I’ve always had a lot of love for Things for iOS, ever since I began using it on my iPhone 3G. But lately I’ve felt the iOS version has been lacking a few key features, and struggling to compete with rival solutions. Today, however, Things has received a massive update packed full of new features, including a fresh new look, and Things Cloud syncing. But does it do enough?
As you’d expect, Things version 2.0 is completely free if you already own a previous version of Things for Mac or iOS. When you first open it up, you’ll notice certain user interface elements have been given a bit of a refresh. The app doesn’t look hugely different to its predecessor, but it is a nice change — especially if you’re using a Retina MacBook Pro.
You can now use Things Cloud to wirelessly sync your to-do lists between your Mac and iOS devices. Simply turn it on in the Settings menu and setup a Things Cloud account, which you can then use to activate your other devices. This means you no longer need to have Things open on all of your devices at the same time to sync your lists.
The new Daily Review feature “helps you stay on top of your day” by seeing all of the tasks, projects, and to-dos that are vying for your attention at a glance. You can pick tasks you’d like to complete today, and postpone the ones you won’t have time for.
The new Date Picker makes it super simple to select due dates for your tasks. Simply scroll down through the continuous calendar stream, month-by-month, until you find the date you want. This is much nice and more intuitive than Apple’s traditional scroll wheel approach in my opinion.
Other new features include:
• A refreshing new look. Some great visual refinements make working with your to-dos a pleasure.
• Cancel To-Dos. If you decide not to complete a to-do, tap and hold its checkbox.
• Log Immediately. To-dos can now be moved to the Logbook automatically as soon as you complete them.
• Projects in Today. Add whole projects to Today instead of just single to-dos.
• First Day of the Week. Choose the first day of your week independently of your device’s default setting.
• Calendar Weeks. If you rely on numbered calendar weeks, just rotate the new date picker to landscape orientation.
• Accessibility. Much improved accessibility when using VoiceOver.
• New Engine. A re-engineered core for a blazingly fast Things Cloud performance.
Furthermore, Things for Mac gets support for OS X Mountain Lion, a fullscreen mode, Reminders integration, and support for Sandboxing.
There’s a lot to enjoy in Things 2.0, then, but don’t expect it to turn into the comprehensive task manager you were hoping for. There’s still a lot of key features missing — especially in the iOS app.
Repeating tasks, for example, are a must-have for any task management app, but they’re not supported in Things for iOS. Instead, you have to create them in Things for Mac ($49.99) and sync them to your iOS devices. What’s more, when you give a task a due date, you can’t even specify a time — so all of your alerts go off at the same time each day.
CORRECTION: The guys at CulturedCode have pointed out that Things for iOS does indeed support repeating tasks, and that you can access them using the arrow button (pictured below) within the Scheduled section. I have no idea how I didn’t know this until now.
For an app that costs $9.99 on iPhone, $19.99 on iPad, and $49.99 on Mac, Things still has a lot of catching up to do. Spend five minutes in the App Store and you’ll find far better task management apps — with more features — for less than half the price. And they’ll probably be universal on iOS, too.
While Things 2.0 will be a welcome update to any Things user, it’s also a big disappointment.