fantastical 1 doesn’t self destruct and you can keep your three bucks ;-)

      • It’s not a question of three bucks, it’s a question of an app not yet one year old (!), which ‘revamped’ to the new look of iOS 7 and essentially dropped the support for the previous version (it does not work on iOS 7 as well as it works on iOS 6, although they did issue 2 fixes). Other companies (Branchfire’s 3-year-old iAnnotate is a good example) also presented a new version to their product, but did not demand payment for the upgrade (we can argue about the difference between upgrade and update, but it would be mostly semantic). Bottom line, this is not how you treat your costumers, and for that reason I deleted the first version of Fantastical and moved to Sunrise + aNote.

    • I’d have to agree with you… Seems a bit of a rip.

    • I guess in the grand scheme of things, three dollars isn’t that big deal to the person buying the app, but it is a big deal to the person making the app who probably does this to support some sort of lifestyle.

    • Don’t be so ridiculously cheap. $3 is a trivial amount to pay, considering the effort that went into the app. Less than a Starbucks drink. Now that there are several years of App Store economics to look at, it’s clear no decent business/productivity app is economically viable with a one-off $3 fee. $3/year, whether subscription or re-purchase, is probably the lowest that is realistic, to get a good developer to commit time to a project.

    • I agree w/ Zac Hall…you paid for Fantastical 1 and that’s what you have. Unless it was implied that you’d get a version made for iOS 7 for free, you’ve not been ripped off. Paid upgrades have been going on since the advent of software; mobile device software is not unique in that sense.

  3. Sky Willmott says:

    It’s nice – makes good use of iOS 7 transform animations etc… but doesn’t have decent month view… It took me a long time to find a calendar app that gives a great month view and the best one I’ve found so far is Moca Calendar … the month view is truly fantastic :-)

  4. Andrew Grant says:

    I searched the app store on my iOS7 4S, but it came back with a message that it can’t find it.

  5. Will it sync to your iOS calendar? I would like not have to re enter everything..

  6. Meh, I’ll stick with the old one. Doesn’t look like much of an upgrade in functionality (for how I use it) and the colors seem a bit harsh.

  7. Knute Rondum says:

    Is companion OS available for my Mac Air? I hate Apple Calendar.

  8. How does it handle incoming event invites via email? Calendar on both Mac and iOS bring up the invite notification within the cal app itself and can then be accepted/rejected seamlessly.

    • Zac Hall says:

      I haven’t used email notifications for invites but the app does have invitation support built in and works just like the default calendar :-)

      • We may be talking about the same thing. I’m referring to when someone adds an event to their calendar (Google Cal, Mac Cal, etc.), and then adds me as an attendee, which generates the email from them to invite me to that event.

        Currently (using Mac / iOS calendar apps) when that email arrives, I get a badge and notification from my Cal apps about the invite, and can accept it directly from the Calendar app.

        Is this what you’re referring to? Or are you talking about me creating the event, and sending invites out to other people?

    • Zac Hall says:

      Example of the user interface here:

  9. I wonder, does it do delegated calendars from Gmail?

  10. Larry Paris says:

    Does not work on iPad 3rd G – IOS 7.0.3

  11. I used it on iOS 6 and didn’t particularly enjoyed it, so on iOS 7 I switched to Sunrise and now I’m in love

  12. Which is better? Calendars 5 vs. Fantastical 2

  13. After reading this I feel bad: nothing about the need to buy AGAIN the same app, just updated to iOS7.
    I had Fantastical 1 and it still works but do you know that now they removed it from my store? That means… no new updates in the future and no chance to reinstall if needed.
    I won’t use this app anymore as it could be that with iOS8 Fantastical 3 will ask for more money and that way of doing business it’s a rip.
    I am perplexed that this review sees no flaws in this.

    • Zac Hall says:

      Version 1 should remain in your Purchased apps under Updates.

      • And still you seem to agree to this policy…. I don’t. I’ve already spent 20 euros in their applications for Mac and iPhone and still they ask for money without any good reason for a simple update. Well for what it’s worth I deleted the Fantastical1 app from my phone, and will do the same with their Mac Calendar if they will apply the same logic to it . I am sure I will think twice before buying the next Flexibits app.

      • David Warden says:

        havent upgraded to ios7 yet but would like to try Fantastical 1. Can only see 2 on the store :(.
        Cutting over to ios7 when i open the 5s sitting here waiting to be activated. Need to backup the 5 and wife’s 4s for the hand-me-down.

  14. Can you also set sound reminders in this app?
    is there stuff you can’t do with this app, what the build in-app CAN do?

  15. Great write up! Was wondering whether the app showed the location(s) of days event(s) on a single map? Similar to the app 4dcalendar: maps + calendar..

  16. David Warden says:

    looks promising. Nice review. Calendaring in general is something I always seem to fail at getting properly synced across multiple devices (iphone, pads, airs, pros, etc) and platforms (Win & OSX). It was right for a while and now its a mess. just wanna start over. Any really good video tutorials?

  17. Tice (@Tice) says:

    I couldn´t find the ability to export the data. Major feature missing?

  18. This is awesome.. but for something similar, we choose Sunrise.. it’s free and also have stunning UI

  19. scottwilkins says:

    I tried it. Sorry now I wasted $3 on it!!! I do NOT like the moving weeks. And the week view is rather poor as it is. Very poor attempt at a calendar!

  20. This is an ad not a review. What’s the payoff for this?

  21. Cris McRae says:

    Just purchased… I’ve moved the iOS calendar app from my home screen… This thing is awesome!

  22. My only disappointment is the lack of an iPad or universal version. While I’m a lot less enamored with the Mac version, I feel the iPhone version is so strong that I’d like to see an iPad version. Of course, I can use the 2x enlargement of the iPhone version on the iPad w/out loss of features, but the specific use of iPad space would be appreciated.

    • Zac Hall says:

      From what I understand, the devs were working on the iPad version but with the announcement of iOS 7, upgrading the iPhone version took precedent, but it’s coming next. Won’t be universal though, but that makes sense to me as they’re not launching aside one another.

  23. idanradae says:

    Can it sync the calendar from Apple OSX Mavericks without using iCloud ?

  24. My wife and I currently use apple calendar on separate iPhones and share each others calendars.
    Can we continue to share if I use fantastical 2 while my wife continues to us apple calendar.