Fantastical 2 gets fresh design, new features for OS X Yosemite

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The best calendar app just got way better on the Mac.

Fantastical has been my go-to calendar app for years. It’s interface and ease of use is second to none, especially Apple’s terrible Calendar app.

But Fantastical hasn’t received much love on the Mac in awhile. While the iOS version has continued to steadily iterate, the app’s design and basic feature set on the desktop has basically stayed the same.

Today Fantastical 2 for Mac arrives, bringing a complete design revamp for OS X Yosemite and several major new features.

Take the headache out of calendar syncing with these quick tips

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Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits
Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits

As many of us use Google calendar to manage our daily lives, it’s an important thing to get this wondrous scheduling solution on our iPhones and iPads to better able to access it on the go.

Several third-party calendars, like the ever-useful and visually stunning Fantastical 2, use the iOS system for connecting to and synchronizing your calendars from Google to your mobile device.

Usually this works without a hitch, especially with newer iOS versions; you simply add an account and the calendar events you input on the web will show up on your iPhone, and vice versa.

When that doesn’t work, however, the settings you need to tweak can be a bit unintuitive. Here’s what they should look like for the best two-way Google to iOS sync.

Crazy calendar bug in iOS 8 is driving people nuts

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After four months, Apple has yet to fix a bad calendar bug in iOS 8.
After four months, Apple has yet to fix a bad calendar bug in iOS 8.

A weird bug in iOS 8’s Calendar app has been making people pull their hair out for months. When adding events using either a Google or Microsoft Exchange server, the time zone is randomly synced to Greenwich Mean Time.

Complaints started surfacing around iOS 8’s release last September, and the issue still persists.

If you punch a time card, you’ll love Shifts

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Shifts is a scheduling app for time card punchers. Photo: Shifts
Shifts is a scheduling app for time card punchers. Photo: Shifts

Not all of us work 9 to 5’s. My wife, for example, works all sorts of shifts, working around her school schedule: 8:30 – 5:30 one day, then 1:30 to 9:30 the next. And as a guy who spends the better part of each day glued to a computer just two rooms away from his bed, it can be pretty hard to keep track just when she’s working, and when I can next expect to see her.

Shifts is an app that solves all that. A calendar app specifically designed for people who either work retail jobs, or otherwise have constantly shifting work schedules, it’s an ingenious little app that makes managing your weekly shifts -— and keeping your partner informed of them — a snap.

Now Fantastical can truly replace Apple’s Calendar app in iOS 8

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A Today widget, optimizations for the latest iPhones, and more.

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.

Bug in iOS 7.1.2 Calendar app could be telling you the wrong holidays

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July 4th may be (sadly) over, but Apple’s latest mobile OS is all too happy to tell you when the national holiday might be. It could be lying, though.

iOS 7.1.2 features a bug in its Calendar app, which gives the wrong list of holidays in certain countries. The bug was first spotted by an iPad user in Lithuania, who claims that Apple has acknowledged the error.

Why is mobile email still so bad? And how can we fix it?

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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.

What’s going on?

UpTo Reinvents The iPhone’s Calendar (Again), Ditches Social For Simple [Daily Freebie]

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upto-2
UpTo's radical remake.

UpTo’s original take on the iPhone calendar was fairly unusual. the app allowed you to follow the calendars of friends or organizations, whose events then appeared on your calendar; you could the interact withe the events more or less the same way you would a Facebook post: There were likes, comments and a handy “I’m in” to signify attendance.

The problem is, in order for anything with a social twist to work, lots of people need to use it — and based solely off my observations while using the app, that didn’t seem to be the case. Also, some users may have found the app overly complicated.

So now, UpTo has been radically redesigned with a focus on layers instead of social connection. But is it better?