How to link Fantastical to the stock Calendar app icon

By , Mar 4, 2013

OpenOther Fantastical

I absolutely love Fantastical. It’s a wonderful way to manage my week-to-week activities via my iPhone, and there’s a desktop client as well. Fantastical uses “real” language when it comes to adding appointments to your calendar. This means that I can simply type: Dinner with the wife next Wednesday at six, and it knows to setup an appointment on March 13 at 6PM. That’s really just the beginning of how useful Fantastical is, but this isn’t meant to be a review of Fantastical, this is a tutorial that shows you how to link Fantastical to the stock Calendar app.

Now, why in the world would you ever want to link Fantastical to the stock Calendar app? For one primary reason. 3rd party apps aren’t allowed to display the current day with a dynamic number like the stock iOS Calendar app does. That means I have to make a compromise. I can keep both the stock Calendar app on my Home screen alongside Fantastical, or I can remove the stock Calendar app from my Home screen and suffer without the ability to see the current date.

The most desirable solution would be for Apple to allow Flexibits — the developer of Fantastical — and any other 3rd party app developer, to use dynamically updating app icons. Since I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future, we must use a workaround instead. Thankfully, I believe I’ve found the perfect workaround in the form of a jailbreak tweak that’s sort of been forgotten. It’s a tweak that I reviewed a long time ago, but I had all but forgotten about. The jailbreak tweak is called OpenOther, and it allows you to redirect an app icon to another app of your choice. This, as it turns out, is the perfect workaround for the Fantastical problem. Check inside for a full tutorial to see how I did it.

Video Walkthrough

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to head over to Cydia and download OpenOther for free. If you’re browsing this post from your iPhone, you can use this link to take you directly to OpenOther’s Cydia page. Yes, it works fine with iOS 6.

Step 2: Obviously, you want to make sure you have Fantastical installed as well. You can download it from the App Store using this link.

Step 3: Open the Settings app, and tap the OpenOther preference panel to open up the OpenOther configuration screen.

Step 4: Make sure that the toggle switch to enable the tweak is set to the ON position.

Step 5: In the App to redirect field, type the following: com.apple.mobilecal

Step 6: In the Redirect field, type the following: com.flexibits.fantastical.iphone

Step 7: Tap the Settings button in the upper left-hand corner to exit the OpenOther configuration screen, and press your Home button to get back to the Home screen.

Step 8: Tap the stock Calendar app, and instead of the stock Calendar app opening, Fantastical should open instead.

That’s all there is to it; that’s how you can easily link the stock Calendar app to Fantastical. Now, you have the best of both worlds. You have the dynamic day app icon on your Home screen, and you have a direct link to Fantastical. All of this, without having both app icons nestled together on your Home screen.

What do you think?

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  • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

    The only problem with this is that I enjoy the Fantastical icon more. Stock calendar icon is just that, stock. However, I will probably be doing this because of the advantages you mentioned.

    • Jeff

      I like it too. But, yeah. Having that day makes a huge difference to me.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        Agreed!

      • http://twitter.com/rob_damiani rob damiani

        you CAN have the date displayed on the Fantastical app icon

    • blawbair

      Or just install SBSettings and enable date in status bar. :)

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

    Neat trick. Like you I had completely forgotten about OpenOther. Just downloaded it and redirected Calendar to Fantastical. Obviously you don’t have to use OpenOther only with Fantastical and it can redirect any app to any other app too (ie. you could redirect Safari to Chrome app).

    Nice one, Jeff!

    • Bob

      You can only redirect one app at a time though. I wonder if the developer is still working on it.

      • Jeff

        OpenOther+ does multiple apps. I haven’t tested its iOS 6 compatibility, however.

      • http://twitter.com/ejshircliff Eric Shircliff

        I tried it, no luck.

  • inc188

    damit, there goes my $4 :(

    now i have to buy this

  • Eric Morgan

    You are the man Jeff. It’s things like this that are the reason to jailbreak.

  • TesticularFortitude

    What does fantastical do that the stock app doesn’t? I can’t seem to justify the $5… Is it just prettier?

    • http://twitter.com/ToniWonKanobi Anthony Craig

      Dude who are you?

    • blawbair

      Fantastical enables you to write in events using natural language. For instance you can write “Dinner at parents next sunday” and the app will understand it and create an event named “Dinner with parents” the next Sunday. Also, yeah, it’s prettier! :)

      • Robes

        the natural language alone already makes fantastical 100x better than the stock iOS calender app and now with OpenOther you can have the best of both worlds! #WIN

  • http://twitter.com/ejshircliff Eric Shircliff

    Would I link to Sunrise by simply replacing “fantastical” with “sunrise”? I tried that out, but when I try to open iCal nothing happens.

