Universal Calendar alternative apps - I was using Fantastical but not anymore

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,630
990
Don't know about great, but...

Installed Calendar 366, per what @Weaselboy posted in the Fantastical news thread. I find it OK. Some inconsistencies in UI (eg. one screen will show Events first then Reminders, others, flip-flopped; some screens Reminders are displayed in random order vs by time). Find the list view is workable for "show me everything today" type things, but wished that the Events and Reminders were sorted/displayed off time fields vs Reminder block then Event block.

Went back and downloaded Calendar 5. Also just OK. Has same issue of displaying Reminders in a random manner, does not show times for the Reminders on some (all?) screens.

Did some cursory searching and did not turn up anything of interest that was feature rich and not subscription. Or not using their own cloud.

A couple have one-time fee "add pro features", but even with those, UI and just general functions were not compelling.

I can live with stock Apple apps, if push comes to shove, but not a fan of having two apps: miss the early days of iOS (and MacOS at that time) when Reminders was integrated within Calendar.

Oh and: this one looked interesting. https://vantageby44.com/ But not clear that it does Reminders vs. their own To-Dos database/system. $9.99 for "pro" upgrade. [Edit: per FAQ, seems that it is Apple native Reminders]

Informant 5 also looks interesting. Subscription, but appears they also have a pay-once to own option. Can sign-up for one-month subscription to play with, and then commit to full price or cancel. [Edit: App Store info is misleading re: pay-once, it's a yearly subscription for the $25 price]

Just downloaded BusyCal. Just OK. Display is better than Calendar 5 or Calendar 366, but Event creation is pretty brain dead (eg. no custom recurrences ["third Friday of the month..."], not able to set a timezone for an event; guess can always fall back to stock app to do those type of things and use BusyCal for the more mundane day-to-day).
 
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katbel

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2009
253
121
What are some great alternative apps please?
I don't mind BusyCal, NO subscription 😊 ..for now and hope for ever! If they read the reviews for Fantastical I hope they will decide differently.
I like it because it has the weather (provided by Darksky ), better on the Mac than on the iOS because it's bigger than the tinier iOS one. Its views-Day, week and month or list an To do- are really easy to get: you have all the tabs on the bottom. And the settings are really clear. It's not cheap for the Mac, 50$ but you can try it for 30 days-download it from their website, and it's only 5$ for iOS. It syncs with a lot of servers. You need to specify your iCloud per-app password to give it the access and you can also decide how often you want it to sync. I keep it once a day but if I need a faster sync, just go to settings and click Sync Now
 

bumbo

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
311
73
Calendars 5 for me. Readdle have been smashing it with their apps recently
 

dudeslife

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2011
109
56
What are some great alternative apps please?
Try Saisuke.

 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
12,158
11,302
In the middle of several books.
Try Saisuke.

Too bad there is no watch app. Otherwise, I would give it a try.
 

Username999

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2020
8
1
Just browsing the forum over the weekend and seems I’ve missed the boat.

If I downloaded Fantastical now, what should I expect? I’m wondering what the grumblings are. Is it that they’ve introduced a subscription side of things or have they removed a ton of features or what?
 

Paco II

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2009
1,689
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There were some grumblings related to initial issues v2->v3 users were having, but it's primarily about the subscription being $40 per year, which is a ton of money for a calendar app.


Just browsing the forum over the weekend and seems I’ve missed the boat.

If I downloaded Fantastical now, what should I expect? I’m wondering what the grumblings are. Is it that they’ve introduced a subscription side of things or have they removed a ton of features or what?
- - Post merged: - -

I'm using that as well. It's not as polished as Fantastical v3, but as I only use the app on my phone, $40 per year is more than I am interested in paying. Calendar 366's one time purchase is much easier to swallow.

Calendar 366 is a really nice alternative!
 

Username999

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2020
8
1
Ouch!!
I’m not really a fan of any subscription software to be honest. I always avoid them. In fact I don’t think I pay for any subscription based software. I have enough with my other bills like gas, electricity, mortgage etc without adding on others.

I’m assuming then that there’s a free version where you don’t have to take the hit but it has 0.0000001% of the features?
 

JD2015

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2014
588
272
Ouch!!
I’m not really a fan of any subscription software to be honest. I always avoid them. In fact I don’t think I pay for any subscription based software. I have enough with my other bills like gas, electricity, mortgage etc without adding on others.

I’m assuming then that there’s a free version where you don’t have to take the hit but it has 0.0000001% of the features?

Shows what you get for free version vs subscription
 

Paco II

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2009
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Part of my issue with all this is that v2 never got significant updates, and it was out a long time.


Shows what you get for free version vs subscription
 

JD2015

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2014
588
272
It is a calendar app...not sure what significant updates you can do here?
 

JD2015

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2014
588
272
Uh, how about all the things they just added to v3 premium?!
Yeah and people moan about it. It costs around £80 (maybe more) to buy Fantastical for iPad, iPhone and Mac under previous pricing system. With the subscription model that represents roughly 2 years subscription where you can cancel anytime and not pay a penny more should you not like it, and even then can use the free version. You get full updates and added features even with free version. People complained about having to pay say £50 for Mac version, so whatever they did, was never going to please people.
 

Paco II

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2009
1,689
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You're turning this into a circular argument. v2 never got the updates it should have gotten, and they roll out v3 and want you to pay a subscription for things they should have put in v2 a long time ago. Per my original comment, that is another reason I am not pleased with these changes.


Yeah and people moan about it. It costs around £80 (maybe more) to buy Fantastical for iPad, iPhone and Mac under previous pricing system. With the subscription model that represents roughly 2 years subscription where you can cancel anytime and not pay a penny more should you not like it, and even then can use the free version. You get full updates and added features even with free version. People complained about having to pay say £50 for Mac version, so whatever they did, was never going to please people.
 
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jk1211

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
607
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Sorry but I agree 2.0 was out 3 years with barely any significant updates. Does that warrant $120 USD (40/year)? No.

Even if you bought it for all devices you would pay half that. On sale you could have gotten the Mac app for $39.99, iphone for $2.99, and ipad for $5.99. Under $50 total. Even full price it was $65.

And the more important argument, what if you dont HAVE a Mac or iPad? So $120 for the iphone app? Sorry, but LOLOLOLOL ripoff
 
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kmichalec

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2010
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Has anyone figured out WHY you need to create an account with Fantastical, V3? I'm missing the point of needing it, if I'm using iCloud calendars, which sync automatically.
 

Paco II

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2009
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Perhaps for the calendar set syncing. Many app developers find iCloud 'lacking' for their sync requirements. Just a thought.

Has anyone figured out WHY you need to create an account with Fantastical, V3? I'm missing the point of needing it, if I'm using iCloud calendars, which sync automatically.
 

kmichalec

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2010
816
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Your iCloud calendars don’t sync without you being signed into your account. Apple uses Amazon servers for iCloud and Fantastical uses Google servers with an account.
Agreed. But that’s my ICLOUD account I’m logged into. If I am logged into my iCloud account on my iPhone and also on my iPad, the calendars sync automatically via iCloud. Fantastical would just be the app to interface with the built in iCould calendar data. So, what does the Fantastical account buy me? Why would I want to create a Fantastical account so my calendar data can be synced to my iCloud account (which is shared between iOS devices) AND to a Fantastical account? Why does Fantastical need access to my calendar data on their servers? There really is no reason I can see. I’m surprised people aren’t really questioning this more. Seems like a great way to get access to our data, anonymize it, and then sell it off, all while claiming they don’t sell our data. Technically, anonymizing the data before selling would qualify as not selling our actual data.