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Mac App Review: Fantastical

You may never need to open iCal again thanks to Fantastical...

This incredibly simple app is an add- on for iCal. It allows users to access their iCal details from the menu bar at any time. iCal doesn’t even need to be open. What’s doubly awesome about this is that you can complete all manner of processes within this app rather than having to fire up iCal, which can take a while, especially on older machines. The benefits will be obvious to those who use iCal regularly, but may not be quite as clear if you only use it now and again.

Despite the new iCal appearance and full-screen mode in Lion, you still need to assign it to a space when you want to use. it. Accessing it then requires at least one swipe. In contrast, all you need to do to access Fantastical is click on the icon at the top your screen. Better than that, you can assign a keyboard shortcut so that you can access it at any time.

When you do access Fantastical you get a quick overview of your iCal diary and the events that are happening soon. On top of this easy access, you can also add events, meetings and reminders within its svelte drop-down system. Just typing into the empty field at the top of the drop-down will automatically create new event. You can then tweak the details and send it to iCal. The last really important function of Fantastical is that you can easily search for an event, preventing the need to go manually skipping through months and years.

This app, once you get used to it, is a pleasure to use and an incredible timesaver. The reason that it is so easy to get used to is that it really feels like an Apple app. That’s huge praise, we know, but it’s got the same iOS kind of look and feel that Apple would give to a widget of this kind. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple create this kind of thing and add it in a future update. Everything is in easy reach and the Preferences are simple enough to make personalising the app easy and your use of it much more efficient. A truly helpful app that is worth every single penny of its asking price. You may never need to open iCal again.