    • Aurelius

      You have to use the CFBundleIdentifier for “Sunrise” which is: “am.sunrise.ios” without the quotes, so replace the Fantastical CFBundleID with that one.

      • http://twitter.com/ejshircliff Eric Shircliff

        Thanks! I do I find bundleIDs for other apps?

      • blawbair

        I wrote this in another comment a bit further down, but anyways… :)

        Easiest way to get a bundle id is probably to use AppInfo (which is a free download on Cydia). Simply open it up, tap the app name, and there it is. Together with a bunch of other useful info.

        …or if you’re feeling a bit more hackerish; use iFile:

        1. Go to /var/mobile/Applications/[app name]/ (make sure you’ve enabled “Application Names” under iFile – Settings – File Manager).

        2. Go into the folder named [app name].app and look for a file named Info.plist.

        3. Open it in “Property List Viewer”

        4. “CFBundleIdentifier” is what you want.

  • Bob

    Jeff, why did you put “make a sandwich” into your calender? I thought you was married.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539480065 Leslie Kwan

      *chuckle*

  • Gerald Gaitan

    Hey Jeff how does this work with calendar invites? I thought fantastical cannot accept or decline invites. Is that a capability that is given up?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Powell/776875136 Steve Powell

    How do I find the cfbundle for week cal? Or if someone knows? Great tweak!

    • blawbair

      Easiest way to get a bundle id is probably to use AppInfo (which is a free download on Cydia)… or if you’re feeling a bit more hackerish; Use iFile:

      1. Go to /var/mobile/Applications// (make sure you’ve enabled “Application Names” under iFile -> Settings -> File Manager).

      2. Go into the folder named .app and look for a file named Info.plist.

      3. Open it in “Property List Viewer”

      4. “CFBundleIdentifier” is what you want.

    • Julie Thornton

      I just used AppInfo and found this for WeekCal….com.wasabi-apps.WeekCal

      Works great! Awesome tip!

  • blawbair

    So… when will someone create a tweak that enables you to choose default apps? I know there is BrowserChooser, and I’m currently using Sparrow+ and MapsOpener, but that’s just browser, mail and maps. There’s still calendar, music application and a whole bunch of other stuff. Also, I like to see everything neatly packaged in ONE place.

    Or is my best bet just to wait until Apple allows it which should be around an eternity or two… or go with Android? (And yes, I’m sorry for using the A-word here.) :P

  • Toon

    i want to re direct to EasyCalendar.. don’t know how ??

    • blawbair

      1. Get “AppInfo” from Cydia.
      2. Open it.
      3. Press EasyCalendar.
      4. Look for ID.
      5. ???
      6. Profit!

  • Toon

    how to know what to fill in at redirect ?

  • Michael

    Did you steal this from my r/jailbreak post!? Just kidding. I assumed other people would stumble across it as well.

    • Jeff

      No. I read r/jailbreak/ from time to time, but I didn’t even see the post.

  • Robes

    Jeff, thank you very much for this!! i’ve been following you guys for some time but never really comment a whole lot on posts but I will start to include my input every so often. iDownloadBlog is my #1 source for Apple, iOS, and Jailbreak news.

  • http://www.computercrown.com ComputerMan

    its not working for ios 6.1 jailbreak, cal app opens cal

    • http://twitter.com/rainingcastles valerie

      2nd, not working here

  • http://twitter.com/jeremiahekow jeremiah sarpong

    Great

  • http://twitter.com/twitchadha ishneet[ne0n]

    how to get the url of apps

  • kptn

    Is there a way to link Fantastical (or any other app as well) with the calendar entries in Notification Center?

  • luke jewell

    Jeff, i linked the two i just keep getting the apple calender notifications for events instead of fantastical notifications so when i open the notification it takes me to apple calenders is there a way to fix this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pacal74 Kotnyek Laci

    Thanks Jeff :)
    From Hungary….

  • frank

    Thank you so much!!

  • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Thinks for this. To get it to work with other apps (not sure if its mentioned below/above) download appinfo free from Cydia and get the bundle identifiers of the appropriate apps…

  • Guest

    This tweak doesn’t appear to be compatible with ios 6.1.2

  • R-M

    Is there anyway to do this on ios7?

    • Robes

      I was just thinking this myself lol

  • Russell Tanenbaum

    I would like the ability for calendar links (or a calendar apt listed in NC) to open in Fantastical instead of the stock Calendar app. Such as “Open in Chrome” opens all internet links in Chrome instead of Safari. Additionally, I’d like one that works for Google Maps as well (there was one for iOS6…)