Another year has come and gone, and Fantastical and Cardhop have had quite the journey over the past twelve months. We’ve been thrilled to continue delivering improvements to our users and subscribers – thank you for your support!
Please join us as we reflect on how 2021 unfolded for Flexibits.
Admittedly, we were still a little giddy after receiving Apple’s Mac App of the Year award in 2020, and this energized us to launch into the New Year with a focus to further enhance collaboration for people continuing to work from home. We added support for Dialpad calls and gave our users more options when creating meeting proposals, such as the ability to set a specific email address proposals are sent from, and re-sending proposals to specific users when necessary. These were two features our fans had been asking us to add throughout the previous year, and we were happy to deliver!
Next month, Fantastical’s calendar widgets got a neat addition: events could now be shown via dots or a heat map, or even just stripped away altogether for a nice clean view of the calendar month.
We also added waiting room support for Zoom users (no more gatecrashers at your virtual meetings!), and added Gather to our burgeoning list of calling options.
As spring arrived, Fantastical for Mac gained a quicker way to change event status and visibility, with instant access to these options from the right-click menu. Combined with multiple event selection, these new options make it so power users can save time and change the status of multiple events at once.
Fantastical also gained two more call services, in the form of Huddle and Riverside.fm. We didn’t want Cardhop to feel left out of the conference call party, so we added brand new Cardhop actions for RingCentral calling and messaging too.
April was a quieter month as we geared up for a major product launch, but we still found time to sneak two more conference call services into Fantastical: CoScreen and Microsoft Teams for government made the cut, helping leaders around the world continue to run their countries (who we are certain must be using Fantastical to manage their schedules!).
May was a big one – we launched Cardhop 2 and Flexibits Premium after months of planning. This brought Cardhop to our premium subscription, meaning that every subscriber now got both Fantastical and Cardhop for the same price!
Cardhop 2 was a real labor of love for us. Alongside the expected polish and UI updates, it brought great new features designed for fellow contact geeks like us!
Relationships provided a quick and easy way to see a visual representation of a contact’s personal and professional networks. We strengthened the bond between Fantastical and Cardhop by allowing users to invite contacts or groups to events in Fantastical via the new Invite action in Cardhop. Images were now able to be uploaded as attachments to contacts in Cardhop. A new suite of Cardhop widgets was introduced, in keeping with the new style of widgets Apple introduced in 2020. Finally, we added the ability to scan text in business cards or letters using your camera and automatically create a new contact – a feature many people had been asking us for since Cardhop first appeared on the scene.
A busy month indeed!
As summer arrived we were in full support mode following the launch of Cardhop 2, and were busy squashing the odd bug that crept through our various pre-release testing stages, as well as supporting our users with the transition to the new version of Cardhop. We even managed to quickly push out another new widget for Cardhop, which allowed users to keep track of upcoming birthdays.
Fantastical was also back on the agenda this month, as we added Vowel meeting support and made it possible to set a custom date for week numbers to start from – super useful if you count weeks as part of a school semester or corporate quarter.
July brought custom app icons for Fantastical and Cardhop in the macOS Dock, giving our apps a bit of extra personality and customization. Fantastical also gained support for the Working Elsewhere feature found in Exchange, and we added AppleScript support for gathering information about selected events and tasks – AppleScript enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced (we know you’re out there)!
Given the positive response to the Cardhop birthday widget from last month, we decided to enhance it further by adding an option for users to display a countdown to upcoming contact birthdays. With this latest addition to Cardhop’s widget, there really were no more excuses for forgetting to send a card!
August was a behind-the-scenes month, as we continued to tie up remaining loose ends with the Cardhop 2 launch, as well as putting the finishing touches to our iOS and iPadOS 15 updates, which we hoped to launch the following month…
Nevertheless, we found time to let Fantastipal shine, as we introduced them to macOS in the form of a custom Dock icon!
As September rolled around, so did the annual iOS and iPadOS updates, which brought a wealth of new features to our devices. We had iOS and iPadOS 15 updates for Fantastical and Cardhop ready to go on day one, adding support for features such as extra large and privacy-sensitive widgets, Quick Notes and time-sensitive notifications.
We also continued to build out Fantastical’s conference call support (a running theme throughout this year!), with an option to automatically add Microsoft Teams calls to new events and support for alternative hosts on Zoom.
And to make sure Fantastipal wasn’t getting too lonely sitting on the macOS Dock by themselves, we introduced a new friend to keep them company: Cardpal!
Finally, we released a spiffy new video to highlight some of Fantastical’s core features and recent updates:
October was another busy month, this time due to the release of macOS Monterey. Fantastical for Mac gained support for the all-new Shortcuts app, in addition to a host of other Monterey compatibility changes.
We were really proud to introduce a number of event proposal enhancements, including the ability to share proposals via a URL instead of email – something many people found more convenient than relying on email. Fantastical for iOS gained the ability to join calls or get directions directly from a notification, saving an extra step when wanting to jump right into a call. And finally, Webex joined Fantastical, marking the final new calling service to be added to Fantastical this year!
November included some downtime after the major iOS and macOS updates, and lots of behind the scenes preparation was underway for our final update of 2021…
As the year came to a close we released Fantastical 3.5.1, which crossed off a number of items on our users’ wish lists.
Our Google Calendar users were pleased to discover they can now create and delete calendars and task lists directly from Fantastical (which wasn’t previously possible due to a number of technical reasons). Another popular wish was granted as Fantastical’s language parser gained the ability to set multiple alerts for single events using natural language.
Fantastical’s list view got a nice little bonus in the form of a new directions button, which was warmly received with the same enthusiasm as our ever popular Join button. The directions button appears next to events with an address, and takes you directly to your maps app from the event list – super convenient!
Fantastical also allowed users to now invite entire contact groups to events at once, which put an end to having to select individual invitees when a contact group of your regulars already existed. Hopefully this’ll make scheduling Holiday celebrations smoother this year.
Finally, Fantastical for Apple Watch received support for the new Series 7 swipe keyboard, which is perfect if you’re not in a position to be talking into your wrist when scheduling an event.
That’s a wrap!
Phew! It’s been a busy year for us here at Flexibits, and we hope we’ve been able to help make you that much more productive. As always, thank you for your continued support of Fantastical and Cardhop. We’re looking forward to 2022, and we have much more in store to share!
For now, from all of us here at Flexibits, we hope you have a very Happy New Year and wish you all the best for 2022!