Family Sharing Subscriptions vs. Fantastical's new Family Subscription

Not that I want to pick an awful scab (I actually subscribed to Fantastical and continue to be relatively happy with the subscription)… is it just me, or is this dirty? TL;DR: Fantastical seems to be subverting the upcoming Family Sharing for Subscriptions features of iOS 14/iPadOS 14/Big Sur.

To my excitement, iOS 14/iPadOS 14/Big Sur will finally bring family sharing to subscriptions. This was thrilling because I’ve been able to share many app purchases with family members over the years, but the recent movement towards subscriptions has made that impossible for many of my most valuable apps.

I assumed that this would roll out to all the apps I currently subscribe to, as that’s how app purchases work with Family Sharing.

Not so, apparently: it seems to be up to the developer, and to suit, Fantastical has rolled out custom support for extra-premium family subscriptions instead of supporting the upcoming OS-standard sharing options:

swear words.

Maybe they’ll also support Family Sharing subscriptions, and this is for people who want to share the subscription outside of an Apple Family group? Is that just wishful thinking?

Edit: Oddly, none of the coverage of this “new feature” (here’s another article from The Verge) has discussed that Family Sharing will be available in the Fall. Odd that journalists aren’t picking up the conflict here.

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It doesn’t seem like a problem to me, speaking as someone who has already abandoned Fantastical, mind you.

Apple’s approach is consumer friendly, but basically gives away free copies so it’s only fair to let a developer opt out/opt in.
If you accept that Fantastical’s single user subscription is a reasonable price, then I think the family one is fair.

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It’s a good question. I’m not sure how I feel about it as a business strategy. I’m sure a lot of developers would prefer Apple to allow upgrade pricing to go from an individual to a family subscription. Is there some awkwardness with Fantastical because you pay with IAP but your personal usage can span multiple iCloud accounts, with potential iCloud family sharing, or would it not matter?

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I would think they would be right to do so.

I abandoned Fantastical when the went subscription (0 added value for me at all), so am not affected, but can understand a developer’s wish to earn a living. Like we all do.

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Its about time when Fantastical will ask you to subscribe just to use the word “Fantastical”


Apple already informed us that not all Apps will support this (emphasis mine):

Now you can share App Store subscriptions with everyone in your family with a single purchase. Subscriptions from participating apps can be shared with members of your Family Sharing group.

Personally I wonder whether it’s “all or nothing” or developers can decide which subscriptions participate. For them it would be nice if they can exclude “personal” subscriptions (like Fantastical’s €3,67/month Individual plan), but include (higher priced) “family” subscriptions (like Fantastical’s €5,49/month Family plan).

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interesting family pricing, a family of 5 pays $65 which is $13 a year per person.

Now, i suppose there is nothing stopping me from teaming up with the few people on this forum for a family subscription.

In saying that, Fantastical isn’t the only app that provides similar calendar features.

In most subscriptions, I consider what is the actual service the app is providing or am i just paying for supporting the developer. The service proposition isn’t working out for me.

I am also struggling with paying a subscription for a calendar app. Make no mistake, they are not providing a calendar service. Fantastical cost $40 a year. Todoist cost $36 a year. Almost not one will argue that todoist is providing a service.

Sorry I will stop here. this is sounding like a rant. To summarise, if I am a huge fan of an app, should I pay whatever the developer is asking for?


They might clause it with “Staying at the same address” :slight_smile:

Difficult to enforce such polices, but yes they could.

I share my spotify families subscription with my sister who doesnt live with me. Spotify basically ask for our home address and she just entered my home address. When we got spotify, she was living with me but she has since moved out. And since I am an awesome brother, I didnt kick her out of the spotify family plan.

Seems like too much effort for five strangers to get together, arrange for payments to one person, and impersonate a family, all to save a measly $2.25/month. And since this group won’t last forever each time a person drops out or stops paying the ‘family’ needs to scramble to find another member or eat that additional cost.

I agree. I was pointing out whether there is value in paying a $13 a year subscription for a calendar app. This is subjective.

I like to discuss this topic but you’ve seen our 400+ post thread on the subject, right?


I agree.

My apologies to @ryanjamurphy. The topic of this thread is different and I kinda diverted it to something that we already have over 400 plus posts on.

I also agree with @ryanjamurphy, I was hoping that the current plan could be shared with my apple family through the iOS 14 family sharing.

Thanks, folks, for the discussion so far. Perhaps I’m just being entitled—I had hoped that this was something I wouldn’t need to pay for again. It seems particularly user hostile to reject Apple’s recommended infrastructure only to charge a couple bucks extra, but I suppose that argument runs both ways.

While this might turn out to be true, there’s currently no proof this is the case now?

(that infrastructure is not available until iOS 14 is released)

PS: Where do you see Apple recommending this? (Instead of just offering it as an option)

Sure, it could be that Fantastical ends up offering both their more expensive family subscription option and a cheaper Apple Family Sharing… but that wouldn’t make much sense.

As for “recommending” vs. “offering,” that’s just arguing about semantics. I imagine if Apple has built the feature, they hope developers use it.