Bitch and you shall receive, that’s how the saying goes right? Just yesterday I bitched again about the lack of OTA sync in the (otherwise excellent) Things task manager app, and last night the folks at Cultured Code (developers of Things) announced on their blog that OTA sync will begin testing in May.
Here are some of the major points outlined in their blog post:
— Things on iOS and Mac will need to be updated to enable communication with the cloud server.
This software upgrade will come at no charge, and will also sport a revamped database layer that is not only faster, but specifically optimized for cloud sync usage.
— Things sync will not be automatic it sounds like, but it will sync ‘frequently’ enough that ‘there should hardly be any reason’ for doing any manual syncs.
Whenever you open Things, switch applications, or wake your computer from sleep, Things will check back with the server to see if there are any updates to pull.
— Sync will be secure and encrypted:
Things will always connect to the server using an encrypted connection. Not only during log-in, as many web sites do, but for every connection. This means that your to-dos will never be sent in the clear.
— The new sync service may not be free:
Without large scale tests, it is not realistic to estimate how much resources our users will consume in the cloud. In particular, the frequency of interactions between users’ databases and the central service. Therefore we will be doing extensive scalability testing before we make an announcement regarding possible costs for the service.
Here’s hoping that Cultured Code does find a way to make this free. Either that, or adjust their app pricing. I would not expect to pay $19.99 for an iPad app, $9.99 for the iPhone app, $49.99 for the Mac version (as I have done) and then also be charged for sync.
— At this point, integration of cloud sync in the Mac version of Things is ahead of the iOS versions, so the beta will initially be a Mac-to-Mac sync, and will be invite only.
Initially, the cloud sync beta will be invite only. Everybody can subscribe, but we will activate accounts on a first come, first served basis as we gradually scale up the beta.
You can already sign up to get on the beta testing list, here:
I’m happy to finally see some concrete dates, even if just for initial beta testing, for Things OTA sync. I hope progress will be rapid once the beta is opened up. I also hope that Cultured Code will decide not to charge for this service, or to lower app costs if they do. Here’s another way of summing up my feelings on this announcement: last night I installed Taska for iPad, a promising looking tasks app that syncs with the online Toodledo service; I will not be deleting it because of Cultured Code’s announcement.