Admit it, you’ve lost track of how many years it’s been since you paid for Fantastical. The answer could be as long ago as 2013, 2014, or 2015 for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, respectively. We’re talking over six years of free updates.

The new Fantastical is launching today on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch with a wealth of features that extend how you can use the smart calendar app. With the new version comes the core parts of Fantastical for free for the first time, feature benefits for existing customers, and loads of useful new features for subscribers.

Fantastical is also a universal app for the first time ever, not individual purchases on each platform. Read on to learn what the new Fantastical offers.

Subscription? Really?

Fantastical dates back to the Mac as a menu bar app with fast event entry using natural language parsing. It came to the iPhone next, got redesigned for iOS 7, arrived on the iPad, and eventually graduated to a full calendar replacement on the Mac.

Each version has received free updates for years since the Fantastical 2 arrived on each platform. The new Fantastical is both a major shift in the business model and months of work in moving the app forward. The result, Flexibits promises, is many more updates to come. That’s how you gain new subscribers and convince existing subscribers to stay, right?

Personally, I’m often skeptical of subscription software over perpetual licenses. As a longtime Fantastical customer and user, however, I’m optimistic that this is the right business model for a premium calendar app that blows the less loved built-in calendar out of the water.

So what’s new?

A lot. Go read flexibits.com/fantastical to see the comprehensive list of changes in the new Fantastical. And David Sparks released a great field guide for the new Fantastical including almost two hours of video, and it’s free too. Below are some of my favorite features included in the new release:

Weather where you want it

The new Fantastical integrates a weather forecast in the calendar so you can know if you need to bring an umbrella for your next meeting without checking different apps. And similar to Apple Maps, Fantastical will show you local weather for other locations when the address is part of the calendar entry.

I rarely check the forecast for more than one day out, but now the weather data is right in front of me when I check my calendar. Personally, this helps with knowing if my Sunday long run will be outdoors or on the treadmill.

Fantastical brings advanced AccuWeather forecasts directly into your calendar. You can also see the expected temperature in the details of your upcoming events based on the event location. AccuWeather’s MinuteCast® shows a minute-by-minute forecast of when it will start or stop raining or snowing. The MinuteCast® also integrates with Fantastical’s time to leave notifications, so you’ll never forget to take your umbrella with you.

New ways to track important dates

The utility of a calendar only goes so far without populating it with important dates. Personal events like doctor appointments, run training plans, and your next business meeting all belong on the calendar.

You can also subscribe to public calendars to keep track of important dates that aren’t unique to you, and the new Fantastical delivers the perfect solution.

My old New Orleans Saints calendar broke before my favorite team lost their shot at a Super Bowl victory, but the new Interesting Calendars feature includes a properly supported replacement. As a space enthusiast, I’m also in love with the astronomical event calendars. The new Fantastical can also subscribe to popular TV show schedules and more so your calendar has dates you care about.

Interesting Calendars: Fantastical includes a comprehensive collection of calendars for holidays, sports, TV, and much more. Add these calendars to Fantastical with one tap or click to stay on top of what’s happening. Powered by SchedJoules, Fantastical’s interesting calendars make it easier than ever to add events relevant to you.

Should we meet at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., or 6 p.m.?

My workday is usually pretty flexible so I’m notorious for proposing multiple meeting times to best accommodate someone else. In reality, I can schedule a call or meetup almost any time, but people like to have a narrow set of choices.

The new Fantastical introduces a game-changing new feature for proposing scheduled meetings, and it doesn’t even require the person you’re scheduling with to use Fantastical.

Meeting Scheduling Made Easier: Fantastical now includes meeting proposals, which makes it easy to ask people what dates or times work for them. Create a proposal with multiple times and the invitees will be asked to choose what times work for them. Once everyone responds and a common time is found, the proposal can automatically be turned into an event and added to your calendar. No more back and forth emails, texts, or calls!

Fantastical’s core feature is now stronger

Super fast event creation is what Fantastical has always been built on, and the new Fantastical doesn’t forget that. Autocomplete suggestions? Please and thank you!

Fantastical’s natural language parsing engine has been updated to be even more friendly and flexible. The new Fantastical now has autocomplete suggestions to quickly add invitees, locations, and calendars. Fantastical also understands expressive repeating events such as third Thursday of every month, every weekend, last weekday of the month, and more. Users can also add alerts by ending their natural language input with phrases such as “remind me tomorrow at 3 p.m.,” “alert 1 hour before,” or “alarm 3 p.m.”

Calendar sets everywhere

Fantastical 2 for Mac introduced an awesome new feature called calendar sets. This lets you quickly switch between various calendars like Family and Personal or Work and Run Training with a few clicks or even location triggers.

Now this awesome calendar grouping behavior is available on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch for the first time, and it’s brilliant:

Calendar sets are a Fantastical innovation to quickly manage calendars and task lists like never before. Calendar sets consist of visible and hidden calendars, which lets users quickly toggle multiple calendars and task lists on and off with a click or a keystroke. Even better, location-based calendar sets will automatically switch to a specific calendar set when the user arrives or leaves a specified location. New in Fantastical is one of the most requested features by users: the ability to sync calendar sets to all devices, even on Apple Watch.

The new Fantastical also integrates with Todoist and Google Tasks, not just Apple Reminders, and the app’s native sync engine is more robust with direct integration with different calendar types:

Fantastical’s native sync engine allows users to connect their devices directly to their calendar services such as iCloud, Google, Exchange, Office 365, Todoist, Meetup, or any CalDAV service.

And best of all for Apple Watch enthusiasts like myself, the new Fantastical for watchOS works independent from the iPhone including sync and calendar sets.

See it in action here:

How much is the new Fantastical?

Fantastical has always offered a free trial for the Mac through the web, but Mac App Store and iPhone and iPad App Store customers have never had a free trial option.

The new Fantastical includes a permanent free tier with select core features that previously required purchasing. Fantastical Premium unlocks the awesome new features and supports continued development of the best calendar app. A single subscription includes access on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

The new Fantastical is available now for free for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. The free version has limited features. A paid Fantastical Premium subscription enables all features and is available with monthly and discounted annual options. A single Fantastical Premium subscription unlocks all features and includes all platforms: Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Fantastical Premium comes with a 14 day free trial and is available for $4.99 (US) monthly or $3.33 (US) monthly (a 33% discount or 4 months for free) when billed annually.

But what if you’re not new to the Fantastical ecosystem? Great news: Fantastical 2 users can update to Fantastical 3 for free and unlock existing features from version 2.0 at no additional charge.

Flexibits promises a few surprise perks for users who move to the new Fantastical too in addition to continued technical support and bug fixes.

One thing to note for iPad users: the new Fantastical turns the iPhone app into a universal app. That means iPad users will need to download the new Fantastical rather than update Fantastical 2. Having Fantastical 2 installed will trigger the special upgrade version of the new Fantastical however.

The new Fantastical for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch is available from one entry on the App Store. The new Fantastical for Mac remains available on the Mac App Store, but the fastest updates and best support comes from flexibits.com/fantastical; learn more from the official site.

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