Fantastical for iPhone

My first and only thought when I heard about [Fantastical for the iPhone]( I wonder how that app translates…

I wasn’t very excited and because I like Agenda I wasn’t yearning for a new iPhone calendar app.

Time passed, and my love for Agenda began to wain from love to like — nothing major, just realizing it wasn’t a perfect solution for me. Then I was contacted by Micheal Simmons, asking if I would like to check out Fantastical for the iPhone in advance.

I was sent a copy of Fantastical for iPhone to test out. Again, I didn’t know what to expect, but wasn’t that excited over the prospect of the app because I didn’t think it would be as great on the iPhone as it is on the Mac. Reason being: natural language input on the Mac is easy, but on the iPhone I’m skeptical about the utility.

Fantastical for the iPhone is awesome.

## The Good

The app is fast and light, so it just pops open as you would expect. The icon is what I expected and is nothing great, but it’s also not blue, so let’s just consider that a win for everyone.

The icon.

What I really love is the date picker (not the design). I love that I can slide the date picker to get an overview of how busy my schedule is all without having to look at the appointment names and times. I can see that my Thursday is loaded up in the afternoon, that Friday has an all day event, and so on. It’s a very nice way to get an overview, without having to be overwhelmed by the who-what-when-where of calendars.

Main view.

And of course you can enter new events with natural language — which isn’t new on the iPhone, but is still pretty nice. So even though I was very skeptical about the utility of natural language input on the iPhone in reality Fantastical implements it very well. I love the way the data is pulled from your natural language string to give you a glance-able confirmation that Fantastical has it right — this is done better than it is on the Mac.

Natural language feedback.

Even better is that with one tap you can get a more normal looking event entry screen. A lot of my appointments are entered via Siri these days, however it is really nice to have this option for those times when I can’t lecture Siri.

There’s also a little hidden gem: if you just give a light tug down on the date picker, the app will reveal a search bar. Yes, searching isn’t new — but I bet you will love how it is implemented.


In Fantastical you can search everything, or by: Title, Location, and Invitees. This is a killer feature if you are trying to find the last time you met Sally at your office. (To those that never have to recall meetings, this isn’t much of a feature, but for those that do this is awesome.)

## The Not Very Good

There’s not a lot of bad things, but there is one thing that I don’t think is very good. The action from moving to and from the day picker view to the month view is not very good.

The action is a swipe down on the days which makes a lot of sense, so when you want to rid yourself of the day view what do you do?

Swipe up? Nope.

Same swipe down? Yep.

Maybe I am the only one that finds that counter intuitive, but I stumble when I am switching between the two. It’s not horrible, and with more use I’ll get used to it, but this doesn’t follow the normal iOS app conventions and really bugs me.

## The Ugly

I wasn’t aware that there are problems with app title bars falling from the top of the screen to the bottom, so it is a little unsettling to see two (what I assume are) staples holding the app title bar up.

The staples.

Yes, the textures and “real calendar” feel have always been a Fantastical *thing*, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

## The Wishes

My absolute biggest wish is for the app to allow me to turn off the calendar color dots that appear next to each event. I use one calendar for everything and would love to clean up the UI with the absence of those dots.

My second wish is for a little better design of the event details screen — it is iOS standard as far as I can tell and I would hope for a more consistent look as it seems like an after thought as it is.

## The Wrap

Overall this is a really solid app. It’s on my iPhone home screen now and for an introductory price of `$1.99` I can’t see how you could go wrong with this app. Even with the staples, I love [Fantastical for iPhone](