Calendar By Readdle Vs Fantastical: Which Is Better For You


Having been a long-time user of Calendars by Readdle, I wondered about how it measured up against Fantastical so I went and tried Fantastical out. Comparing between the 2, this is what I’ve found:

The free version of Calendars by Readdle is better than the free version of Fantastical. The paid version of Fantastical is better than the paid version of Calendars by Readdle.

Having already paid the full version of Calendars by Readdle and activated the free trial of Fantastical, I borrowed someone’s phone to see how the free versions of both apps did.

Calendar By Readdle Vs Fantastical: Free & Paid Versions

For starters, we will do a direct comparison of the main features, aside from the basic feature of creating/deleting a task between Calendars by Readdle and Fantastical in the free version.

FeaturesCalendars by ReaddleFantastical
List viewAvailableAvailable
Day viewAvailableNot available
Week viewAvailableNot available
Month viewAvailableNot available
Year viewNot availableNot Available
TasksNot availableNot available
Copying/Duplication of EventsAvailableNot available
Natural languageNot availableAvailable
Template eventNot availableNot available
Display multiple time zonesNot availableNot available
Time to leave alertNot availableNot available
Multiple alertsNot availableNot available
Interesting calendarsNot availableNot available
Proposed eventsNot availableNot available
Supported platformsiPhone and iPadiPhone, iPad and Mac
Export calendarNot availableNot available
A comparison of the main features based on the free versions of both apps

Using the free version of Fantastical got a little more than frustrating at times because there’s not much you could do with it. Here are the few things you can do with it:

  • Create events
  • Delete events
  • Look at my calendar on the “list” view, or as they call it in Fantastical, the “Day Ticker”/”Calendar” view. (Which I found needs a little getting used to)
Day Ticker view on Fantastical
Calendar view on Fantastical

Although I felt restricted, One cool thing about the free version of Fantastical is that you can input natural language.

If you input “Go to school at 7am tomorrow” as an event name, Fantastical will automatically place the event at 7am the next day.

This is something that you can’t do on the free version of Calendars by Readdle although it does offer more features.

My overall opinion that the free version of Calendars by Readdle is better is because I felt that the views available on it were much easier to comprehend.

In addition, I’ve found the function to copy/duplicate events especially helpful on the free version of Calendars by Readdle. It just saves a lot of effort when I’m planning my time.

Although Calendars by Readdle might be better than Fantastical when we only look at the free versions of both apps, the tide changes when we compare the paid versions of both apps.

Take a look:

FeaturesCalendars by ReaddleFantastical
List viewAvailableAvailable
Day viewAvailableAvailable
Week viewAvailableAvailable
Month viewAvailableAvailable
Year viewNot availableAvailable
TasksAvailableAvailable
Copying/Duplication of EventsAvailableAvailable
Natural languageAvailableAvailable
Template eventNot availableAvailable
Display multiple time zonesNot availableAvailable
Time to leave alertNot availableAvailable
Multiple alertsAvailableAvailable
Interesting calendarsAvailableAvailable
Proposed eventsNot availableAvailable
Supported platformsiPhone and iPadiPhone, iPad and Mac
Export calendarAvailableNot available
A comparison of the main features based on the paid versions of both apps

The comparison speaks for itself. The paid version of Fantastical simply has more useful features than the paid version of Calendars by Readdle.

These include the ability to display multiple time zones and the time to leave alert.

In a world where virtual events are getting more common, the ability to convert time zones within the calendar app itself can be especially useful.

The time to leave alert can also be helpful to minimise the chance that you will be late to an appointment.

A Detailed Comparison Of Features – Calendars By Readdle/Fantastical

Beyond an overview of why the free version of Calendars by Readdle is better than Fantastical and why the premium version of Fantastical is better than Calendars by Readdle, let’s take a closer look at each of the 15 features that were listed in the previous section of this article to see how they compare.

After all, just because both apps offer the same feature of “List view” doesn’t mean that you will like the same feature in both apps equally.

