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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,407
14,106


Popular cross-platform calendar app Fantastical today is launching a new Fantastical Premium for Families subscription plan that lets up to five family members unlock all of Fantastical's features for one monthly or annual fee.

fantastical_feature.jpg

The new family plan is available through the Flexibits website, where existing subscribers can log in and invite up to four additional family members. The family subscription is priced at $7.99 per month or $64.99 per year, compared to the single-user price of $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year.

Flexibits offers Fantastical apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, and launched a major upgrade with version 3.0 earlier this year that largely unified the experience across the apps.


Fantastical has long offered a powerful natural language parsing engine to help automatically create calendar events based on free-form typing, and new features in version 3.0 include calendar sets to help manage your various calendars, AccuWeather forecasts right on your calendar, integrated meeting proposal functionality to help easily find agreeable meeting times among multiple participants, and more.

Article Link: Fantastical Launches New Premium Subscription for Families
 

Spaceboy88

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2005
129
209
New York, NY
How the mighty have fallen, and I love to see it.

I'm all for developers making money, and I subscribe to many services and apps, but to charge $5 a month to use a calendar app is just ridiculous. I can justify at most $9.99 a year if a user wants to unlock some things that are behind a premium API (e.g. extended weather forecasts), but putting basic functionality like a Day View behind a paywall is a joke. And these clueless devs will keep spewing the same tired old talking point that "you still get to keep what you had in V2" but that doesn't justify charging to view your calendar in a day view.

I have abandoned Fantastical after giving their premium service a trial and am doing just fine with Calendars 5 by Readdle. Calendar 366 is also a great option. I don't mind paying a one-time fee for these solid apps and I hope they continue to grow and crush Fantastical. The one thing that Fantastical had going for is was their NLP, but Calendars 5 is just as good, so the value proposition on Fantastical for me is completely gone.
 
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1144557

Cancelled
Sep 13, 2018
925
2,411
$65/year to use a calendar. BWAHAHA.

I get supporting your devs but that is asinine. I bought it before at the few dollars and it was worth it but this is astronomical. After 3 years that calendar app has cost you basically $200!!!!
 
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[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
675
821
Graz [Austria]
I would really like how those companies come up with their pricing structure... If they charged 1/user/month they would likely under the bottom line have more overall income... 5$ per month? For a calender?

It surprises me how this kind of stuff sells when Microsoft Exchange Online Plan 1 costs 4$ per month and user. And that includes your own Exchange Server. Spare 10$ per year for your own domain and have firstname@lastname.tld or something similar. Granted, you might have to ask a friend for initial setup, but on the long-term this gives you ultimate freedom as you can easily move your data around, worst case in the form of an outlook PST file. It will also natively integrate into every OS (iOS, MacOS,...) as it's using ActiveSync which will deliver changes natively using push.
 
Comment

1144557

Cancelled
Sep 13, 2018
925
2,411
I would really like how those companies come up with their pricing structure... If they charged 1/user/month they would likely under the bottom line have more overall income... 5$ per month? For a calender?

It surprises me how this kind of stuff sells when Microsoft Exchange Online Plan 1 costs 4$ per month and user. And that includes your own Exchange Server. Spare 10$ per year for your own domain and have firstname@lastname.tld or something similar. Granted, you might have to ask a friend for initial setup, but on the long-term this gives you ultimate freedom as you can easily move your data around, worst case in the form of an outlook PST file. It will also natively integrate into every OS (iOS, MacOS,...) as it's using ActiveSync which will deliver changes natively using push.


That's what I cant figure out. Things like 365 and Gsuite are about the same per month, $4-6. Full suites of services including email, calendar, etc. How do you justify a calendar app at that cost then where they arent offering you any services, its just the app displaying them.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,122
5,087
The only part of Fantastical I cared about was that it lived in your menubar.

I just use Itsycal now - it's completely free and you can replace the day/time in your menubar with it.


