Things – the excellent task manager app for iOS – got another update last week, to version 1.7.2. The update added the ability to create repeating tasks on the iPad or iPhone, and not much else.
Here’s the key thing this latest update did not add – over-the-air (OTA) sync – which continues to be the one huge missing feature in an otherwise stellar app. In my view, this is a long overdue feature by now. Things has been in the iOS App Store since 2008. The iPad version of the app has been around since April of 2010. The iPad and Mac versions of Things are priced at relatively premium levels, at $19.99 and $49.99 respectively. Many other top productivity apps have offered OTA sync for a long while now, and many have recently added cloud sync via Dropbox and similar cloud services.
It is way past time for Things to offer OTA sync. Right now, as soon as you step away from your local WiFi network, Things sync ceases to work. So if you’re out and about and remember a critical task you need to jot down, Things is pretty much no use to you. Worse still, Things’ WiFi sync is getting worse and worse. I find more and more often lately it gets stuck and fails to complete even when my iPad and MacBook Pro are within 15 feet of each other on the same WiFi network.
Things has been my favorite and everyday tasks app – on the Mac and iOS devices – for years now, and I hate thinking of switching away from it. But I am fed up with waiting on OTA sync and I now look carefully and longingly at every new tasks app I see hit the App Store. I am also seriously looking at other existing apps for this purpose.
Of course I’m just one user – but it seems to me that if someone who has been a huge fan of the app is feeling ready to switch away from it, that’s not a good omen.
Talk about a stupid, rogue error message. The one above is a sync error in the Things task management app. It says: “Abort. Things Mac was disconnected unexpectedly.”.
Oh really? Things Mac – at the exact time of this error – was running quite happily on my MacBook Pro – and my MBP was sitting about one foot away from the iPad that was trying to sync with it over my local WiFi network. So what provoked this error? I switched away from Things via command-tab, and had another app in the foreground.
Just recently I’m seeing a number of occasions where Things sync somehow gets its knickers in a twist, despite all being good on my local network – occasions where sync seems to freeze, saying it is awaiting the iPad when the iPad is alive and kicking and doing its best to sync.
That’s the screen shown on the Status Board page at Cultured Code’s site. Cultured Code are the makers of the superb Things task management app for iPad, iPhone, and Macs.
The good news here is that ‘Cloud Sync’ – over the air sync for Things – is right at the top of the list, noted as being at ‘Full Speed’ status, and everything below it is either already done or on hold. So it looks like cloud sync has the full focus of development efforts for the app now. Probably wishful thinking, but maybe we’ll see it in time to include in an iOS 4.2 update over the next couple weeks.
This is easily my biggest wish list item for the Things app – so it can’t come soon enough.
Thanks to Thomas at iSource for the heads-up on this.
OmniFocus – a powerful and popular task management app on the Mac and the iPhone – has now got an iPad version – OmniFocus for iPad. Here’s a little slice of its App Store description:
OmniFocus for iPad combines the in-depth task management functionality of a desktop app with the advanced mobile experience of the iPad. With flexible viewing options, location-aware task lists, and on-the-fly task entry with voice notes and image attachments, OmniFocus for iPad is the trusted system you need for managing everything in your busy life.
Use OmniFocus for iPad on its own, or sync with OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iPhone. New to OmniFocus for iPad are task forecasting views, a streamlined built-in review mode, and a simplified Map feature for creating and viewing tasks based on current or assigned locations.