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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.

A nice detail here is that when Fantastical determines you're creating a reminder instead of a calendar event, the calendar is blurred and a large task-entry box appears, making it clear what you're creating. As with events, you can specify a particular list using /[list name], and the Show Details button reveals options such as date/time reminders, geofencing, priorities, and text fields for URLs and notes.

fantastical 2 for ipad new task
Fantastical for iPad makes it obvious when you're creating a new task instead of an event.

New, too
Other features new in version 2 of Fantastical for iPhone are also present in the iPad version: Background App Refresh support lets the app automatically check for new and updated events and reminders; Fantastical provides its own notifications; and you can quickly duplicate, move, or share (as an .ics file) an event by tap-holding it in the events list. Fantastical's extended keyboard includes a dedicated row with numbers and the / and : symbols for easier date and time entry, and you can choose between dark and light themes. Fantastical also supports TextExpander Touch for quicker data entry.

Finally, both Fantastical for iPad and the iPhone version have gained some new features since I reviewed the latter. The first is floating time-zone support, which always shows dates and times in the selected time zone, rather than your current time zone if you're away from home. There are new options for the app's home-screen badge: you can now have the badge indicate the current day's remaining items, today's remaining events, today's due reminders, all incomplete reminders, all overdue reminders, the current date, or the current calendar week. And Fantastical now offers custom alert sounds for events and reminders.

Bottom line
When I first started using Fantastical for iPad (first beta versions and then, over the past couple weeks, the final release), I found the layout to be a bit odd, especially the simplified monthly calendar on the right. But I think that was mostly because I was used to the iPhone version's vertical-layout emphasis. Once I got accustomed to the Fantastical for iPad's different appearance, the app really grew on me. It has my favorite features of the iPhone version—the DayTicker, the scrolling event list, and the great natural-language event creation—along with a much-improved week view that's especially good when it fills the screen.

In fact, I find myself using Fantastical for iPad differently than I use the iPhone version. As I noted in my review of the latter, Fantastical for iPhone is primarily an app for quickly viewing your current and upcoming events and tasks, and for making it as easy as possible to create and edit those items. But thanks to the iPad's larger screen and Fantastical for iPad's full-screen calendar, I use the iPad version like a traditional calendar app—browsing the detailed week view—much more often than I do on the iPhone. Which is a testament to the fact that Fantastical for iPad isn't just a scaled-up version of an iPhone app.


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