Is Fantastical worth $10?

Earlier today Flexibits released a version of Fantastical for the iPad. I immediately hit the 'Buy' button for the app. Fantastical has become my de facto calendar app for sometime now. I use it with Drafts, the natural language is amazing, and the layout works for me.1

So I got asked about the value of the app and if $10 was justifiable?

It's a simple questions that doesn't have a simple answer. I'll be honest, I've been living with Fantastical 2 for iPhone on my iPad since mid-December. Does it work? Yes. Does it work well? No. And there's the rub. Both versions work on my iPad and the difference for me has been the fact that I've started to do more and more on my iPad and less and less on my iPhone. On my iPad I'll do schedule planning with my wife, weekly reviews, project planning at work, etc. On my iPhone all I'm doing is entering events via Drafts to Fantastical. I don't see my calendar on my iPhone unless it's an event over the weekend or I'm out and about. Today's calendar in Fantastical 2 for iPhone:

Today's calendar in Fantastical 2 for IPad:
Overview: The two examples above are stripped down versions of my current calendars.2 Flexibits did a great job of knowing how someone would probably use their calendar. For the iPhone version its a quick snapshot of events and reminders that are coming up today. If I need to see tomorrow, or other dates, its a simple flick of the day stream. On the iPad, Flexibits used the screen size to give a calendar app that feels more like a power calendar app. I can easily move from monthly view to work week view and then pan around to see what's happening next week. This is going to make my weekly reviews even easier because the screen size allows me to see so much more. Functionally the two apps have been behaving identically. All my current Drafts actions to Fantastical work with the iPad version. The natural language event entry works in both. And the look and feel of each apps makes you comfortable switch from one to another and back again. Bottom line: I've probably spent more time and money chasing down the latest and greatest app than I'd ever care to admit.3 Fantastical is far more functional than the default iOS calendar app. The work I do requires me to have an accurate calendar. If that's the world you live, having a great calendar app will probably pay for itself. If all you have on calendar is family birthdays and holidays, then maybe the iOS Calendar is more your speed. So is $10 worth a calendaring app? Maybe.

  1. Ok, Agenda's UI is better in IMO, but it has some weird latency problems if it's not opened right away in the morning for a refresh. 
  2. And yes... knowing which day a new comic comes out is important. 
  3. Or at least let my wife know about.