Fantastical 2 for iPad Review

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fantastical for ipad

A lot of iPad apps falsely tout that they’ve been re-imagined for the tablet form factor, when they’re really just reconfigured versions of their iPhone counterparts. Fantastical 2 for iPad is refreshing because it’s the real deal. This app takes the best concepts from Fantastical on the iPhone and Mac — the DayTicker, list, and week view — and adapts them as a dashboard that’s completely unique and tailored for a tablet display.

Each of the three distinct sections of the dashboard are scrollable and connected. This means that swiping through the DayTicker can adjust the events shown in the list view (bottom-left), as well as change the highlighted dates in the month view (bottom-right). Similar behaviour applies if you scroll through the list view, or tap on a different date in the month view; manipulate one section of Fantastical, and the rest of the display will adjust dynamically.

Most apps tend to divide the screen into areas specifically for navigation and content, while Fantastical for iPad has opted for a hybrid approach. Each section of the screen displays useful content, but can also be used to navigate any other area. This is great use of the iPad’s larger screen and touch interface, and it’s quite rare to see on the Mac and iPhone … or in any other iPad app for that matter.

The Super DayTicker

The innovations of the dashboard would already serve as a great calendar app with these features, but Fantastical goes further. In a truly magical reveal, you can pull down on the horizontal DayTicker to have it become a week view. Stopping at the halfway point provides a look at the time blocks for a given week, and pulling the DayTicker all the way down turns Fantastical into a full-screen five or seven-day view (depending on the iPad’s orientation).

 fantastical ipad portrait

I spend my days looking at blocks of time on a calendar, so having this full-screen view was really important to me, and I love how the devs at Flexibits implemented it. It’s easy to see where event conflicts can arise, and I can find out at-a-glance what room the next meeting is in.

But wait, there’s more!

For only $9.99 — I’m kidding, that’s the current price of the app — Fantastical also provides a few other slick features. Full iOS Reminders support means that you can slide in from the left side of the screen to see a full list of every one of your tasks. Sliding in from the right provides a shortcut to the search bar. I love gestures like these, but there are also buttons along the top bar of the app for those who do not.

fantastical ipad search

Natural language parsing and accompanying animations help show exactly how Fantastical understands you when you type “Remind me to feed puppy at 9pm tomorrow”. Just like in the other Fantastical apps, the event or reminder jumps into the proper place and time on your schedule, as you write it. Not only is this fun eye-candy, but it’s a real time saver — especially since I usually send text from Drafts to Fantastical. This allows me to quickly load up Drafts, jot down some text, and create events or reminders in two taps.

Like It Says On The Label

This is simply a fantastic iPad app. Not only is it filled with features, but it also pushes the envelope when it comes to displaying information cohesively across the iPad’s larger screen. Fantastical is flashy and fun, but don’t let that distract you from how incredibly useful this calendar app is.

Disclosure: This app was provided by Flexibits for review. For further information regarding our site’s iPad review policies, please see the “About” page.

Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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2 thoughts on “Fantastical 2 for iPad Review

  1. I love Fantastical on the iPhone and the Mac. However, for the iPad I don’t think it works as well in terms of “viewable information”. On the larger iPad screen I enjoy seeing an entire month of events and tasks in one glance in a month view. In Fantastical the month view is limited to little dots on days with events or tasks and the detail view requires you to select a day or week in relative proximity to see event and weeks out from the current date you are on.

    For now, I’ll stick to Fantastical on the iPhone and Readdle’s Calendars 5 on the iPad.

    • That’s valid feedback. In my case, I find that the month view is a little too small for me to easily read the text, so I like how easy Fantastical makes it to jump to a particular date, without changing the screen. Everything still feels well within reach, but there isn’t an info overload.