Fantastical Unifies Its Mac, iOS, and Apple Watch Calendar Experience With Weather, Tasks, Meeting Proposals, and More

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Flexibits today is launching version 3.0 of its popular Fantastical calendar app, bringing a host of improvements across all platforms including Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Along with all of the feature updates, Fantastical is transitioning to a premium subscription model that unlocks access across all devices and will provide continued feature additions and improvements on an ongoing basis.

With the new updates to the Fantastical apps, everything has been unified across the various platforms, so users will essentially find feature parity on all of their devices. An all-new design brings a full-screen calendar window, support for native OS features like Today widgets, action and share extensions, and Handoff, and much more.


I've had a chance to try out the new Fantastical, and I've come away impressed with the sleek look, slick management of significant amounts of information, and of course the natural language parsing Fantastical has been known for that lets you easily create events and tasks by simply typing a few words. Among the key additions in Fantastical 3.0:

- AccuWeather integration displays small weather icons in relevant places, bringing forecasts right into your calendar so you can see what the weather is going to be like for your various events, even taking into account event locations.

Fantastical for iPad with AccuWeather MinuteCast forecasts and RealFeel temperatures

- Calendar sets let you quickly manage your various calendars and tasks, allowing you to toggle multiple calendars with a single click and even change displayed calendars based on your location. Interesting Calendars is another new feature powered by SchedJoules that lets you subscribe to calendars for holidays, your favorite sports teams and TV shows, and more. Subscribing to a sports team, for example, will add entries for upcoming games to your calendar, and each game entry will update at its conclusion with box scores and even highlight links to let you easily follow your favorite team.

Fantastical for iPhone with day ticker view, "interesting calendars", and week view

- Meeting proposals are particularly useful for groups, letting you specify multiple time options in a calendar event invitation and have each invitee choose times that work for them. Once a unanimous time has been selected, the event can be automatically scheduled in on users' calendars, or it can be manually set by the organizer.

- Tasks now have a prominent home alongside calendars in Fantastical, and integration with Todoist, Google Tasks, and iCloud helps keep everything in sync.

Fantastical for Mac dark mode

Other features in Fantastical 3 include one-click creation of Zoom or Google Hangout meetings right from events, the ability to attach files and photos to scheduled events, event templates for one-touch creation of frequent events, and custom alert sounds for events.

Fantastical has long been available across Apple's various platforms, but each app has been a standalone purchase, and that's changing with Fantastical 3.0's shift to a subscription model. Subscriptions have long been controversial with users, but Flexibits has made a strong effort to justify the change by unifying everything under a single subscription that unlocks all apps and keeping pricing to a reasonable $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. With the new subscription model, Flexibits will be able to deploy new features on a more regular basis rather than holding them to bundle for the next major paid update.

For those who don't want to pay for a subscription, there is a new free mode available for Fantastical, but many users will find it limited enough that they'll want to consider a paid subscription, for which there's a 14-day free trial. All users will also need to set up a free Flexibits account if they wish to sync calendars.

Fantastical 2 users who don't wish to convert to a subscription won't find themselves completely out of luck, as they'll be able to download the new apps and maintain access to all of the features and functionality they've had under Fantastical 2 on the platforms where they previously purchased it, plus a few of the new features as well as ongoing bug fixes and technical support.

Fantastical version 3.0 is rolling out now as an updated version of the existing Fantastical 2 iPhone app [App Store], which is now a universal binary supporting iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. (If you're an existing user of Fantastical 2 for iPad, you'll need to download the new universal version, as the iPad-only app is being discontinued, but the transition should be seamless.) The updated version of the Mac app can preferably be downloaded directly from Flexibits, but it's also available on the Mac App Store.

Article Link: Fantastical Unifies Its Mac, iOS, and Apple Watch Calendar Experience With Weather, Tasks, Meeting Proposals, and More
 

jk1211

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
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Great, another subscription for a mundane limited task app. I mean how many times was 2.0 REALLY updated with features to warrant paying $5 monthly or $40/year for a calendar? It's not like a calendar app can expand much over time to warrant a continuing cost. At least with email, I dont agree with the model, but get it that servers cost $$$ monthly and to have a business model you need to make constant money. But a calendar app? No thanks.

