Fantastical 2 is one of those apps you look at in the App Store and think looks nice, but you can't justify spending money on something that only duplicates what the default iOS calendar app does.
The truth is, it does duplicate Apple's calendar app, but the real value comes in the form of the features it adds to your calendar. And there's no shortage of features in Fantastical 2.
Once you've installed Fantastical 2 you'll need to grant the app access to some of your personal information. Instead of requiring you to log into your Google or iCloud accounts to access your Calendar data, as other calendar apps do, Fantastical 2 uses the information that is already being synced to your iOS device through the official Calendar and Reminders apps. In other words, if you have Google Calendar or another service setup and displaying in the Calendar app, that information will automatically display in Fantastical 2 without you having to independently authorize the app.
Upon first launch, there's a quick tutorial to demonstrate a gesture to expand and collapse the main calendar view from only five days to a month. Learn it, remember it, use it. The gesture makes switching views a natural motion, giving and taking away information with a flick.
The entire time from download and setup until you can start adding events and viewing your calendar is under a minute.
Viewing your agenda is straightforward in Fantastical 2. At the top of the screen you'll find a five-day view, with events represented by colored dots. The app uses the same colors you have set in the iOS Calendar app to make it easy to recognize your various calendars. You can also turn your iPhone into landscape mode to see a more detailed five-day view.
Below the week view you will see an agenda, laying out your schedule in a list format. Tapping and holding on an event will bring up the option to duplicate, move or share it.
To view your calendar for the entire month, swipe down on the week view at the top. Once you're down viewing the month, swipe back down on the month view and it will shrink back into a simple five-day view. Tapping on the month at the top of the screen will take you back to the current date in your calendar.
One thing I really like about being able to browse through my calendar throughout the various modes is that it's all done from the same screen. As I scroll down through my agenda, the week view at the top changes with the date I'm viewing. The same applies when the month view is present.
Apple's Calendar app doesn't behave in a similar way, unfortunately. It requires you to tap and swipe just to view your agenda for one day, with more taps and swipes required to view it for another day. All of this is presented to you on different screens and can be very frustrating to navigate through; especially after the redesign for iOS 7.
Fantastical 2 has two different themes for you to select from. There's a dark theme, providing the agenda with a black background, while the light theme provides a white background.