Once of my favorite productivity apps, Fantastical, just got a sweet update that ads hands-off localization, improvements to recurring events and more clarity on event timetables. It doesn’t seem like a huge update up front, but basically required re-writing the app to include 5 different languages in one package.
I’m a huge fan of the way that Fantastical provides you with a simple, natural language entry system for calendar events. This allows you to enter events as you would tell them to a friend. For instance, if you type “lunch with Judy at 3 on Sunday” into Fantastical, it will automatically parse it to add an appointment called ‘lunch with Judy’ at 3 o’clock on the next Sunday after the current date. It really has to be tried to be appreciated.
The latest version adds stealthy localization for French, German, Italian and Spanish to the app, letting you type in any of those languages as well as English, without having to explicitly choose a language setting.
There are also some tweaks to recurring event entry, allowing you to enter things like ”Soccer practice every Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm” or “Lunch every Tuesday until 2/5″ more reliably. Any events that have been passed are also now dimmed in your Fantastical list, making it clearer what you’re still looking forward to.
If you’ve been disappointed that the end times for events weren’t shown in your list, Fantastical 1.2 has added a tick box to allow you to turn those on. Links and URLs are now auto-detected and made clickable in notes and events as well.
I scheduled my entire Macworld 2012 visit list on Fantastical and continue to be impressed with it after switching to it from iCal in July of 2010. If you use a Mac to add events to a calendar with any regularity and are frustrated with how long it takes, I can’t stress enough how slick Fantastical is and this update makes it even easier to use with multiple languages.