MAYBE if you want it on all device rather than paying the $60 total ($50 mac and $5 per iOS) it makes sense to pay the $40 for 1 year; that is assuming they update again in a year again and it would have cost another $60 in theory the $40 is cheaper.
 
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johannnn

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Nov 20, 2009
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A good calendar app can be sold for $9.99. Or even $19.99. I’d pay for that.

But $5 every month for the rest of my life? Let’s say the product life of “version 3” is around three years. That’s $120!

I know many say that $5 isn’t much. Just skip a coffee every month. Well dude, it’s not like a calendar app is the only app I have on my phone. With this new app pricing, I will soon need to get another job just to pay my app bills!

The feature I wanted the most was a month view. But even that was premium only. No thanks.
 

jk1211

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
629
1,527
A good calendar app can be sold for $9.99. Or even $19.99. I’d pay for that.

But $5 every month for the rest of my life? Let’s say the product life of “version 3” is around three years. That’s $120!

I know many say that $5 isn’t much. Just skip a coffee every month. Well dude, it’s not like a calendar app is the only app I have on my phone. With this new app pricing, I will soon need to get another job just to pay my app bills!

The feature I wanted the most was a month view. But even that was premium only. No thanks.
Yup, everyone says but its only $x support your devs!! Until you found out you just paid over a $100 bill for an app over those years time.

Everything is subscription now, that forgo a coffee argument no longer works. The stock calendar app is still a pretty decent calendar app for free and does the same basic functions.
 

kissmo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2011
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Budapest, Hungary
Lovely... now I got upgraded to the latest and I cannot use my previously purchased Fcal 2.... I don't want subscription

ah solved... skip the offer.
I hate when an app is going on subscription model though I get it why
 
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WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
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Jan 20, 2005
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Lovely... now I got upgraded to the latest and I cannot use my previously purchased Fcal 2.... I don't want subscription
You don't have to subscribe if you don't want to. If you were a paid Fantastical 2 user, all of the version 2 features are automatically unlocked in version 3, plus some new stuff like limited weather support.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
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So it looks like you can get annual for $3.33 = $39.96 a year. I use Apple's calendar and reminder app heavily - my wife and I share several calendars and we've been using this for years.

I too am burned out on subscriptions. But just looking at the website, I don't know why I'd use it over Apple's calendar/reminders app. Always wondered about Fantastical. I've tried Things 3 for awhile and kinda liked it, but never adopted it fully.

I've paid for ToDoIst in the past but now Apple's calendar/reminders is good enough for me and I don't have to pay specifically for them.

Always wanted to try Fantastical though.
 

MJBCA

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2020
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12
Over time the pricing is insane! What’s wrong with developers? When apps started going subscription model I didn’t mind it that much because I figured it’d be 1-2 dollars per month, adding up to 20-25 dollars per month for all the apps I really care for. But e try single app nowadays expects you to pay 5 dollars per month, leading to about 70 dollars in total for all my apps. That’s insane! I used to LOVE Fantastical, but I guess I’ll delete it from my devices now. They should be less greedy and just ask for 2 dollars per month or 1.5 dollars in an annual subscription. People would buy the subscription in a heartbeat. They forget that by putting a REASONABLE price, they’d get a much larger subscription base.
For instance: I pay 1-2 dollars for a sleep tracking app, I pay 1-2 dollars for LifeCycle I’m the Apple Watch, I pay 1-2 dollars for an hours tracker app on the watch too, because I log the hours I dedicate to studying for an exam. 5 dollars is unjustifiable. Seriously...
 

Alan Wynn

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2017
564
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There are three ways that I would not mind a monthly price:
  • Paying for enhanced support. Regular support is email/forum only, premium gets phone, faster turn around and bug fixes.
  • Paying for new versions. Regular price gets only bug fixes, supported contract includes new versions/features.
  • Paying for a service (like cross platform syncing, disk storage, bandwidth for a VPN, etc.). Anything that requires the provider to pay on going costs.
My problem is with renting software. I prefer to pay for it and know that I can always use in the exact configuration for which I purchased. As an example, I create a project in Photoshop, and then do not need it again, I do not want to pay monthly just so I can open that version of the app with that version of the project.
 
