Fans of popular task management app Wunderlist will be happy to learn that the next major version is slated for a release later this year. 6Wunderkinder, the company that makes Wunderlist, has announced that Wunderlist 2 is nearing the beta stage, and the beloved task manager will be rewritten from the ground up as a native application for each platform, including OS X and iOS.
The unfortunate news is that 6Wunderkinder has also decided to can Wunderkit, its collaborative project management tool. Wunderkit will not be receiving any more updates, and Wunderlist will become the main focus for 6Wunderkinder moving forward.
6Wunderkinder explains the success of Wunderlist:
We started with the mission to create a product that would reinvent project management. We called it Wunderkit. We knew upfront that it would take us a long time to build the product, so we decided to start with a little appetizer to show everyone what we were capable of. That appetizer is the Wunderlist you know and love today. We launched it in November 2010 on Mac and Windows and it was popular, surprisingly popular, right from the very beginning. We then rolled it out to iPhone, iPad, Web, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone, which increased our users even further. It started as a side project, but a really successful one.
Wunderkit was supposed to be the main focus all along, but the app’s adoption and user satisfaction rates weren’t satisfactory enough in light of Wunderlist’s success:
All the while we were experiencing the success of Wunderlist, we were working on Wunderkit behind the scenes. The goal was to create a new way to manage your work and personal lives, yet more comprehensively. We wanted to completely merge private and business projects, allowing you to organize your tasks, add notes, create projects, work collaboratively, comment, plus a few more things. In theory pretty straightforward… Yet, in execution it wasn’t.
Wunderkit launched on the iPhone and Mac back in February, and 400,000 users have signed up since then. “We discovered bugs, scaling challenges and usability issues, which lead us to get frustrated with our own product,” notes 6Wunderkinder. That caused the app to be re-imagined behind the scenes. The concept designs went on for months, and then 6Wunderkinder finally realized that Wunderkit was simply a dead end:
It became increasingly clear that we could no longer focus on both products. We needed to say goodbye to one product or risk both, not really a situation we thought we would be faced with when we started on this journey. We set out to merge personal and business productivity with Wunderkit, yet along the way it got too complex for our users and what we didn’t realize is Wunderlist was doing exactly that and seamlessly. Of course it seems obvious now as our users were with Wunderlist right from the very beginning, but it took us months of analyzing, reworking and heartache to come to this conclusion.
I know a group of creatives who use Wunderkit daily to manage and assign tasks, and they’ve loved using the software. It’s a shame that something with so much potential won’t be further developed. If you use Wunderkit now, it’s time to look for another project management tool.
The good news is that Wunderlist 2 is on its way, and it will be rewritten as a native app on all platforms — a change I’ve personally been wishing would happen for a long time. Wunderlist will also use a totally new cloud-based backend for syncing tasks. Other features and a specific ETA have not yet been announced.
6Wunderkinder CEO Christian Reber explains the future of Wunderlist in another post on his personal blog:
Wunderlist 1 was mostly based on a technology called Titanium. Titanium is a great cross-platform technology to build apps for mobile and desktop. We were one of the world’s first companies who released a full product with it and it was the best decision we could have made for Wunderlist. Now though, we’ve reached it’s limit. Recently we, along with our users have experienced several issues with the current version of Titanium that we simply can’t fix on our side. So we decided to rebuild Wunderlist for all major platforms (Web, iOS, Android Mac & Windows). Everyone who ever built an app for just one platform will know what a crazy amount of work it actually is. The product itself has also grown up, we’ve worked a lot on important things – like simplicity, usability and most importantly reliability. But we’ll show you more in a couple weeks!