Big news this morning, folks: Flexibits is launching Fantastical 2 on Wednesday, and it’s an amazing new piece of software that’s available exclusively for OS X Yosemite. It’s not just an update to Fantastical, it’s a complete re-imagining of the already popular calendar application that will replace its predecessor.
I’ve been using Fantastical 2 for the past couple of weeks, and Yosemite users are definitely going to love all of the features it offers. First, however, some background: TechnoBuffalo had a chance to talk about Fantastical 2 with Flexibits co-founder Michael Simmons.
“It’s been four years in the making,” Simmons told us, noting that the company started working on Fantastical 2 all through the launches of the Fantastical and Fantastical 2 apps for iOS and iPad. “All of the knowledge and work and effort and learning from all of the other apps was put into Fantastical 2 for Yosemite,” Simmons said. “It’s the best app we’ve ever made. It includes everything from the original that started it all, everything in between and even more.”
Simmons said Flexibits built its own CalDEV engine, which means all of syncing is done through Flexibits, instead of on other servers. “The power it gives us for what we can do in the future with new features make it very robust,” Simmons explained.
Fantastical 2 includes tons of new features including, of course, a full-screen calendar this time around. The menu-bar calendar still exists, however, where you can type in natural language to create appointments quickly and easily. I’ve already grown accustomed to quickly typing “Skype call at 5 next Thursday,” and trust that exact meeting popping up on my work calendar, which is synced to Google Calendar.
Other features include Handoff for sync between iPhone, iPad and Mac, action extensions, widget support in Yosemite, and, for the first time ever, complete Japanese language support in the parser. You’ll also find full time-zone support and even support for adding in the exact location for each meeting, complete with location suggestions.
One of the features I really enjoyed using, however, is called “Calendar Sets,” which was invented by Flexibits. Inside Fantastical 2, you can create custom sets of calendars. That means you can set it to show only work meetings, Giants games and birthdays, with one selection. Or, you can create another “set” that includes work meetings, birthdays and, say, reading club nights. You can fully customize what’s viewable, and switch between each “set” with a quick keyboard shortcut.
Simmons and team set out to make the best calendar application available for Yosemite, and I’d argue it’s done just that. I’m already relying on it for my day-to-day work, both on Yosemite and iOS where Fantastical 2 has already been available. It’s beautiful and works well.
You should be able to find it in the App Store today – depending on when it hits – for $39.99 during an initial 20-percent sale, before the price jumps up to $49.99.
Sure, it’s expensive for what might just seem like a calendar app, but I’ve already found it well worth the cost and plan to purchase it myself. “We don’t make stuff just to make stuff,” Simmons told me. “We wanted to make an app that’s amazing because we’re replacing the original Fantastical.” I’d argue Simmons and team did just that, and I think Fantastical users are going to love what they see.
Disclaimer: Flexibits provided TechnoBuffalo with an early version of Fantastical 2 to test before launch. It is a demo copy that was used for testing purposes and will expire on April 1.