When Apple redesigned its apps for iOS 7, the iPad versions got something of a short shrift. Stale staples like Notes and Calendar were happily stripped of their skeuomorphism—but somewhere along the design process, they lost their character too, as Jony Ive sought to bring greater aesthetic harmony across the various iOS screens. Flexibits’ Fantastical 2 for iPad does well to avoid this trap. Instead of a dull port from the smaller screen, it sets a new standard for universality, reinventing its brilliant calendar concept with a streamlined interface that takes everything good about the iPhone app and makes it bigger and better.
Fantastical takes full advantage of the iPad’s extra real estate, limiting the gestures and displaying event details without sending you to a new screen. Entering appointments uses the same lauded language parser, but with a dearth of new features, it's hard to write a review of Fantastical 2 for iPad without focusing on the interface. And it's a beauty.
Upon launch, you'll be greeted with the full calendar, joined by a list of your upcoming events and the sublime Day Ticker—all arranged neatly on the screen without feeling the least bit cluttered. Gently tugging on the ticker expands it to display your events and appointments, while long-pressing on a day starts a new event. It's all very smooth and intuitive, and in some respects feels even more natural than the iPhone version.
The iPad incarnation adds a bit more customization—we were happy to see that the expanded week view can be a permanent fixture on the dashboard—and navigation is a dream, with a crisp synergy between the various elements and a smart layout that neatly shifts from portrait to landscape mode. Our only quibble is with the price. At $15 for the non-universal app, we would have liked to see a few iPad-only features, but we suspect those will be added over time.
The bottom line. Fantastical 2 for iPad isn't cheap, but when you use it, you'll know where that extra money went.