Fantastical 2 for Mac was released today. You can find a comprehensive review by Federico Viticci at MacStories and my friend David Sparks did some fun video tutorials. (I think he might even be taunting me a bit in his introductory tutorial.) I’ve been a long time Fantastical user and use their Menu Bar app multiple times a day to complement BusyCal as my primary calendar.
Fantastical for Mac 2 is a major update in that in addition to the well known menu bar app, Fantastical is now also a full blown calendar application. (Don't worry, the menu bar functionality is all still there, and more.) It’s a nice upgrade to Apple’s built in Calendar.app. However with this added functionality comes a price, $50.00 for the new application, but for a limited launch period is on sale for $39.99.
I use Fantastical several times a day for adding events to my calendar, it has become an indispensable part of my workflow. I also use Fantastical for iPhone and iPad as my primary calendars on iOS . I quickly bought the app, in part to experience the new features but also to support the continued development of the family of products. Even so, I’m not sure Fantastical 2 will replace BusyCal as my primary calendar on my Mac. I use Exchange 365 at the office and although Fantastical supports Exchange, one crucial feature is the ability to view and interact with shared calendars for other attorneys and staff. Right now, BusyCal seems to have better support for shared calendars in an office environment. (I should note BusyCal's Exchange support seems superior to Apple's Calendar.app at the moment)
There’s a lot of chatter on social media today about the price of Fantastical 2 for Mac and I understand much of the concern (that's the kind word) over pricing. I’ve never been fan of the “race to the bottom” for App pricing and expect to pay more for productivity apps like Fantastical and to support full time App developers. That being said, if you’re only going to use the menu bar functionality of Fantastical and not the full-fledged calendar the $50 price tag, especially for current Fantastical users, may be difficult to justify. Perhaps Flexibits will consider spinning Fantastical for Mac off into two distinct apps in the future, one for those who just want the amazing menu bar, and another for those who want a true calendar replacement.
Fantastical 2 for Mac is a notable upgrade and I encourage you to check out the 14-day trial on the Flexibits site and see if it works for you.