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Meet Fantastical, the king of calendar apps [Awesome Apps]


Fantastical, the best calendar app for iPhone, iPad and Mac: You don’t have to settle for Apple’s stock calendar app.
You don’t have to settle for Apple’s stock calendar app.
Image: Cult of Mac

Awesome Apps is a new series highlighting the best apps around. We’ll be featuring our favorite apps as well as new and notable apps. Apps are transformative, and these are the best.

Years ago, I decided to ditch my paper Filofax diary for my iPhone, before quickly realizing that Apple’s built-in Calendar app didn’t fully meet my needs. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find the perfect third-party calendar app for iOS, iPadOS and macOS.

It’s called Fantastical – let me tell you about it.

Apple’s own Calendar app might be relatively well-formed and functional – most of the time – but for anyone looking to take their personal organization to the next level, long-time favorite Fantastical from developer Flexibits is a great option. The app’s wide-ranging feature set makes it easy to add tasks, manage calendars and streamline your productivity. Let’s start with the basics, before looking at some of Fantastical’s power features.

How to quickly add contacts with Cardhop


Cardhop will make you stop hating your contacts.
Cardhop will make you stop hating your contacts.
Photo: Flexibits

Apple’s Contacts apps are terrible. On both iOS and Mac, they’re opaque, confusing and frustrating to use. Cardhop is a brand-new contacts app for iPhone and iPad that is better than the built-in app in almost every way.

Here’s how to add a new contact without typing a thing.

Awesome Mac app makes managing contacts easier than ever


Cardhop contacts app for Mac
Cardhop was created by the stellar team behind Fantastical.
Photo: Flexibits

Remember how Flexibits made managing your calendar incredibly easy with Fantastical? Now it is doing the same for your contacts with a brand new app called Cardhop.

Cardhop makes keeping your address book up to date and staying in touch with friends and colleagues quick and easy. It uses the same great natural language recognition found in Fantastical, and it’s available today on macOS.

Repeat this simple mantra if you want to make killer Apple Watch apps


Joe Cieplinski, a designer with Bombing Brain Interactive, shares his knowledge about design at AltConf 2015.
Joe Cieplinski, a designer with Bombing Brain Interactive, shares his knowledge about design at AltConf 2015.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — The key to crafting great Apple Watch apps can be summed up with a simple mantra: “Make the user happy.”

That’s designer Joe Cieplinski’s approach to all design, really, but the precept is even more important than ever for developers making apps for Apple’s new wearable. Instead of attempting to cram all the features of an iPhone app onto that tiny screen, devs need to focus as much on what they leave out as what they include.

“That’s how you get a successful product,” Cieplinski, who works for Philadelphia-based Bombing Brain Interactive, told Cult of Mac after his AltConf panel here Tuesday. “It’s not just trying to be philosophical.”

All of the Apple Design Award winners (and why they won)


Apple Design Award winners WWDC 2015
Here are your 12 winners of this year's Apple Design Awards.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Design Award winners are in, and they showcase the cutting edge of game and app design.

At a ceremony Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple handed out 12 awards to the best apps of the past year. Games scored half of the nods, with some really cool productivity, finance and utility apps also taking honors.

Here are all of this year’s winning apps — and why they won.

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


Week View
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.

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


Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 1.22.29 AM
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.