It's one of the first two apps I install on any new Mac I get, alongside Spectacle (also free, also awesome) for window management.

Apple really should build the features provided by those two programs straight into macOS... they just expand on things that Microsoft introduced in Windows Vista and 7... it's sad that a decade later Apple still hasn't added these super basic, super useful features.
 
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DanielDD

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2013
503
4,312
Portugal
I never had the need for Fantastical. I still bought the Mac, iPhone and iPad versions because it is a solid app that is a joy to use.
When they “upgraded” to a subscription service, I deleted them from my devices. The default calendar app is more than enough for me. Funnily enough, I would gladly shell another 60€ to a one time purchase of a Fantastical 3. I do not mine paying for major upgrades. But I do mind paying subscriptions for a piece of software.
 
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TiggrToo

macrumors 68040
Aug 24, 2017
3,162
6,902
Out there...way out there
I guess the 2.7 App Store rating wasn’t enough for them to learn their lesson, that their subscription plan just doesn’t work, and it isnt what their loyal user base wants

Not sure that matters. If they’re making money then that’ll eventually sort itself out.

I was a loyal user. I was miffed when they came out with a subscription. However I paid am am very happy with the features I’m getting.
[automerge]1597156389[/automerge]
Agree, it’s the only obvious conclusion.

It’s also wrong.
 
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TiggrToo

macrumors 68040
Aug 24, 2017
3,162
6,902
Out there...way out there
I can't believe this costs nearly as much as an annual family subscription to Microsoft 365, which provides infinitely more value than this single calendar app.

Microsoft massively subsidize some products at the expense of others.

Pretty sure the $500k we pay a year in licensing costs for Sql Server alone helps, for example.
 
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Smoothie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
662
402
California
I purchased and used Fantastical for years on both my Mac and my iPhone. I'm willing to pay a reasonable cost for a well-designed app. When Flexibits moved to a subscription model for Fantastical, I stopped using it. Judging by the reviews on the app store, this choice was met with a decidedly negative reaction. Instead, I purchased Calendar 366 for my iPhone at a one-time reasonable cost and it provides the same functionality that I used in Fantastical. If Flexibits had offered an in-app purchase for a one-time fee for any additional functionality they added, I might have stayed with Fantastical since the existing features were enough for me. But charging an expensive subscription cost for functionality that I'd already purchased was an overreach.
 
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compwiz1202

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2010
2,717
1,480
I can't believe this costs nearly as much as an annual family subscription to Microsoft 365, which provides infinitely more value than this single calendar app.
Plus at least Office gives you a CHOICE of one time or sub
 
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ksgant

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
680
235
Chicago
I use subscriptions for something that offers something new each week/month...for instance streaming services.

There is absolutely no reason to subscribe to a fricken calendar app. No way, no how. It's a calendar. There are a metric ton of other free alternatives including one that comes with all Macs/iPhones/iPads. WTF?

This just pisses me off. Subscriptions have their place, but these developers want them for EVERYTHING now. A calendar app? Seriously?
 
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LogicalApex

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2015
621
643
$65/year? 🤯

When I initially saw the story I figured they might have come around to a model that would have helped to ease some of the complaints many people have had. It shows they haven't yet done so...

I started using the iOS Calendar App again the other day after I learned that I can't access attachments in Fantastical on iOS without a subscription even though the attachment is stored on my Exchange Server! I get the need to fund new development I'm not against that at all, but it is impossible to justify $40/y (individual) or $65/y (family) for a calendar viewer application. There just isn't enough new features you can add annually to justify this level of expense.

Apple Calendar has actually gotten very good.

It is apparent that the subscription model has turned the app market upside down. Previously, applications that were good focused on keeping their reputation up. So they'd improve quality and etc as reputation was what kept customers coming back (and made attracting new ones easier). With the subscription model developers are now focusing on milking their most dedicated users and casting off the rest. They have a smaller customer base, but increased revenue. It doesn't seem sustainable to me and will make the recovery harder once the subscription bubble bursts.
 
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