Fantastical + Cardhop Price Increase

btw natural language processing in the stock app is also getting pretty good:

Screenshot 2022-12-02 at 16.07.17

it can’t do locations or people from what I can tell, but for quick adds it’s fine


Meeter and their successor product are neat little utilities.

What’s the successor product?

Price increase aside, I love this announcement:
“There’s inflation, we’re raising prices. Cancel or don’t, up to you. “

Saves us from the “it’s only the cost of a 7.52 oz latte every 1.68 days!”


Well, that’s it for me then. I used Fantastical mainly for some minor features like being able to hide single events (I use lots of shared calendars from colleagues which include stuff not relevant for me.)

I contemplated cancelling my sub twice, but ended up renewing mainly because I liked the UI of Fantastical better than BusyCal. But aesthetics alone is not worth it with the 40% price increase for me. I just bought a $8 BusyCal license in their Black Friday bundle deal and migrated my Mac. So far so good!


I agree with this. It’s very much to the point which feels refreshing.

Maybe a neutral announcement results in a more neutral response and not everybody getting angry at them?
(So far most responses I found on Social Media were equally neutral comments of people evaluating whether they stay on Fantastical or move to BusyCal / Apple Calendar etc.)


Bardeen—it’s a more general tool but tried to solve the same problem as Meeter (prepping for meetings and being on time to meetings being inconvenient.)

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I am a Fantastical user. I could get by just with the stock calendar app, but I am very happy to see how Flexibits does make use of everything Apple has to offer:

  • Very customizable Apple Watch complications that actually do work. :wink:
  • The new lock screen widgets definitely do provide value to me.
  • The ability to show Reminders in Fantastical - you can customize what Reminders you would like to see. And no, you do not need to show reminders.
  • The ability to show the next event in the menubar in MacOS and the ease of use to get into my calendars from there.
  • So many options to customize how Fantastical behaves and looks.
  • The beauty of their UI, no matter if it is the Mac or the iDevices.

And much more stuff…

Only a few days ago most of us noticed Apple’s App Store Awards over here and here and commented that they were more like “meh”. :wink: I felt the same to some degree.

What we are experiencing right now is that the market for software is changing - again. @WayneG has has mentioned it above: there once was a time when software did cost a fortune. That has gone way down to a point where software started to be called “apps” - it was the advent of the App Stores. And everybody tried a concept where software had to be dirt cheap or even “free”. That can work for open source projects with a striving community of developers, but commercial products being sold by developers that want to make a living off their apps need to earn real money and they need to find a niche in the market for it to be sustainable.

As @Jeremy has phrased it in his own words, Flexibits has made a decision: make apps that are of value and sell them at a price Flexibits considers to be adequate. It is the customers’ decision if the price is ok given their individual needs or not.

It took me some time, but I am back in my personal pre App Store period when I did not need every app only because it was the new and shiny one. I am absolutely ok and even happy to pay the price for an app if it is worth it to me. That is something that can and does change all the time. Apple’s Reminders app is the perfect example for that. I switched back to Apple’s Reminders after having been a Things and OmniFocus user for years (not simultaneously of course). Why? Because I got to the conclusion that my GTD needs are more than fulfilled in the stock app in 2022. And I am perfectly aware of the fact that there are a lot of users that will come to a different conclusion.

I have paid the yearly subscription fee back in September. I will think about it in August 2023, if I am willing to pay the new price or not. Right now I am undecided, because I am definitely no calendar power user (but then again I am someone who likes Fantastical so much that I already have come back twice to use it after abandoning it). But I totally get what Flexibits is doing and why they are heading this direction. I guess we all have to learn again just to make our own individual cost-benefit analysis for software (at least that is what I have to learn again). I have to admit that I maybe was too lax in that matter in the last decade when it comes down to “apps”. Why? Because a lot of apps were sold at prices so low that they were “no-brainers” just because of their price, not necessarily because of their value/features. That is not sustainable in the long run. Neither for the developer, nor for the customer.


Darn it. I forgot about the Fantastical watch complication, which is miles better than the stock calendar’s app.

But I agree with your analysis for the most part. Good software has been underpriced for a long time, because the pool of potential new users has remained large and growing with iPhone adoption. But the market is more crowded, and there aren’t that many more customers coming into the market. A sustainable business model has to acknowledge this – the rapid growth days are over for most app categories.


