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Fantastical 2.8 Brings Rich Notifications, iMessage Stickers

Rich notifications and stickers in Fantastical 2.8.

Rich notifications and stickers in Fantastical 2.8.

With a new version released today on the App Store, Flexibits updated Fantastical – the popular calendar client with natural language input – to include deeper support for iOS 10 and the iPhone 7. Version 2.8, available on the iPhone and iPad, adds new iMessage stickers using the app’s icon as the main character in different expressions, haptic feedback on the iPhone 7, and, more importantly, rich notifications for calendar events and reminders.

While I’m not sure I’ll end up being a heavy user of the Fantastical stickers, I have to admit that they’re cute and they’re a fun diversion from the primary functionality of the app (though I have many questions about a calendar icon wearing a VR headset). The most interesting addition in this update, I believe, is integration with iOS 10’s rich notification framework to display more information about events and multiple actions upon expanding a notification.

Flexibits did a good job with their implementation of iOS 10 notifications. When a banner notification comes in, the name of the event uses a bold title font, while details such as embedded addresses use a lighter one. Once you expand a notification with 3D Touch or a swipe, the address will turn into a full Maps preview displayed above an even bigger event title; the lower half of the notification card also tells you how much time is left before the event is due and it provides quick snooze actions. I find this use of rich notifications to be an effective way to communicate more details about an event without having to launch the full app, and I like the overall look.

Fantastical received a solid update for iOS 10 back in September, when Flexibits redesigned the app’s (excellent) widget for iOS 10’s new style. With today’s notification changes and iMessage stickers, it feels like Fantastical’s transition to iOS 10 is now complete. You can get Fantastical 2.8 for iPhone and iPad on the App Store.

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