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ersan191

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2013
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Literally the only thing I use Fantastical for is the Apple Watch complication because Apple was really dumb and made the stock calendar complication not show all-day events for some inane reason (and decided to put "NO EVENTS TODAY" in huge letters instead of just leaving it blank when there are no events). I'll be damned if I'm paying a subscription for that
 
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johannnn

macrumors 65816
Nov 20, 2009
1,469
893
Sweden
Over time the pricing is insane! What’s wrong with developers? When apps started going subscription model I didn’t mind it that much because I figured it’d be 1-2 dollars per month, adding up to 20-25 dollars per month for all the apps I really care for. But e try single app nowadays expects you to pay 5 dollars per month, leading to about 70 dollars in total for all my apps. That’s insane! I used to LOVE Fantastical, but I guess I’ll delete it from my devices now. They should be less greedy and just ask for 2 dollars per month or 1.5 dollars in an annual subscription. People would buy the subscription in a heartbeat. They forget that by putting a REASONABLE price, they’d get a much larger subscription base.
For instance: I pay 1-2 dollars for a sleep tracking app, I pay 1-2 dollars for LifeCycle I’m the Apple Watch, I pay 1-2 dollars for an hours tracker app on the watch too, because I log the hours I dedicate to studying for an exam. 5 dollars is unjustifiable. Seriously...
I totally agree. $1.99 is ok for me. Even that is $72 for three years which I guess is a normal time period until apps are upgraded to a new version number. Even $72 would be crazy for a calendar app that don’t require any servers or anything. But I think I’d still subscribe to it. But greedy apps asking for $5 is ridiculous.
 

ctg7w6

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
332
522
Just bought Fantastical 2 for all of my devices. Really liked it.

Now I am debating deleting it and going back to something else because I am so offended by the number of subscriptions. It's a stupid calendar app, I don't want to subscribe to it. Geeze. Obviously I will not subscribe to it, but I've already tried doing different settings and have found that you need a subscription to use them. No thanks.
 

bigfatipod

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
253
100
You don't have to subscribe if you don't want to. If you were a paid Fantastical 2 user, all of the version 2 features are automatically unlocked in version 3, plus some new stuff like limited weather support.
Very interesting... I scanned over the mr's article and stopped reading when I saw subscription. I saw your post and actually went back and read it.

When I opened F2 and found the update for v3, it did clearly show this, so I will upgrade after all -

A bonus for existing Fantastical 2 users
Not only do you get the existing Fantastical 2 features, there are a few new features: ...
 

kissmo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2011
882
700
Budapest, Hungary
Very interesting... I scanned over the mr's article and stopped reading when I saw subscription. I saw your post and actually went back and read it.

When I opened F2 and found the update for v3, it did clearly show this, so I will upgrade after all -

A bonus for existing Fantastical 2 users
Not only do you get the existing Fantastical 2 features, there are a few new features: ...
The fact that every time you browse pops up an upgrade to premium makes this app a bloat ware!!!
I don’t mind that but if you don’t want to upgrade then don’t leave me with an interface that makes me dismiss upgrade now every single time.

screw their kindness if they bug me during using the app.
 

NaimNut

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2017
123
51
Toronto
Years ago I had our company switch to Google Docs with web based email and calendar. Has worked out great with little down time or software/hardware updates/issues.

Personally I subscribe to Office 365 and stick with the OS’s provided calendar/email clients and also the Web based services from Microsoft. I don’t use Outlook365 thats comes with my subscription. I’ve played around with other paid calendars/email clients as well but in the end always came back to MacOS/iOS native apps.

Anyways, use what you want but if your calendar/email isn’t business/making you money, stick with web or free calendar/email clients.

imo
 

johannnn

macrumors 65816
Nov 20, 2009
1,469
893
Sweden
Literally the only thing I use Fantastical for is the Apple Watch complication because Apple was really dumb and made the stock calendar complication not show all-day events for some inane reason (and decided to put "NO EVENTS TODAY" in huge letters instead of just leaving it blank when there are no events). I'll be damned if I'm paying a subscription for that
“Show all day events” seems to be included in the free tier. Just tried enabling it and it didn’t complain.

However, I added an all day event for today, but it didn’t show up on the watch. The complication just shows today’s date. I tried clicking the complication, but the app just shows some kind of custom spinning wheel. So I can’t even see how the watch apps is now. Maybe it’s just my watch, or maybe it will be fixed in 3.0.1. Either way, less reasons for me to subscribe.