For a long time Things was my favorite task management app – on the iPhone, the Mac, and then the iPad. It has a beautiful and basic UI that makes it tremendously easy, with enough clever features to meet my needs as well.
I used Things every day on iPad, iPhone, and Mac – so effective, easy sync was a crucial issue. And it became an increasingly frustrating issue – as there was no cloud sync, only WiFi sync when iPad (or iPhone) and Mac were on the same WiFi network, and even that sync would very frequently fail. The developers of Things have been promising a cloud sync solution since back in 2010, but their progress has been ridiculously slow – which I griped about numerous times last year. Eventually I gave up on Things and switched to OmniFocus on the iPad, iPhone, and Mac – and I’ve been very happy with the switch.
There are still some things I miss about Things though, and I’ve kept the app installed on my MacBook Pro and iPad 2. My friend and colleague Thomas Wong has stuck with Things and has been involved in their Things Cloud Beta, which has now (finally) extended to iOS devices. He’s been telling me recently that the cloud sync works quite well in the beta. Then this morning I received a beta invite for the Things Cloud Beta for iOS. I’ve now installed the Mac and iOS beta apps and setup and turned on cloud sync.
My plan for now is to try out Things Cloud Beta with just a small set of non-essential tasks. If it looks like it really does work well, I’ll add more tasks to it and sort of run concurrently with OmniFocus a bit, just to see what I think.
Even if I don’t ever end up going back to Things, I’m glad to see there’s finally some solid progress on their Cloud Sync solution.
Cultured Code announced at the beginning of this week that they’re finally extending their cloud sync beta to iOS devices ‘to a core group of testers’.
As before, we’ll increase the testing pool gradually as we go.
Cloud sync is a feature that’s been available in other iOS task management apps for ages now. Cultured Code have blogged in the past about how challenging it is to get this sort of sync right, but by now the speed of their beta progress makes Google’s approach to betas seem blazingly fast.
Their latest blog post announcing the beta ‘progress’ doesn’t mention a month / year / decade when the feature might actually be released to Things users.
As much as I used to love Things, waiting on this feature became ridiculous to me and I switched to OmniFocus for iPad back in June. I couldn’t be happier with the switch.
Cultured Code published a post at their Things Blog yesterday, with their latest update on the status of cloud sync for the Things task management app. The big piece of good news in their update is that they will not be charging for the cloud sync feature / service when it is eventually available.
It turns out that the hard work of making our solution scalable has paid off – our sync service has gracefully handled this increasing traffic – and with usage data on hand from this large group, we can also now confirm that there will be no need to charge for the service. Our cloud sync service will be free for all users of Things.
The bad news is that their beta program seems to be continuing at the same leisurely pace that has been the trademark of Cultured Code’s approach all along. The beta program started in early May but included only Macs, no iOS devices. Yesterday’s post states that iOS testing will begin with a small group of testers, on August 22. So it sounds like they are still months away from a public release. Bearing in mind that several rival apps have offered cloud sync for a long while now, the lack of any sense of urgency on this subject from Cultured Code continues to surprise me. This is all too little and too late for me; I’ve recently switched to OmniFocus and I’m very happy with the change.
For more details, and to hear what Cultured Code think about iOS 5 and iCloud and why their own solution is still the right one, see their full article here: http://culturedcode.com/things/blog/2011/07/cloud-sync-beta.html
OmniFocus for iPad – the excellent task management app from Omni Group – has had a minor update this past weekend, to Version 1.3.1.
Here’s the brief details on the update:
OmniFocus for iPad v1.3.1 is a maintenance release which includes fixes and improvements to Forecast mode and corrects a sync setup problem for some customers using the Omni Sync Server.
I actually had some troubles with sync setup to the Omni server and ended up using MobileMe sync instead – so I might try out the sync with the Omni servers again at some point.
I recently switched over to OmniFocus for all my task management – on the iPad, the Mac, and the iPhone, and two weeks after making the change I couldn’t be happier. Or more productive. My task list each day is shorter and I really have sharpened my focus on what needs doing each day. I’m using projects, folders, and finding Perspectives and the Inbox incredibly useful.
Here’s an App Store link for OmniFocus for iPad; it’s priced at $39.99.
It looks like we may see another good option for task management on the iPad in a couple months, as Franklin Covey, of the famed Franklin Covey planning system, may be releasing an iPad app in September.
Reader Chris was kind enough to leave us a comment on a post of ours on iPad use cases, and even provided the screenshot shown above. Here’s his comment:
I am a certified Franklin Covey facilitator in many of the great courses Covey offers and too love the paper planning system. One requirement of any certified facilitator to maintain certification is to attend a yearly Facilitator Enhancement Day (FED). I attended a FED in May 2011 and they introduced us to a new productivity solution that they plan on launching in September 2011. In the participant manual we received there is a screenshot of an iPad app showing a new productivity solution.
This is very good news for the many fans of the Franklin Covey system. I’ve recently switched to OmniFocus for task management on the iPad and I’m very happy with it, but I always like seeing more good choices for this type of productivity app.