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Fantastical 2 for iPad: Bigger (and sometimes even better) than on the iPhone

Dan Frakes | April 3, 2014
Fantastical 2 gets the iPad treatment, but it's more than just a scaled-up version of the iPhone app.

You create a new event by tap-holding anywhere in the DayTicker or monthly calendar, or by tapping the plus-sign (+) button in the title bar. That's when Fantastical's flagship feature comes into play: Just type a description of the event—or even an abbreviated version of it—in everyday language. (Fantastical 2 understands English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.) For example, typing Lunch with Jon Monday at Amici's results in an appointment called Lunch with Jon, scheduled for Monday at noon, with Amici's as the location. Typing Staff meeting on phone every Monday 1030a gives you a repeating event entitled Staff meeting that occurs every Monday at 10:30am with phone as the location. You can even use complex date descriptions such as last Monday of every month and first weekend of the month. Adding /[calendar name] to the description adds the new event to that calendar, rather than to the default one.

fantastical 2 for ipad new event
FLEXIBITSType your event description in everyday language; Fantastical figures out the details.

Fantastical interprets your text on the fly and shows you a preview of the resulting event in the DayTicker. Though other calendar apps (including iOS's own Calendar) provide varying degrees of natural-language parsing, but Fantastical's is the best I've used.

You can also use iOS's dictation feature to input your event description, and Fantastical integrates, using URL actions, with automation apps such as LaunchCenter Pro and Drafts, so you can send event descriptions to Fantastical from them.

While creating a new event, tapping Details displays a traditional set of event-entry fields that you can use if the preview isn't quite right; if you need to add a URL, a note, or some other info to the event; if you want to tweak a recurring schedule; if you want to invite other people to your event; or if you'd like to add a location. Whichever approach you use, tap Add, and the event is added to your calendar and appears in the DayTicker and event list. You can move an event by dragging it in the DayTicker or detailed calendars, and deleting an event is as simple as left-swiping over it in the event list and tapping the Delete button that appears.

You can also use natural language to create reminders, which you do by tapping New Reminder in the Reminders list; by tapping the event/task toggle when creating a new event; or by simply starting an event description with "Reminder," "Task," "Todo," or "Remind me to." Typing (or saying) Remind me to call Jane Thursday at 4pm creates a reminder, for 4pm on Thursday, to call Jane.


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