2020: what a year, indeed.
Aside from the obvious and unprecedented social upheavals 2020 has brought to all our lives, it was also a very significant year for us here at Flexibits – perhaps the most important in our (almost) 10 year history.
This post will revisit everything we’ve managed to accomplish during this year, and hopefully show how we’re continuing to make Fantastical continually better for our users and subscribers.
We also made a fun promo video to recap and look back at all that we’ve done in 2020. So, before reading, we hope you’ll take a moment and enjoy our final promo video of the year.
The start of 2020 brought big changes at Flexibits: we launched not one or even two, but four all-new apps for Mac, iPad, iPhone and, Apple Watch. Fantastical 3 introduced a host of brand new features (full screen views on iOS, weather, synced calendar sets, interesting calendars, direct account integration, etc.), but also a new, consistent UI design across the new apps.
Fantastical 3 also introduced Fantastical Premium, an optional subscription that unlocks even more features in Fantastical. Fantastical Premium has made it possible for us to invest in better support, more features, and faster development. This means a better Fantastical for everyone!
To all those who believed in our vision at the start of 2020 and supported us throughout this year, we would like to give a huge “thank you” for your support and encouragement. We’re able to do what we do because of you and we greatly appreciate it.
After the successful launch of Fantastical 3 at the end of January, we spent a few months behind the scenes squashing minor bugs and upgrading our internal systems, engineering and support teams. We also needed to address our sudden growth and demand, which led to a number of new Flexibits staff enthusiastically joining the company to help us fulfill our vision and continue to provide world-class support for our customers.
After releasing a number of smaller updates to refine and enhance Fantastical 3 since its release in late January, June marked the release of the first major feature update for Fantastical – version 3.1.
Fantastical 3.1 introduced a feature that Fantastical has now become somewhat renowned for: conference call link detection and the much loved instant Join button.
Fantastical’s conference call features were originally planned for a distant future update, but by this point in the year most of us found ourselves locked inside our homes due to the pandemic. Video conferencing become a new way of life, and this thing called Zoom quickly became a part of everybody’s vocabulary! As such, we moved conference call integration into the 3.1 release instead, which helped people stay connected with less friction during challenging times.
Many of our new subscribers contacted us to say that they loved using Fantastical’s premium features, but that they wanted their family members to be able to use it too, all for a more affordable price.
In response to this we rolled out Fantastical Premium for Families, which allows a group of up to five people to share a subscription at a reduced cost.
This required a change to our behind-the-scenes planning and effort, but offering a family plan was essential to providing options for our users. Our customers agreed, and we were quite happy to welcome many families to Fantastical Premium at the beginning of August.
A few weeks after releasing Fantastical Premium for Families we released our next major update – version 3.2.
Fantastical 3.2 included full support for the newly released iOS/iPadOS 14, including UI tweaks, Scribble support on iPad, and another of our fan-favorite features: widgets!
We’re delighted by the passionate adoption of our 14 new widgets, with many of you using them in creative ways to spice up your devices’ appearance and give you a more functional and personalized home screen.
A couple of months after iOS 14, Big Sur arrived, and with it a fresh new interface for macOS. We didn’t want Fantastical to appear out of place, so we spent time tweaking and polishing our Mac app to incorporate the new macOS design language, which we released in version 3.3 alongside Big Sur. We also included a host of brand new widgets for our users as well, based on the positive feedback we received from September’s 3.2 release on iOS and iPadOS.
We also managed to find time to sneak in direct integration for Microsoft Teams, allowing users to add conference calls to events on Office 365 in addition to Google Meet and Zoom.
As the year was coming to a close, we were delighted and honored to be chosen by Apple as the winner of their prestigious Best of 2020: Mac App of the Year award!
This meant a lot to our whole team, as we faced a number of hardships in bringing our vision for Fantastical to life this year, and this award validated the sometimes tough decisions we had to make during this year and in the earlier planning phases too. You can read more on our thoughts about the award on our blog.
While it would have been easy to let this exciting event mark the end of a busy year for us, we had to squeeze in one final surprise before 2020 came to a close: a completely redesigned blog, now titled “Flexireads“. We intend to update Flexireads on a regular basis (every couple of weeks or so), and so far we’ve been keeping a pretty consistent flow of content rolling out.
Our goal is for Flexireads to be a place where our users and subscribers can gain further insight into our company, and also to provide a place to learn new ways to use our apps. To this end, make sure to check out our recent post that discussed how to use calendar sets to help keep your mind focused.
Here’s to 2021!
That wraps up our 2020, and we hope you agree that Fantastical’s evolution throughout the year has been evidence of our dedication to craft the best calendaring app possible, fulfilling our vision of making apps that are both enjoyable and flexible to use, and making your life better and removing frustration.
We say this often and we mean it: thank you for being part of the journey. We couldn’t do it without you!
Here’s to lots (and lots) more to come in 2021! Believe it or not, Fantastical’s 10th anniversary will be in May, so stay tuned for the celebration! 🎉
Oh, and last but not least… for those of you wondering about Cardhop, we’re hard at work on some pretty cool things and we’ll have more to share in 2021! 🥪