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Fantastical 2 brings natural voice recognition, enhanced calendar views to iOS

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Fantastical 2.0 for iOS is a virtual personal assistant masquerading as a calendar application. Oh, I know Siri acts like a personal assistant, but only Fantastical is really good at managing my calendar.

Fantastical


Yes, we can use Siri to create calendar appointments. But Siri doesn't always parse speech correctly. She doesn't always pick out the time, location, or people we're meeting with, especially if we change up the order all the time. Natural speech processing should be able to process natural speech, after all.

Speak Naturally



Fantastical understands us. In our tests, adding events and reminders to a calendar, whether typing or use Apple's dictation from the keyboard, Fantastical gets it right every time. The thing here is that Fantastical is able to pick out and determine whether something is a time, location, or event name and sort out how to compose the calendar event.

Of course, the words you use will help Fantastical figure out what you mean even more accurately. If you preface your reminders with "reminder" "todo", "task", or "remind me to" it will always mark it as a reminder. Anything else will likely be tagged as an event. Even if you don't preface your speech, it will get it right. This is really the primary benefit for us: being able to input just about anything and have it understood properly is huge.

You notice it when Siri gets it wrong. We're just as surprised at how much better Fantastical is.

iOS7


Fantastical 2.0 is newly updated for iOS 7, but this isn't just a design update. The parser for natural language is even more accurate than the last version, while new features have been added like creating repeating events and setting alerts.

Events with an address display a map. Tapping on an arrow prompts Maps to get directions to the location. If you're a fan of Google Maps, Fantastical will open directions in that app if you prefer. It's supposed to be possible to call, email or message meeting invitees in-app, but we weren't certain how to actually add invitees to test out the feature.

Perhaps best of all is the geo-fencing reminders. It's now possible to create a new reminder and turn on "Remind me at a location," and that reminder will appear with the geo-fenced details in both Fantastical and Apple's Reminders app. Setting up a geo-fenced reminder in Reminders on iOS 7 is just as convenient, but why should we when can use Fantastical as a one-stop shop for both calendars and reminders?

One of the complaints we've heard as users transition to iOS 7 is the loss of Calendar's split-screen appointments view. Fantastical satisfies this need.

Finally, Fantastical has a convenient day ticker that scrolls across the top of the app. Tap and pull down and it changes to a calendar month view. Tap and pull down again and it becomes the day view. Rotate to landscape viewing and it becomes a week view. All of the views are elegant, all of them useful.


Pros


  • Amazing natural language processing
  • Geo-fenced reminders and event directions in Maps or Google Maps
  • Day ticker to month calendar switching by gesture

Cons


  • Connects only to the default calendars synced through Apple
  • Unclear how to add invitees and then contact them via the app

Fantastical 2 is being offered at a launch sale price of $2.99 for a limited time and is now available on the iOS App Store.
post #2 of 9
What? No iPad version? A UI designed the size of an Inspector Panel is nice on a phone. It's even interesting as a compliment to iCal on the desktop if it extends services on top of iCal. Being a replacement is just brain dead.
post #3 of 9
I can't believe that they are charging for this release. Fix their language parser and make it iOS7-compatible and they want to charge again. Wow!
post #4 of 9

Fantastical is the best calendar app ever created. Just buy it. I bought the first one which was great and have no problem spending $2.99 for the updated version which is better. App developers this good should be supported. Apple should really buy this company and replace the default app. It's so much better than the Apple calendar.

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply
post #5 of 9
I can't believe people whine about having to pay $2.99 for an app. It is frankly pathetic. People spend that much on a beverage or a snack and don't even think twice about it. They don't mind spending that much in something that would only give them momentary gratification but do whine when they have to pay that much for something that not only is infinitely useful but something that they will be able to use and enjoy for a long time. I tell you, it is pathetic.
Edited by eckergus - 11/1/13 at 3:41am
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

I can't believe that they are charging for this release. Fix their language parser and make it iOS7-compatible and they want to charge again. Wow!

 

$3.00.

post #7 of 9
100% agree with eckergus.
People will spend $6 bucks for coffee and then cry all night long over a $1-$3 app.

I think apps should be selling for $5-$8 each and more, if it's really something special.
People work hard on these apps. If you don't want to pay, use nothing but free apps or start coding your own. A free app should be something like a fart app. Free apps should be the useless apps like that. Everything else should be a dollar.
I support developers. If there is a free app and a paid one, I buy the paid one.
I don't know how to make apps. I'll keep giving them money as long as they keep working on apps.

I paid for the 1st one, bought it on my mac as well. Love both.
Bought the new one for iPhone (it was on sale, normal price, $4.99) and I don't even have an iPhone right now. Wanted to try a Moto X for a couple months. But, I will get another iPhone in Jan/Feb and I want this app to be there waiting. (and I saved 2 bucks while on sale)
post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by r4d4 View Post

100% agree with eckergus.
People will spend $6 bucks for coffee and then cry all night long over a $1-$3 app.

I think apps should be selling for $5-$8 each and more, if it's really something special.
People work hard on these apps. If you don't want to pay, use nothing but free apps or start coding your own....

 

Until the App Store for the iPhone most Apps (for the Mac and PC) were typically $19.95 to $99.99 with some specialty apps in the $300 to $500 dollar range (with some being substantially more like Photoshop or Autocad or vertical market apps). Most of those required paid upgrades for anything other than an x.x.1 upgrade to fix a bug or security issue. If the Apps added features then you can bet you would pay %50 or more to move to the newer version. Now people pay $0.99 to $4.99 for an App on the iPhone and bitch if they have to pay for an upgrade. It takes no less effort for a well crafted iPhone/iPad App than it does for a Mac App but for some reason people think they should get free upgrades in perpetuity for some unknown reason.

 

If you were a lawyer would you expect to handle all legal issues for a client for a one time fee of a couple bucks, how about a medical doctor, a mechanic, house painter, electrician, ad infinitum... I didn't think so. Pay the very small fee or live with the old version.

 

BTW: Users are now able to download older versions of Apps allowing them to use an App with a Mac that may no longer be supported by OS X Mavericks. I would not be surprised to see something like this go into place for the iPhone/iPad also.

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