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.
“We love the new abilities and functionality iOS 8 provides,” said Flexibits co-founder Michael Simmons. “Fantastical 2 lets users be even more productive with the quick-access Today widget, app extension, and interactive notifications.” The app has also received an enhanced landscape view for the iPhone 6 Plus.
I’ve been beta testing today’s update for a couple of weeks now, and what I’ve most enjoyed is the ability to see upcoming events in my Notification Center. You can switch between a month and a simple list view for the Today widget (the calendar view shows both), and I find the larger month view to be more useful on my iPad Air.
Tapping an event from Fantastical’s Today widget opens it up in the app. My only request is that you be able to quick add events right from the Today widget as well.
I abandoned Apple’s Calendar app years ago for Fantastical and haven’t looked back. It’s awesome to be able to hide the stock Calendar widget and add events to Fantastical from anywhere in iOS 8 via the Share Sheet. Interactive notifications let you turn off event alarms and dismiss alerts without opening the app.
And, of course, Fantastical is still great at natural language parsing for adding events like “record CultCast at 3 tomorrow.” The design is buttery smooth on my iPhone 6, and I highly recommend the app if you’re looking for a simple, yet also feature-rich Calendar alternative.
To celebrate today’s release, Flexibits is discounting Fantastical to $2.99 in the App Store for a limited time. The iPad app is being offered for $7.99 as part of the sale too. The Mac version costs $19.99 in the Mac App Store.