  1. List view
  2. Day view
  3. Week view
  4. Month view
  5. Year view
  6. Tasks
  7. Coping/duplication of events
  8. Natural language
  9. Template events
  10. Display multiple time zones
  11. Time to leave alert
  12. Multiple alerts
  13. Interesting calendars
  14. Proposed events
  15. Export calendar

(1) List view

Both free versions of Calendars by Readdle and Fantastical offers list views.

The main difference within the same feature is that Calendars by Readdle only offers 1 type of list view while Fantastical offers 2 – the “DayTicker” and “Calendar” view.

The 2 list views that Fantastical offers are available in the free version of the app.

List view in Calendars by Readdle

Whereas the list view in Calendars by Readdle allows you to scroll through events in your calendar in a chronological order.

Like the list view in Calendars by Readdle, both DayTicker and Calendar view allows you to scroll through events created in your calendar in a chronological order, but it also does more than that.

The DayTicker view in Fantastical condenses a 5 day overview of the events that you have.

DayTicker view in Fantastical

The Calendar view in Fantastical gives you an overview of events that you have for 1 month.

Calendar view in Fantastical

It is worth mentioning that the calendar view is the only view that is available in the free version of Fantastical.

(2) Day view

The free version of Calendars by Readdle offers a full screen day view whereas only the premium version of Fantastical offers it.

Day view on Calendars by Readdle
Day view on Fantastical

In both apps, the day view looks pretty similar with the main difference between each being that Calendars by Readdle offers a date navigation panel at the bottom at the screen that Fantastical do not have.

Because of this, the navigation around dates on Calendars by Readdle is definitely more efficient than Fantastical.

On the other hand though, the day view of Fantastical allows you to view 2 time zones at one go, with the main time zone of the left, and a secondary time zone on the right.

This feature to view 2 time zones at one go will definitely be advantageous for you if you work with people on different time zones/travel often.

(3) Week view

The free version of Calendars by Readdle offers a full screen week view whereas only the premium version of Fantastical offers it.

Week view on Calendars by Readdle
Week view on Fantastical

Although both apps show a full 7 day week view, the way they show it is different.

Calendars by Readdle shows events in a horizontal fashion while Fantastical shows it vertical.

It could be down to a matter of preference, but I found the horizontal view on Calendars by Readdle to be clearer. The vertical way Fantastical shows its events in the week view feels a little too crammed for my liking.

Like the day view, Calendars by Readdle has a week navigation panel at the bottom while Fantastical retains the ability to view 2 time zones.

More than that, the week view in Fantastical shows you the weather for each day of the week while Calendars by Readdle will only show you your events for the week.

(4) Month view

The free version of Calendars by Readdle offers a full screen month view whereas only the premium version of Fantastical offers it.

The month view on Calendars by Readdle
The month view on Fantastical

The first difference between the 2 apps in this view is that Calendars by Readdle navigates horizontally while Fantastical navigates vertically.

Similar to all of the other views on Calendars by Readdle, it offers a month navigation bar at the bottom of the screen while Fantastical do not.

Another difference is that Calendars by Readdle can show up to 4 events per day in the month view while Fantastical can only shoe 2 events at once.

Tapping on the specific day on Calendars by Readdle brings you to a summary page of the day that you can close and then go directly back to the month view.

Tapping on the specific day on Fantastical brings you to the day view for that particular day rather than a summary as its done on Calendars by Readdle.

Sample of how the summary view looks like on Calendars by Readdle.

You can tap close and Calendars by Readdle will bring you directly back to the month view.

(5) Year view

Only the premium version of Fantastical offers the year view. Both free and premium versions of Calendars by Readdle do not offer the year view.

Although it is called a year view, you can only view 6 months at a time.

As it is with Fantastical, the year view navigates horizontally.

Tapping on any day within the month will automatically bring you to the month view.

(6) Tasks

Tasks are only available for the premium versions of Calendars by Readdle and Fantastical.

