Fantastical for iPhone and iPad, the alternative calendar and Reminders app from Flexibits, received a major feature update today for iOS 8 users. If you’re unfamiliar with Fantastical, the ability to turn text input like “Dinner with Tim tomorrow night at 7pm” into a calendar appointment without fiddling with menus and dials is it’s killer feature.
Fantastical for iPhone received an update last month which optimized the user interface for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, and today’s new version adds a Today view widget in Notification Center, an app extension for use in other apps, and interactive notifications for responding to alerts without even opening the app. Check out the new features in the latest version of Fantastical for iPhone and iPad below.
The newly added Today view Fantastical widget displays a full month calendar for accessing any from iOS by simply swiping down Notification Center. The widget includes chevrons above either side of the full month calendar for toggling between months both future and past.
Below the full month calendar is your list of upcoming events as well as due reminders. The single Fantastical widget on iOS 8 can replace both the default Calendar and Reminders widgets for streamlining the Today view with the most relevant calendar data. Just like with the Reminders widget, the Fantastical widget allows you to mark items as completed from the Today view in Notification Center.
The new version of Fantastical also introduces a system-wide app extension. This means you can add content from other apps directly into Fantastical without leaving the other app to enter the appointment or reminder.
One example of this includes turning text from a note into an appointment in your calendar. As you can see above, I jotted down a note with an appointment name, address, and time, which the Fantastical extension then parsed to create an event on my calendar.
This works with Reminders too. In the example above, I used the Fantastical extension from a web page in Safari to create a Reminders entry for reading the blog post later. Fantastical can read and view the same iCloud-syncing Reminders items as Apple’s default app, so the entries you make here will be available on all your other devices as well.
The update also brings interactive notifications allowing you to respond to alerts from the lock screen, notification banner, or Notification Center.
Fantastical for iPhone and Fantastical for iPad both add the new features in the latest version of each app for iOS 8 users. It’s a major update to Fantastical that a lot of people have been looking forward to and, after using the beta for the past few weeks, I’m glad the new features are available for everyone now.
Existing customers can update to the new version of the app to get the Fantastical widget, extension, and interactive notifications for free, and new customers can buy each app at a limited-time discounted price. Fantastical for iPhone will be $2.99 (regular $4.99) and Fantastical for iPad will be $7.99 (regular $9.99) to celebrate the iOS 8 update.
Filed under: Apps Tagged: calendar, extensions, Fantastical, Flexibits, interactive notifications, iOS 8, Reminders, widgets
If you’ve ever lamented that “there aren’t enough hours in the day” to get everything done, an iOS app called Timeful might just be what you’re looking for. Timeful is a calendar and to-do manager that examines how long each of your to-do items should take, where each task will take place, and more to find the perfect opening in your schedule to get it done.
Timeful will automatically figure out what you need to do and when you can best accomplish it, even taking into account whether you’re a “morning person” or a “night person” in order to ensure that you’re at the top of your game for your most important activities.
The app is powered by a set of algorithms based on behavioral science that can assign levels of importance to family outings, meetings at work, and personal goals to decide, all while learning from your own input what items are most important to you.
You can also create new habits with Timeful by scheduling a repeating to-do, such as working out or walking the dog, then tell the app how often you want to do that activity and get scheduling recommendations.
You can even setup your work hours within the app’s settings, which allows it to figure out when to schedule items from your work and personal lists so that you’re not taking care of your own business while you’re on the clock.
Once the app has figured out exactly what you should be doing and when you should be doing it, you’ll start to see suggestions in your calendar for each habit and to-do that you’ve created.
If you’d like to take Timeful’s unique approach to managing your day for a spin, you can grab the app for free right now on the iOS App Store.
Filed under: Apps Tagged: calendar, management, timeful, to-do
We’ve already taken a close look at Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Fantastical 2 for iPad, and today Flexibits is releasing Fantastical 2.1 for both platforms with a list of new features and discounting Fantastical for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Among the list of changes include new snooze functionality, event invitation notifications and badges, notifications for upcoming birthdays, external keyboard shortcut support, and more. Below we’ll take a look at each new feature added to Fantastical for iPhone and iPad…
The first big feature added to Fantastical for iPhone and iPad in version 2.1 is snooze functionality. As you can see in the images above, opening an event with an alert now offers the ability to snooze the event for a later time right in Fantastical. Preset intervals of times for snoozing the event are available as well as the ability to set a custom duration for the next alert. The preset intervals include 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, or 2 days, and setting a custom date and time allows you pick a number (1, 2, 3 and so forth) with a duration (minute, hour, day) allowing you to create custom snooze times.
The next feature improves how locations are added to new events. In Fantastical 2.1 for iPhone and iPad, tapping the location arrow in the details view when creating an event now allows you to search contacts and locations for adding an address to an appointment rather than adding your current location. The option to add your current location is still easily accessible. You can see an example of the new behavior below.
Fantastical 2.1 for iPhone and iPad also improves event invitation support. As you can see in the images below, Fantastical now includes options for turning on notifications for event invitations and the app icon badge can now be used to show new event invites.
In addition to event invitation notifications, Fantastical can now notify you of birthdays as well. As with the rest of Fantastical, this is very customizable, which I appreciate. Birthday alerts can be set for the day of the event, 1 or 2 or 3 days before the event, 1 or 2 weeks before the event, or 1 month before the event. You can also determine which time of the day the birthday alert will notify you each time one occurs.
For Fantastical users with external keyboards, version 2.1 introduces a list of supported keyboard shortcuts for performing popular tasks:
- Left/Right/Down/Up: Navigate week view and DayTicker
- Command-T: Go to today
- Command-F: Search
- Command-R: Show Reminders
- Command-N: New item
- Command-S: Save item
- Command-Delete: Delete current item
- Command-K: Toggle between event and reminder when creating a new item
- Command-I: View details (edit when viewing an event, show details when adding a new item)
- Command-,: Settings
- Command-Shift-F: Toggle fullscreen week view
This list can be found in the tips and tricks section of the app settings.
In addition to the changes described above, Fantastical 2.1 also includes other requested features and improvements. Fantastical 2.1 for iPhone and Fantastical 2.1 for iPad are both out today on the App Store as free updates for existing customers.
New customers to both Fantastical 2 for iPhone, Fantastical 2 for iPad, and Fantastical for Mac can pick up the smart calendar at a discounted price today; check out 9to5Toys for the latest price drops.
Filed under: Apps, Reviews Tagged: calendar, Fantastical, Fantastical 2.1, fantastical for ipad, Fantastical for iPhone, Flexibits, Productivity
How to keep in touch on long trips with your iPhone originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.