Review: Due 2.0 for iPad

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In the world of increasingly cross-platform services, there are very few apps that really tether me to iOS. If I left for Android land (or perhaps Windows 10? Hah!), I know that my 2000+ Evernote notes would follow me. My photos and videos could go into Dropbox and my calendar and contacts would sync through Google. However, if I left iOS, I’d be leaving Due behind, and that would really suck. A lot.

If you aren’t already familiar with Due, here’s the elevator pitch: it’s a gorgeous system designed to bug the crap out of you until you finish what you said you’d do. One of the awesome things about Due is that it usually gives you a few ways to manipulate its UI.

  1. New reminder – tap the + symbol or swipe down
  2. Schedule reminder – write it out with natural text (e.g. “pick up dog at 5pm”) or title it “pick up dog” and set the time to 5pm with one of the convenient quick-schedule buttons
  3. Set your reminder – press the OK button or just swipe left or right

Once you’ve set a few reminders, you’ll see that they’ll all fall into place in chronological order. You can look at this as a basic task list, but I prefer to use Due as a set-it-and-forget-it kind of app. I’ll enter reminders in Due and trust the system to bug me when it’s time.

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This is where one of the newest features, background sync over Dropbox, really comes in handy. I turn most of my iPad notifications off and leave it to my phone to alert me of things, as I prefer to add reminders in Due on the iPad and have them ring on the iPhone later on. Background sync makes that a reality, and it has been quite reliable in the past week; I can edit or create a reminder on the iPad and my iPhone will buzz within two minutes and tell me that a reminder has been added or changed. I’d been waiting for this kind of functionality within Due for years, and I’m really happy it’s here and executed so well.

Once the time does come for a reminder to be completed, Due will ping me with a notification. That’s nothing special: most task and calendar apps do this. The beauty behind Due is a feature called AutoSnooze, which makes the app bug me again and again and again … until I take some sort of action. In Due 1.x, this meant tapping on the notification to load up Due and then completing or rescheduling the reminder within the app. This is no longer necessary in Due 2.0.

Using the power of kickass interactive notifications (that’s a technical term), I can now postpone or complete a reminder without ever having to enter the app. What’s more, the options for postponing are completely customizable, so I can choose to be reminded in a few minutes, hours, or even days. I want to marry this feature (just a little bit).

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Another powerful feature in Due is timers, which can now be paused and silenced from notifications, or within the app. I’ve set multiple timers within the app, and they’re handy to have synced across all of my devices. Timers can be named, and you can have several timers running concurrently, if you’ve got some sort of complex multi-dish dinner that you need to execute perfectly.

I normally get really nervous about duplicated functionality, but Due is a necessity that lives alongside my favourite task manager, 2Do. I’ll put work tasks and goals into my task manager, but essentials like rent, bills, and passport expiration dates go into Due. It’s one of the few apps on my home screen that has earned a great deal of trust over the past few years, and I’m really impressed with how version 2.0 was executed.

The main update was free for me because I owned a previous version of Due, but I gladly paid $3 for the extra features like Dropbox sync and pausable reminders. I think of Due as an easy recommendation for any user from any walk of life. If you don’t own the app yet, the entrance fee to this party is just $5.


Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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