Fantastical 2 for iPad Review

Fantastical 2 for iPad Review

Replace Apple’s Calendar app with something far more fitting as Fantastical 2 comes to iPad

Apple’s iOS 7 Calendar overhaul for iPad didn’t go down terribly well. Through religiously adhering to Jony Ive’s penchant for minimal interfaces, the result is a fiddly app that somehow manages to be both cluttered and waste space. Fortunately, Fantastical — long considered the premier calendar app for iPhone — has now made its way over to larger Apple devices. This makes us happy, because it’s very, very good indeed.

Fantastical 2 for iPad eschews tabs for different views, instead packing everything on to a single screen. Across the top, there’s a day ticker, providing an overview of the current week, little lozenges representing appointments. Below, a scrolling list details upcoming events, omitting empty days for efficiency; alongside is a basic month view. The ticker’s fairly pointless as per the iPhone version of the app, but on the iPad it can be switched for a more useful week view. In portrait, it’s a pity the amount of space the week view takes up can’t be fine-tuned (it’s either a third of the screen or all of it), but Fantastical otherwise largely manages to do on one screen what Apple’s app fails to in three.

The app’s crowning glory, though, remains its natural-language input. As you add an event, using plain-English, it builds before your eyes, enabling you to make adjustments as you go. It’s intuitive, effective, efficient and surprisingly fun. As a nice touch, add a meal and the app automatically initially assigns the event to an appropriate time. Again as per the iPhone version, this iPad release retains the original’s slew of options and a workable if slightly feature-light and tacked-on means of dealing with reminders. The lack of sort options for reminders is a pity, but given that (as with calendar data) Fantastical uses standard iCloud information, it at least means you can largely avoid one of Apple’s worst iOS apps!

Rated 5 out of 5

Despite some minor misgivings, by far the best iPad calendar app, obliterating Apple’s own.

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