When it comes to boosting one's productivity, it is not exactly unheard of for a person to rely on calendar apps. If you are someone who regularly checks the iTunes App Store, you'll know that there is a plethora of calendar apps available. There are those that are good and gets the job done just right, while there are ones that are just plain terrible. Lack of features, ridiculous price point, and unwieldy user-interface are just some of the qualities that constitutes a bad calendar app. Fortunately, the featured app we have for you today is not a bad one, far from it.
For the most part, the stock Calendar app for iOS does a fine job of being a decent solution for the most common needs of users. However, when compared to other third-party apps, the stock Calendar app would definitely feel outdated. Enter Fantastical by Flexibits, a new calendar app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch which claims to be the "fastest and friendliest calendar app." Well, calling it new isn't exactly entirely accurate because Fantastical is already a popular calendar app for Mac about a year and a half ago. The developers took a long time to make the iOS app because they simply don't want to port the Mac version and instead release a more appropriate version for mobile.
User Interface / Design
One look at Fantastical for iPhone and you will see that it looks like its Mac counterpart in design. In part, it also looks like the stock iOS calendar app but only with darker tones. Tapping the app's month will take you to the current date.
One noteworthy feature of Fantastical is the DayTicker which is invoked by pulling down the monthly view. Instead of just being able to scroll up and down your list of events, you can swipe left to right through your weeks and months in order to see just how busy you can get. There will be a list below which will display all available events. The events that you can view in the list down below will correspond to the selected date in the DayTicker. While you can swipe through the dates in DayTicker, you may also scroll up or down the list of events. In order to get back to the current date, you just have to tap the topmost bar. It's pretty easy that way. DayTicker is definitely the killer feature of Fantastical.
Aside from providing a good-looking and quick interface for viewing events, adding new events is also a fairly easy affair. New events can be added at any time by simply tapping and holding down any date on the DayTicker or full month view or you can also tap the plus (+) icon located at the upper right. By adding a new event, you will get a text entry field. You can type an event or you can use the dictation function of the app. And this brings us to another noteworthy feature of Fantastical.
Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Processing in Fantastical is simply rock solid. Even if you don't have an internet connection, you can set events with simple sentences like "Lunch Meeting Tomorrow with Donald Draper at 12pm" and the app will schedule a new event recognizing various strings in your sentences. The beauty of natural language processing in Fantastical is that it can recognize strings like "tomorrow", "12 pm" or even "every other Monday." The app will recognize and assign these values accompanied with a nice animation. So if you write something like, "Dinner at Grandma every Monday", then the app will create such event for every Monday on your calendar. It is a really a cool feature that makes a lot of difference.
You can also add new events via dictation which is quite similar to what Siri can do. However, you will need an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th-gen and an internet connection in order to take advantage of this feature. In addition, by swiping through the scheduled events, you can also view if a certain even conflicts with another one on a certain. The events are neatly color-coded and are depicted as bars depending on the event's duration.
If you have setup your calendars before and you are worried that you will have to start from scratch again with Fantastical, then you'll be happy to know that the app plugs right into your other calendars. This essentially means that any of your existing calendar date (such Google, iCloud, Facebook, CalDAV, etc.) will carry over to Fantastical without even the need to configure them. There is no option to delete or add calendars, you just have the option to hide those that you don't wish to see. Once the data are imported, you can easily edit it within the app.
Is Fantastical Worth Buying?
Fantastical for iOS is indeed one of the fastest and easiest calendar apps to use. The developers have done a great job to import the greatness of Mac app and made it appropriate for mobile application. DayTicker is definitely a killer feature that makes all the difference and the natural language processing should be a must-have feature for calendar apps from here on. For sure, Fantastical blows the stock iOS Calendar app into the water.
Buy Fantastical for iOS via the ITunes App Store for $1.99Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback