Fantastical and Apple Calendar, which one is better on iOS and macOS?

Fantastical vs Apple Calendar

Having an organized schedule is essential for anyone who is working or in high school. Meetings, classes or pending work are some of the events that can be integrated into a calendar through the corresponding manager. Currently, one of the main gesture options that can be used is Apple Calendar, This being the native option on iPhone, iPad or Mac. But there are also other options such as Fantastic. In this article we compare both applications to be able to glimpse which one is the one that you are most interested in using.

Which user profile is each one targeting?

One of the most prominent points when making a configuration between two applications is undoubtedly the compatibility and also him price. That is why it is worth making a special paragraph in these two sections, since as a preference users always choose those software that are multiplatform and with a lower price.

Devices in which it is present

Users always appreciate that applications are on a wide variety of devices. This makes it possible to work with the same information simultaneously on an iPhone, iPad and Mac for example. In the case of a calendar manager it is essential. The fact that a manager is available throughout the ecosystem It is crucial to be able to access all the events that you have created in a very simple way.

If we focus on these two applications, after seeing the importance of the multiplatform, we must say that we find great similarities. Both the native Apple calendar and Fantastical is available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. This is a great advantage to be able to have all the events available in a unified way in a single application. The only problem that can be found in these applications is that the counterpart cannot be found on Windows or Android. This leaves only the entire experience within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple calendar, a more than powerful app

Its price

Where if you can find big differences is in the price of each of the applications. Apple Calendar is priced completely free without having to pay any type of subscription. This is because we are facing a native application of the company and, as expected, it does not charge its users when integrating with the operating system. This is a great advantage for those users who are not interested in spending money to use a specific application that can be had in the App Store.

In the case of Fantastical, you can find a model that is double. On the one hand, the characteristics that can be considered basic are completely free and free to use by all users. Although, in the case of wanting to access the functions that are advanced, you should opt for the payment of a monthly subscription model. In this case, the individual and family subscription can be distinguished, and the company also allows the monthly or annual payment to be made in order to finally save money. The positive that can be found in this regard is that before having to pay you can enjoy a free trial to determine if it is worth making the payment.

Fantastical Mac

In short, in both cases you can find applications that are free if you want to opt for basic functions. But when it comes to talking about features that are extra, Fantastical is included in a monthly subscription program. In these situations, what we recommend is to assess whether it is worth making this investment or if, on the contrary, you can limit yourself to using those basic options.

The design: simplicity vs saturation

In the design of both applications you can find big differences, and it can be a really important point to make you fall in love or end up hating it. In the case of the native Apple application, a very simple design is used continuing with the general aesthetics of the operating system in general where it is installed. As soon as you open the application on any of the platforms, you can have a simple view of all the events that are pending on a specific day, taking the specific time as the protagonist. However, with a single touch you can go to an overview of the calendars and the different days that make up the month. All this on a one-color background. That is why it is a really simple application, however, visually very clean and all the basics on the screen.

In the case of Fantastical, compared to Apple’s Calendar, you can see a more intense design. As soon as you enter the screen, it is divided into two distinct parts. On the one hand, a part with a white background where there is a calendar with all the days of a month so that you can easily go to the date you want. At the bottom with a black background is the list of events that exist with all the information you need about them. All this can generate more visual chaos at the sight, but obviously aesthetically it is still quite beautiful.

Fantastical Calendar

As we have repeated on many occasions, this is a section that unfortunately is subjective. There are users who prefer cleanliness and simplification, however, others feel indifferent about this topic. In the end, it is always best to assess the design yourself to see if it adapts to personal tastes or not. In this case there are two different aesthetics, and that can end up satisfying both types of opinions.

Specific functions in a calendar manager

Beyond the design, there are many features that can be found with a calendar that their mission is to have greater productivity. In this case, you can find the event information itself, as well as the integration with third-party calendars. Next we are going to analyze the main features or functions that are worth comparing of these two calendar applications.

Event information

This is something basic, since whenever an event is created, it is not just limited to giving it a title. There is a lot of information that can accompany an entry in the daily agenda, such as the location or the exact time at which this event is going to take place. In both applications you can find quite similar information, highlighting the schedule by being able to select that the activity is going to take place all day or only in a specific time slot.

To this can be added a certain periodicity of this event so that it appears reflected in different days. Likewise, the option of adding a travel time, the type of alert that may sound as well as how the user should be displayed, is added. But if you need more information that cannot be collected in any of the sections that any of the apps proposes, you can add it to the notes or URL section that is included in both options.

Fantastical Calendar

In short, when it comes to event information we are facing great similarities, although there is a drawback that some of the features found in Apple’s Calendar application for free, in Fantastical you must pay the premium subscription. As an example of these cases you can find the color change of the event.

Integration with third-party calendars

Today, there are many users who do not have a single calendar on a single platform. It is quite common that there may be an account with a personal calendar, but it is also necessary to connect with a different platform to access the calendar of the company or the university. In these situations you have to give quite a priority to have a calendar manager that works with third parties, And don’t limit yourself to a single platform.

In the case of the Apple application, it can be thought that it is only compatible with iCloud, but the truth is that it allows you to connect with a wide range of platforms. Specifically, it is compatible with the most common platforms such as Microsoft, Google among others. Added to this is the possibility of connect to a calendar through simple links that are generated as if it were a simple feed. This is really useful to be able to receive information from calendars on which we do not have editing control, however, if you consult.

Add iPad calendars

Fantastical works quite similarly on this system. By default, it will always track accounts, whose session is started on iPhone, iPad or Mac. At the moment you can see all the events in this way without having to link again. However, in this case account services that can be found on Fantastical is greater, since it includes numerous services such as Zoom.

Shared events

One of the features that can be found in calendar managers is the possibility of share an event. This is somewhat similar to what is found in file sharing for example. It is a high-quality functionality to be able to share an event in which several people participate, such as a meeting. This will mean that you do not have to send all the information repeatedly, since by entering an email address you can easily share the event. Likewise, all the data that changes in the event such as the time or the notes any user will be promptly notified who is invited.

This is something Apple Calendar does really well. In the event configuration itself, the section is included to be able to include the email of the person you want to invite. By default you can quickly integrate the event into the calendar linked to the account with which the invitation is made. Fantastical only allows this configuration to be made only if the premium subscription is paid. Otherwise, you will not be able to use this feature that can be so useful.

Productivity tools

Calendar managers have evolved in recent times to be more productive. This has been achieved above all with the connection to external platforms that allow better organization of time. This is something that Apple Calendar lags far behind, as not connecting directly to a task system. The Cupertino company distinguishes the two applications, one for Calendar and the other for Reminders. But in the case of Fantastical, both functionalities are integrated in the same application, and that is why by using the calendar you can also have this high-quality task management.

Fantastical 2 Mac

Specific Fantastical is compatible with Todoist, which is one of the great task managers out there right now. It is also compatible with conference and meeting platforms such as the famous Zoom. This makes it a differentiating and productive application, although for many of these features you have to pay the premium subscription.

Our conclusions

As has been seen, there are many differences that can be found between the two calendar managers. But in the end each one is intended for a very specific audience. It must be concluded that if you are a basic user looking for a simple and free manager, Apple’s native option is certainly more than enough to be able to manage all the calendars you have and add new events. All this with premium features that in the case of Fantastical you will be required to pay a subscription, such as creating a shared event.

As we say, Fantastical can become more professional by integrating different cool features like connections with external task management platforms or even Zoom accounts. The only problem it has is that to access these functionalities a subscription must be paid, but due to the design and what it offers, the subscription may be interesting. Obviously, each of the users will have to try both services and decide which one can become more complete.