Fantastical has long been my go-to calendar on Mac, iPad, and iPhone, and today the Fantastical 2.2 update is hitting the Mac App Store. The intelligent calendar and reminders app started out as a menu bar utility with really, really good natural language detection for creating appointments and entries, plus a streamlined list view of upcoming items. Then a year ago Fantastical 2 debuted on the Mac, which graduated the menu bar app to a full-fledged calendar that easily competes with the built-in calendar app. The latest 2.2 update builds on that release by adding a handful of useful features including native Exchange support.
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If you’re not familiar with Fantastical, the big appeal for me it the ability to reliably use text entry and dictation to create calendar and reminders entries. Fantastical syncs with your existing calendar service plus iCloud Reminders, so there’s no need to create a separate account or silo off your task list.
You can simply type out an entry like “Dinner at 6 pm with Woz at Outback /h” and Fantastical will schedule it on your home calendar appropriately. Reminders works similarly with an entry like “reminder: bananas /s” to add bananas to the shopping list. It all works great from the menu bar where access is super convenient, and the full window version is a total Apple Calendar replacement right down to the icon featuring the current date.
Starting with Fantastical 2.2 for Mac, users can enjoy full native Exchange syncing, which supports “powerful features such as invitation responses, availability lookup, categories, and people lookup.” Fantastical 2.2 also adds an interface for viewing contact availability right in the Mac app when using Exchange, Google Apps, OS X Server, or similar calendar services.
There’s also newly added support for calendar printing, which frankly I hadn’t considered a missing feature or ever used in Apple’s Calendar app, but can definitely see how the function could be very useful. Like Apple’s implementation, you can choose the view (day, week, month, year, list), date range, which calendar, text size, hide or show all-day events and the mini calendar, and include calendar keys or use black and white. But Fantastical goes a step further by letting you include or hide timed events, calendar week numbers, choose between Calendar Sets (which is exclusive to Fantastical), and even print Reminders lists which you can’t do with Apple’s software … plus the layouts look really nice.
And as you may notice in the screengrab at the top of this post, Fantastical 2.2 now includes a secondary timezone section from the day and week view on the full window calendar. This lets you easily pick a second timezone using the specific name or simply by choosing another location, then you can conveniently view eastern time and pacific times for events in California when you’re in New York without juggling the math in your head. Personally I live in central time and have colleagues in the UK where the conversion isn’t quite as easy, so I can see where this will be very useful.
Fantastical 2.2 for Mac is a free update for existing Fantastical 2 Mac customers. New customers can pick up the enhanced calendar and reminders app for $49.99 from the Mac App Store; Fantastical 2.2 requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later. Complete the suite with Fantastical 2 for iPad (currently $9.99) and Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Apple Watch (currently $4.99). You can also purchase Fantastical 2 for Mac directly from Flexibits or try the 21-day free trial.
The update is rolling out today.