Best in class calendar app Wonderful With a history spanning more than a decade, it has a shelf full of awards and plenty of well-organized fans on iPad, iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch. However, Michael Simmons, CEO and lead product designer for Flexibits, is the company behind it WonderfulApple says the Vision Pro app is “the best version we’ve ever made.” We asked Simmons what he learned building for VisionOS, his experiences visiting developer labs, and what advice he has for bringing applications to Vision Pro.
What was your initial approach to bringing Fantastical from iPad to Apple Vision Pro?
The first thing was to look at the platform to see if a calendar app made sense. “Can we really do something better here?” We thought. When the answer is yes, it goes to “Well, what are the odds?” We crossed over to the. And of course visionOS gives you unlimited possibilities. They are not limited by borders; You have a whole world canvas to create on.
We want to use that infinite canvas. But we have to make sure Wonderful I felt right at home in visionOS. People want to feel that there is a person behind the design – especially in our case where some clients have been with us for 13 years. There’s the legacy there, and the expectation that what you’re going to see is connected to what we’ve been doing for over a decade.
I play guitar, so it felt like learning an instrument for me.
Michael Simmons, CEO and Lead Product Designer for Flexibits
Ultimately, everything felt really seamless, so that once Fantastical was done, we immediately said, “Okay, let’s do it. [the company’s contacts app] cardop me either!”
“Do we really have something here?” Was there a time when you realized that?
It happened as soon as possible. I play guitar, so it felt like learning an instrument for me. One day it just clicks – the songs, the notes, the patterns – and it feels like second nature. To me, it felt like movies where the musician could feel the music coming out of them.
How did you approach the design for visionOS?
We put a lot of focus on the readability of fonts, buttons and other screen elements. The opaque background didn’t play well with elements from other operating systems, for example, so we fixed it. We stayed consistent with the design language, used system-provided colors whenever possible, built primarily using UIKit, and used SwiftUI for decorations and other popular Vision Pro elements. It’s amazing how good the app looks without us having to rewrite any codes.
How long did the process take?
It’s been five months since he first encountered the device and installed the beautiful app. Essentially, that means three months to ramp up – see the UI, explore what can be done, and learn the tools and frameworks – and two more months to refine, refine, and test. That’s crazy fast! And once we got that domain knowledge, we were able to do Cardoop in two months. So if you have an iPad app and know-how, I’d say it only takes months to create an Apple Vision Pro version of your app.
What advice would you give to other developers looking to bring their iPhone or iPad apps to Apple Vision Pro?
Make sure your app is platform-friendly. Take a look at the tool – all its capabilities and possibilities – and imagine how unlimited real estate your app would feel. And if your app makes sense — and most apps do — and you’re already developing for iPad, iPhone, or Mac, bringing it to Apple Vision Pro is a no-brainer.
Download Fantastical from the App Store