Thanks to how apps can hook into each other with Extensibility in iOS 8, third-party developers are able to rival the systemwide functionality of Apple’s stock apps like never before.
So is the case with Flexibits, maker of the popular calendar app Fantastical. In a big 2.2 update today, Fantastical has not only been optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but it’s received a number of iOS 8-only features.
iOS 8 will bring Extensions to your iPhone and iPad. Extensions are essentially miniature versions of apps that can be run inside other apps. For instance, if you have Evernote installed on your iPhone, you could pop up the Evernote Extension when you’re running the Mail app, and save a snippet of that email to your Evernote account.
Clearly this is huge. It’s something that Android and Windows Phone users have enjoyed for a while, but Apple has – typically – taken its time to get it right. In fact, you have probably used Apple’s own “test” Extensions already: Whenever you see the Mail sheet roll down inside another app, or you access the built-in Twitter sharing box, you’re using an Extension.
But what kind of things can Extensions do for us? I’ve been thinking about that, and here’s a wish list of Extensions I’d love to see.
Despite all efforts to the contrary, email is still the default way to shift files, photos and – yes – mail around the internet. Even when you share a file using Dropbox, the link goes via old-fashioned email. And yet email clients are still awful. They’ve gotten a lot better in the last couple of years, on both iOS and the Mac, but we’re still stuck without a proper task manager that integrates with the native iOS/OS X Calendar and Reminders.
Today you may have noticed a little teaser page from Flexibits, makers of the beloved calendar app Fantastical.
“Fantastical 2 for iPhone on your iPad is good,” reads the teaser. “Fantastical 2 for iPad on your iPad is even better.” There’s a mailing list where you can sign up to get notified when the app arrives.
We’re itching to tell you more, like exactly when the app is coming out and why it’s awesome, but you’ll have to be patient. All that’s being said at this point is that Fantastical for iPad will be a separate download from the existing Fantastical for iPhone. That means new and existing customers will need to pony up a little change.
As we approach the end of 2013, it’s time to take a look back and pay some recognition to some of the finest apps that have hit the App Store over the past 12 months.
It’s not easy to build a successful iOS app anymore — with over 1 million of them in the App Store, competition has never been tougher — but some developers have proven it’s still possible to stand out among the crowd with titles that are either completely unique, or just far greater than their rivals.