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© Rakhesh Sasidharan

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Fantastical 2 is a great iPhone calendar app

Started using a new calendar app on my iPhone yesterday, called Fantastical 2, and I am excited by it! Which is odd because who gets excited by a Calendar app, right? Calendars are supposed to boring and people try and make pretty interfaces to it, but at the end of the days there’s nothing exciting about a calendar app. But no so with Fantastical 2!

For one this is a pretty app. It doesn’t try anything fancy with the interface – just some minor but very smart changes like a day picker that shows the free/ busy status of your next few days, a nice month view that shows your appointments for the day via dots, and an events/ tasks view that combines your Calendar and Reminders app. That latter bit is super cool because I have always hated having two separate apps for these. Reminders, in my opinion, should be part of the Calendar but just kept and shown separately due to them being of a different nature. The creators of Fantastical 2 understand that.

Another neat feature is the ability to search. Just a slight swipe down to reveal a search box. Similar slight swipes show/ hide the day picker and the month view. Very near interface design decisions!

But probably the coolest feature for me is the natural language input. I can make entries like “Class on 30 Jan at XYZ place from 8 am to 10pm” and Fantastical 2 understands what I mean and makes an entry accordingly. Now if that isn’t cool in a calendar app, what is? Similarly I can make reminders too in natural language by starting it with specific words such as “todo” or “remind” or “task”. Neat!

Maybe it’s the bull (Taurean) in me but another thing I like about the design is the red bar on top. I love that shade of red and how the white text showing the date contrasts with it! This red bar is also useful in that you can long press it to go to any date you choose. And a plus sign next to it let’s you add new entries. You can also add new entries by long pressing on any date in the month view to add an entry with that date chosen. Little things, but they make a big difference.

All in all a great app and highly recommend by me. It’s currently on sale for $1.99 (60% off usual price) which is what prompted me to purchase and give it a go.

ps. Fantastical 2 can sync with all the calendars setup on your phone. So it can easily use your Google Calendar etc. And it stores reminders in the iOS reminders app so these too get synced to other devices via iCloud. A good side effect of using the iOS reminders app is that you get all its features such as geo-fencing, and are also able to add reminders via Siri. Siri will add the reminder to iOS and the reminder will pop up in Fantastical 2!