Fantastical has a huge update on OS X today. There are tons of new things, like native Exchange support, checking your coworkers’ availability, notifications for shared calendars in iCloud, printable calendars and more. But enough with the release notes, and let’s talk about calendars.
If you’ve been following my writing over the years, you know how much I love Sunrise. Sunrise has been my calendar of choice for years on my iPhone, iPad and Mac. I’m a hardcore calendar user. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be without my calendar. But Microsoft acquired Sunrise and is now in the process of integrating Sunrise into Outlook. Outlook on iOS is a damn good Gmail client, but there’s no chance I’m using Outlook on my Mac.
On iOS, Sunrise hasn’t been updated for months. It doesn’t support the 12.9-inch iPad Pro resolution, split screen and Spotlight search on the home screen. I feel like it’s going to get worse with iOS 10 until Microsoft decides to remove the app from the App Store at some point.
So my once great calendar setup is now slightly broken. On OS X, I don’t want to go back to Google Calendar because it looks like a Minitel, and I don’t want to use the default calendar app because it’s not powerful enough for my needs.
A few weeks ago, I gave Fantastical a shot with a beta version of today’s update. And what a good surprise. Fantastical has a crisp user interface, supports all major calendar backends, handles native language event creation and more.
In other words, Fantastical is a capable OS X calendar. The team has built its own native CalDAV engine so it doesn’t rely on OS X’s calendar process. On this front, Fantastical on OS X is more powerful than Fantastical on iOS. I’ve used this opportunity to switch to iCloud as my calendar backend as well, and I’ve had zero issue whatsoever (Google Calendar provides an export tool).
The Fantastical menu bar mini window is pretty great as well. It lets me open a small feed of my next calendar events without having to switch to another window. Fantastical isn’t cheap. At $50, only the most hardcore calendar users are going to consider buying it. But it’s worth it.
Now it’s not perfect. There are many features I miss from Sunrise, such as integrations with third-party services. I wish Fantastical could look up LinkedIn profiles, show my Foursquare checkins, Eventbrite tickets, Meetup invites, and more. But it’s time to turn the page.
Oh, Sunrise. You were so great. But ever since you stopped updating, you also made me worry. Calendars are essential for me, and I don’t want to get caught by surprise if you shut down tomorrow. We had a good ride. Love, Romain.