Archive for January 29, 2020

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Fantastical 3


A beautiful new user interface. Feature parity on every platform. Beautiful full screen modes on iPhone and iPad (and the Mac has never looked better). Synced calendar sets (🎉). Weather. Interesting Calendars. Proposals with automatic scheduling. Even better tasks support. And so much more.

But let’s talk about the thing that’s likely on everyone’s mind, the Fantastical Premium subscription.

I previously paid:

The new version is $39.96 per year for all platforms. It also works in free mode, which includes most if not all of the features I regularly use. And if you had previously purchased version 2, you can keep using the non-free features that you had before.

I’m not interested in the syncing or collaboration features, so I was pleased to see that at least the Mac app seems to work just fine without creating a Flexibits account.

Jason Snell:

With this release, Fantastical is now stepping away from its attachment to Apple’s built-in calendar database, adding the ability to connect to all sorts of calendar and task services. It’s also connecting with Flexibits’s own new cloud service, which adds a slew of new features—and further possibilities down the line.


I’m a fan of the direct connection to calendar services, because a lot of the weird quirks I’ve experienced with my calendars end up being quirks of Apple’s calendar syncing system, including random duplicate alerts from both Calendar and Fantastical.


To use Fantastical 3, you have to sign up for a free Flexibits account, whether or not you subscribe to the new features.


I’m also thrilled to report that Fantastical’s natural-language parser has finally been upgraded to intelligently parse repeating events, something that I could never get to work right.


While the Mac version of Fantastical has tended to be more full featured than its iOS variants, with this release the iOS apps are more or less at parity with the Mac version.

See also: Zac Hall, Ryan Jones, Eric Slivka, David Sparks, Federico Viticci.


Update (2020-02-06): John Gruber (tweet):

Lots of complaining on Twitter, and Fantastical 3’s App Store reviews have been dragged down by angry users complaining about the pricing change. […] And if, like me, you used Fantastical across iPhone, iPad, and Mac (they previously sold the iPad app as a separate version from iPhone), $40 a year is quite reasonable. Fantastical is a professional calendaring (and now task management) app, and as Bohn points out, subscriptions are the best way for a developer like Flexibits to succeed in the App Store.

David Lynch:

Weirdly, I think the way flexibits has let themselves down with the upgrade level for previous users is that there’s no in-app indication of “you’re getting X for free because you bought the app”. So existing users only see the places they’re being asked to pay more...

Whereas if they’d swapped some of the “you need pro” stars into “loyal customer” icons, we’d all have a better sense of what we’re getting.

Bernd Pörner:

In re: to Fantastical 3 being a “pro” app, European business users would break GDPR by using Fantastical’s “pro” features, b/c other people’s personal data would be stored on Flexibits’ cloud servers, without businesses having an explicit order processing contract with Flexibits.

Sorting My TV

John Siracusa:

For a few years now, I’ve tracked the TV shows I’m watching using the iOS app Couchy, which integrates with the service. Sadly, Couchy ceased development last year. I’ve kept using it since then, but in the past few weeks it’s finally started to fail.

I looked at (and purchased) many, many alternative apps back when Couchy’s demise was announced, but I could never find one that I liked as much. In particular, I haven’t found a match for the information density of Couchy’s main screen combined with its “smart” sort order.

He has a great sketch of how an algorithm might work.

Apple TV already knows what I watch, and I trust Apple more than most companies with my data. Why does it still offer so little help in finding the episode I want to watch next?


Update (2020-02-22): Louie Mantia:

Basically all I want my AppleTV to do is this:

• Episodes I can watch right now up top.
• Next week’s episodes in the second row, with an indication of the day it’s available to watch.
• Display upcoming seasons of shows I watch on a third row, with expected release dates.

Via Dan Grover:

This is totally how streaming devices should work. Why do we have apps there?

Update (2020-02-24): Tyler Hall:

I feel like a complete and hypocritical shithead saying this as someone who charges money for the things I create, but I simply went back to piracy last Summer for TV shows. The UX is just light years better than what any major media company offers 🤷‍♂️😔