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iOS App of the Week: Fantastical 2

updated 10:00 am EDT, Fri November 1, 2013

Fantastical 2 introduces Reminders support, landscape view

Earlier this week Flexibits launched the latest version of its popular iOS calendar app, Fantastical. Released as a brand new app, Fantastical 2 drops the skeuomorphic interface in favor of a flat design that more closely fits with the look of iOS 7. Along with this graphical overhaul, the latest release also introduces a host of new features including Reminders integration.

Upon the app's initial launch users are prompted to allow access to the device's calendars and reminders. Doing this will automatically populate Fantastical with any events or to-do items already stored on the device. Fantastical is then able to sync any changes made back to the default apps -- and also any other devices connected to the same iCloud account.

Overall the app's layout has not changed much from it's predecessors, with one of the only noticeable differences being the current date's shift from the center of the DayTicker to the left. Most of the major changes are under-the-hood improvements that help to improve the user experience. For example, the parser has been enhanced with new keywords that allow users to quickly create Reminders. Starting a sentence with "reminder", "todo", "task", or "remind me to" will automatically create a new Reminder task for the user.

Fantastical 2's interface is dead simple to use, although some of the features aren't immediately apparent. For example, coming from the default iOS calendar app we expected to find a 'Today' button for quickly jumping to a list of the current day's events. However, no matter how much digging we did we could not find this feature within Fantastical. As it turns out the feature was right in front of our face the entire time, and simply requires the user to tap on the month name at the top of the display. With this said, we should point out that some of these more hidden features are detailed in the app's welcome screens, but we foolishly flipped past these without paying enough attention.

While, like its predecessor, Fantastical 2 is still a list-focused calendars app, the latest release has responded to customer requests for a more traditional calendar view. Turning the device into the landscape orientation brings up a new week view that shows five days of activity. Users can scroll up and down in this view to change the time range, as well as swipe left and right to change the viewed dates.

Currently priced at an introductory price $3, Fantastical 2 is an excellent choice for an alternative calendar app. The app's ability to create events based on natural language input is still top notch, and the additional Reminders integration gives users even more options for tracking tasks. While certainly not the perfect solution for all, Fantastical 2 excels at giving users a quick look at all current and upcoming events in a simple and clean interface.

by MacNN Staff



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