Tasks on Calendars by Readdle
Tasks on Fantastical

As you can clearly see, Calendars by Readdle can offer more organisation of your tasks while Fantastical is more straightforward.

(7) Copying/duplication of events

The copying/duplication of events is available on the free version of Calendars by Readdle but is only available on the premium version of Fantastical.

Copying an event on Calendars by Readdle is often a 2 step process that can usually be completed within 3 seconds.

For me, the way that Calendars by Readdle allows for the copying of events is more intutitive.

Duplicating an event on Fantastical can be as fast as Calendars by Readdle, but you will have to come to this screen before you duplicate the event.

(8) Natural language

The natural language function for the setting up of events is only available on the premium versions of both apps.

While they both work similarly, it is worth mentioning that Fantastical has an added ability to use the function for tasks as well.

Although you can easily toggle between creating an event/task by toggling between the buttons, adding the word task when you’re in “creation mode” will automatically toggle creating a new task.

(9) Template events

Template events is only available on the premium version of Fantastical and is not available on Calendars by Readdle.

You can create template events from any of the existing events that you have on your calendar.

With template events, you can create frequently repeated events immediately through the “New Events” page.

This could be arguably faster than duplicating events on Fantastical and is a great feature to have.

(10) Display multiple time zones

Displaying multiple time zones is a feature that is only available on the premium version of Fantastical and is not available on Calendars by Readdle.

Viewing secondary time zone on weekly view
Viewing multiple time zones within an event

You can view multiple time zones in 2 ways on Fantastical.

The first way is through the daily and weekly view. The second way is to go into an event itself to view the event’s timing from different time zones.

The different time zones to be displayed can be changed through the settings within the app.

(11) Time to leave alert

Time to leave alert is a feature that is only available on the premium version of Fantastical and is not available on Calendars by Readdle.

You can set Fantastical to alert you when its time to leave for your destination.

It can be quite accurate as the app allows you to choose your mode of transport from a starting location of your choosing.

(12) Multiple alerts

The multiple alerts feature is available only on the premium versions of both apps.

They are identical in that they both allow you to set up to 5 alerts before an event. Custom alert times are also possible with both apps.

(13) Interesting calendars

The interesting calendars feature is available only on the premium versions of both apps.

Interesting calendars on Calendars by Readdle
Interesting calendars on Fantastical

While they may look slightly different, both apps seem to offer the same types of interesting calendars.

(14) Proposed events

Proposed events is a feature that is only available on the premium version of Fantastical. It is not available on Calendars by Readdle.

This feature means that you can propose multiple timings for one event.

An email will be sent to the invitees of your event to choose their preferred timing.

Especially useful to collate everyone’s availability in one go.

(15) Export calendar

The ability to export your calendar is only available on the premium version of Calendars by Readdle. This feature is not available on Fantastical.

This feature allows you to easily export your calendar into shareable pdfs.

It’s a feature especially useful to coordinate plannings with anyone that you may work closely with.


While Fantastical has more features than Calendars by Readdle, the consideration on which to go with will go beyond just its features.

Cost will also be a major factor.

Cost Considerations Between Calendars By Readdle & Fantastical

Pricing of Fantastical in SGD

Fantastical has a recurring subscription cost at about USD5.3 a month or USD 42 a year.

If you took up the monthly subscription, this would cost you USD63.6 per year.

Pricing of Calendars by Readdle in SGD

For a one-time fee, all premium features in Calendars by Readdle would cost you a total of USD 13.5.

If you only want to calendar essentials, then it would only cost you USD 7.5.

For the interesting calendars, it would cost you USD9.8.

At this point, you might have come up with a few conclusions:

  1. You find more value in Fantastical because of the features that they offer.
  2. You find that it is more worth it to go with the paid version of Calendars by Readdle.
  3. You will make do with either the free version of Fantastical/Calendars by Readdle.

Before you confirm your decision though, you might want to do a quick check on a comparison between Calendars by Readdle and Google Calendar as well.

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