In the great ocean that is the iTunes App Store, we find hundreds of alternative apps for Apples stock stuff. Weather apps, notes apps, email apps… hell there are even compass competitors. One thing that you don’t see many of are calendar alternatives.
Why? Because it’s really hard to improve on Apple’s app in a meaningful way. Fact is Apple did a really good job. It would take an app that was really awesomely done to make it even worth bothering… something… fantastic.
As you may already know, Flexibits have always been a big player in the calendar application market. For years they have been marketing a increasingly impressive, menubar based alternative for OSX. Personally I could not do without it. Its one of the first apps I install on any of my new macs. So when I heard rumors that they were porting it to iOS, I got a little excited.
With this mornings launch of Fantastical for iOS, the bar has been raised, and in a lot of ways has left even Apples iCal wanting. Is it a full on calendar replacement? No. At least not yet. But with its brilliant UI and its lightning fast data entry, it is an amazing supplement, and many users will find that they will never need to open the stock calendar app again.
When you open the app you are greeted with an elegant day by day view of your appointments. Each of which can be opened to full view with a simple tap. The dark colors used really make your appointments pop, and create something that is really easy to read and navigate through. The day tab at the top shows tiny color coded markers representing your appointments and their spacing throughout the day. Additionally, a swipe down from the top reveals a full calendar view with all of your appointments and such for the month listed as you would suspect, if thats more your thing.
What this app doesn’t do on its own, and thus making it not a full Calendar replacement, is push and linking capabilities. If you want to add an appointment from mail, its added through the calendar app. The same with appointment notifications. Some would call this a “deal killer”, I think they are missing the point of the app. Its not meant to replace, but to supplement with a faster more intuitive data entry and viewing experience much like its OSX counterpart. In that aspect it is amazingly well done.
In conclusion, in my mind, this is just as much of a must have app for your iPhone as it is your Mac. At $1.99 you would be an absolute fool not to pick it up.
You can get it on the App Store now for just $1.99
For a limited time, they also have discounted their Mac app 50% to $9.99. You can find it now on the Mac App Store.