Fantastical for iPhone Review: A Fantastic iPhone Calendar App
The great Mac app Fantastical comes to iPhone for just $1.99 bringing with it the quick natural language event addition that made the Mac app so popular and useful.
The iPhone app looks great and shows all the important details one needs in a calendar replacement.
The app syncs with the iPhone’s built-in calendar, which means the user doesn’t need to enter their calendar details if they use a calendar service like Google Calendar. Just install it and it’s ready to go.
The greatest benefit of Fantastical comes with the natural language event addition. Instead of hitting an “add event button” and then tapping buttons for date, time, and typing in the place in a place box and the event title in an event title box, the user just types things in natural language the way she would with a friend. For example, type the following:
Lunch with Bob at noon on December 12 at Pizza Hut.
The app adds an appointment for noon on the 12th. It titles it Lunch with Bob and for the location it enters Pizza Hut. The time will show as noon. If there’s an end time the user could type “from noon to 2 PM” and it will show the end time as 2 PM.
Add Siri voice dictation and now the user can add an event by tapping the plus icon and then tap the dictation button. Say the above line using iOS voice dictation and then tap “add” and it adds the event. Note that a user can already add events to the built-in calendar using natural language with Siri, but I like seeing my other events before adding one. Also Fantastical’s user interface shows better calendar details on one screen than the built-in calendar.
The app offers two primary views. Both views show a list of upcoming events at the bottom of the screen plus either a week view or month view above the list. In the image above notice the week view with Today highlighted by the red circle around the number.
The month view below also circles the date and shows the list below the monthly calendar. Both views allow the user to scroll from week to week or month to month with a side swipe. Add events with the plus icon and tap the red bar to move directly to Today.
To change between the two views just pull down on the week or month view calendar and the other view pops into place. Below, notice the screen shot which shows the month view pulled down and the week view sliding into view from the red bar.
The search bar lets the user find events. Pick a default calendar and which calendars on the iPhone to show using the Settings screen.