Fantastical for iPhone and iPad, the alternative calendar and Reminders app from Flexibits, received a major feature update today for iOS 8 users. If you’re unfamiliar with Fantastical, the ability to turn text input like “Dinner with Tim tomorrow night at 7pm” into a calendar appointment without fiddling with menus and dials is it’s killer feature.

Fantastical for iPhone received an update last month which optimized the user interface for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, and today’s new version adds a Today view widget in Notification Center, an app extension for use in other apps, and interactive notifications for responding to alerts without even opening the app. Check out the new features in the latest version of Fantastical for iPhone and iPad below.

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The newly added Today view Fantastical widget displays a full month calendar for accessing any from iOS by simply swiping down Notification Center. The widget includes chevrons above either side of the full month calendar for toggling between months both future and past.

Below the full month calendar is your list of upcoming events as well as due reminders. The single Fantastical widget on iOS 8 can replace both the default Calendar and Reminders widgets for streamlining the Today view with the most relevant calendar data. Just like with the Reminders widget, the Fantastical widget allows you to mark items as completed from the Today view in Notification Center.

The new version of Fantastical also introduces a system-wide app extension. This means you can add content from other apps directly into Fantastical without leaving the other app to enter the appointment or reminder.

One example of this includes turning text from a note into an appointment in your calendar. As you can see above, I jotted down a note with an appointment name, address, and time, which the Fantastical extension then parsed to create an event on my calendar.

This works with Reminders too. In the example above, I used the Fantastical extension from a web page in Safari to create a Reminders entry for reading the blog post later. Fantastical can read and view the same iCloud-syncing Reminders items as Apple’s default app, so the entries you make here will be available on all your other devices as well.

The update also brings interactive notifications allowing you to respond to alerts from the lock screen, notification banner, or Notification Center.

Fantastical for iPhone and Fantastical for iPad both add the new features in the latest version of each app for iOS 8 users. It’s a major update to Fantastical that a lot of people have been looking forward to and, after using the beta for the past few weeks, I’m glad the new features are available for everyone now.

Existing customers can update to the new version of the app to get the Fantastical widget, extension, and interactive notifications for free, and new customers can buy each app at a limited-time discounted price. Fantastical for iPhone will be $2.99 (regular $4.99) and Fantastical for iPad will be $7.99 (regular $9.99) to celebrate the iOS 8 update.

Check out our review of Fantastical for iPhone and Fantastical for iPad as well as Fantastical for Mac for more information about my favorite calendar and Reminders replacement for Mac and iOS.

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