I just renewed in September so I’ve got a while to think about it. Seems awfully pricy for a calendar app - a calendar app I have to sign into twice a week because of my work’s Office 365 setup.

That said, having reminders and calendar mixed together is handy. For me, I don’t like all my day’s tasks lumped into my day, but those little “don’t forget to do this at time A” are helpful.

I know other apps do the reminders/cal thing but I don’t love their design and flow eg (Calendars 5). I do have a grandfathered Moleskine Timepage account so it’s free — I may revisit that again.

I’ve cancelled 7 software subscriptions this year and more are likely to follow. Here in the UK energy prices have gone nuts and I’m paying an extra £150 per month now.

I think app developers should think long and hard before raising their prices in the current financial climate. Especially when stock apps will cover what you’re offering. Maybe they won’t do it as well, but if it’s for free, it’s hard to beat.


OTOH this might be a good time for developers to learn if their current business model is sustainable. And for the rest of us to learn how much our technology is going to cost going forward.


I voice with those that believe all-things-subscription are unsustainable for consumers. If every single app we used was rented out, we would spend hundreds of dollars a month and still own nothing - not even our own data.

I, for one, support developers that offer alternative licensing. Let me buy and own a product. I may or may not choose to upgrade to v22 next year, but be decent enough to let me continue using the app I paid for, for however long it continues to function. Apple is to primarily blame here given they don’t support paid upgrades on the mac app store and seemingly reward apps that charge a subscription by lowering their commission on year 2+. Bleh.


The new Weather app in iOS 16, iPad OS16 and Ventura is a good example of a stock app doing just about everything you need. Why purchase third party weather apps like the insipid and annoying Carrot Weather when the stock app does such a good job?


I’ve been an enthusiastic Fantastical user for years and was happy to pay the previous subscription.

However, this price increase is too much for what I get out of Fantastical now. It’s clear that they’re moving to support a work style that is not how I work (collaboration, complicated scheduling/invitations, etc.), and it seems like that’s where all innovation is going.

Since my subscription is up in February, I’ve set up a test of BusyCal. On the Mac it seems like it does everything I want that Apple’s Calendar does not.

I have two problems yet to solve: the iPhone and Watch. I time-block my days, so I was using widgets extensively to show my calendar.

I can live without the Watch complication. It was nice, but Infograph is the only place it’s useful, and Apple is clearly not updating that kind of view.

I’m more worried about the iPhone. I love my large, black-background calendar list widget. I find it much more attractive than Apple’s — it shows more information in a much more elegant layout. But I guess I’ve got a few months to sort it out.


I use this stock app exclusively and you’re right, you have to go back and manually add location data into your appointments - at least that’s what I’ve always done - so yeah that’s a bit cumbersome, but I’ve never needed a faster input method that warranted paying a subscription, as is the case with Fantastical.

Adding locations isn’t too bad — at least, you can do it all from the keyboard on the Mac.

When the preview (or whatever it’s called) pops up after you hit return on a Quick Event, you can tab to the location field and start typing. It pulls from your contacts, I believe, and starts to match it. Using the arrow keys you can select a location, then hit enter to add it to the event.

This is essentially what I did with Fantastical, too, because I found that it often wasn’t smart enough to match correctly.

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If the stock app would let you scroll through events in that view with the month calendar at the top and the event list at the bottom - it might be workable for me. As is, the combination of all grey dots and a non-scrollable list in that view make it a non starter for me.

Yeah, you can scroll events in the list view, but I want the calendar there too.

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Same for me. I held off on subscribing until a month ago… now a $17 for next year? Back to Saisuke for me I guess.

This is exactly how I use my calendar too and is what keeps me on Fantastical. Having been a Fantastical user since…(checking receipts)…v1 in 2012, going through my calendar in any other way on an iPhone just seems unbearably clunky.

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I am using Fantastical, too. And I don’t see at the moment, that this will be changed, with the next payment coming due.
BUT I at the same time “hate” Cardhop! It is a pain in the ass for me. It is slow, clumsy and unreliable.
I would really appreciate, it those two Apps would have been separated, and therefore the subscription for Fantastical only, lowered by the amount eaten up by Cardhop.