Weekly App Review: How Fantastical Paved the Way for Fantastical 2


Disclaimer: Flexibits is not affiliated with Helpshift. As with all app reviews, we use a product’s publicly available ratings as an example of what is possible with Helpshift’s suite.

Helpshift’s Review Analytics gives a thorough, actionable breakdown of what people say about your product in the app store. You now have the ability to transform feedback into a solid product development and marketing strategy at scale. Every week we’ll provide data-driven insights for an app based on its publicly available user ratings.

Flexibits’ Fantastical has a global average review score of 4.2 on iOS, excluding ratings without a review attached. How did Fantastical get rated so highly before the release of their sequel? Where do the bad reviews come from?


Out of 169 reviews this week, the sentiments are…fantastic. The worst day is due to a few 3 star reviews (which we’ll investigate). All of the other days are majority 5-star reviews for an almost perfect score. When 12% of all daily active users (DAUs) look for apps every day, high ratings and good reviews are essential to keep up acquisition for non-freemium apps. Let’s see why the app is a “good option” to figure out how they did so well:


Favorable and Critical topics represent common themes among your reviews. Every topic that emerges is a trend of what your users are saying! You can use those trends to discover ways that your product is on the right (or wrong) track. In this case, a user rates Fantastical 5-stars because he truly sees the value in the product. He describes exactly what he likes in very actionable detail: the simplicity, ease of use, and great layout.

Developing an easy-to-use first impression is a necessity for retention. 60% of mobile users are willing to abandon an app if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. We can see that a cornerstone of their great reviews is that users understand how to use Fantastical without much help, and the app looks nice to boot. It’s no wonder that Fantastical 2 has a lot of the same design elements.

What can we learn from Fantastical’s few critical reviews? Our analytics tool is able to isolate 3-star reviews regardless of the critical topic, so let’s dive in:


Although support for Fantastical will likely wane in light of the sequel, issues that users have in the original is a good indicator of things to consider in Fantastical 2. One user mentions that they have trouble opening their iOS8 contacts, and also thinks the monthly dot view is “not much.” Approaching those concerns would be a good move for Flexibits. The second user asks for a discount–because each version is a separate purchase–and rates the app 3 stars for that alone. Kudos to the Flexibits team for quickly listening to their users by offering a discount to help them experience the new product.

In summary:

  • Parsing the 5-star reviews show that Fantastical’s ease of use is what attracts users to the productivity app. They enjoy being able to understand the app at first glance. By following similar design elements, Fantastical 2 is able to capture the same feel that made users happy.
  • You can still use good reviews to find fixes for your app. Users will often recommend things they like to see in the future–when designing a sequel, be sure to include what they ask to deflect tickets from the start. Your community will be sure to join the new product.
  • Granting special offers for loyal users is a great way to ensure that your community is seeded with evangelists. Fantastical 2’s discount is a great move to build a thriving, beneficial community around the app that increases retention and LTV.

Improving your mobile app reliably is all about data-driven feedback. We’re happy to help. To get a free ratings breakdown, contact us at [email protected].

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