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Review: Things for iPad

July 2, 2010


Are you busy?  On the go?  Has your iPad now become the new center of your life planning universe?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you are looking for a gorgeous task and to-do manager, then you might want to consider Things for iPad.  Offered by developer Cultured Code, maker of Things for iPhone and Mac, you can now get the popular application for your iPad.  Will it help you organize you life?  I'll give you my take and then let you decide.

The Features

Quite simply, Things for iPad is a beautifully executed task manager application with a myriad of powerful features.  It allows the user to set up to do lists, projects, tasks and customize them to their personal taste with tags, prioritization, and a number of other user choices.  A smart  "Today" list and a calendar feature allow you to effectively manage your day.  Things allows for simple tracking or lets the user setup multitask project folders for more complex projects.  In addition, it works stand alone or in conjunction with a Mac version.  If you buy or own the Mac version, you'll be able to sync between to two allowing for better management of all the... well... things you need to do.

The Breakdown

The Good Things  looks awesome on the iPad's large HD screen.  It has a very easy user interface and after practicing with it for a very short period of time becomes quite intuitive.  It is also quite customizable allowing you a large amount of freedom to setup your tasks and to-dos as you see fit.  Of course the program allows for rotating the screen allowing for various vie is rotatable allowing for various views and split screens. Things allows you multiple ways to setup and see your information.  Touch the "Lists" button and you can view your items multiple ways.  There is an Inbox that allows you to setup tasks that you aren't sure where you want to put them.  There is a Today view, a Next view, a Scheduled view.  There is also the ability to setup task or to do in each of the aforementioned views.  In addition, there is also a folder called Someday.  This is where you put things you'd like to do, but that aren't as urgent or time sensitive as other tasks you might have.  A wish list of sorts for those things you'd like to get to someday. The Project option allows you to setup more complex tasks that consist of multiple "things" that need to get done.  Each project is then put into a folder where each individual task , or to-dos, can be managed.  A nice feature for those items with large or complex management requirements. Things for iPad can be used stand alone or in conjunction with the purchased Mac version offered by Cultured Code (no PC version available).  Having both both programs will allow you to sync data between the iPad and your Mac allowing for better integration and tracking of your tasks and to-dos. Lastly, a nice feature is the Logbook feature.  It is a place where completed to-dos are archived at the end of the day.  That way you have the ability to go back and review tasks and to-dos should you need to remind yourself of what you've accomplished. The Bad At $19.99, Things for iPad is far from cheap.  In fact, it is downright expensive as far as applications are concerned.  There are a lot of offerings out there that work very well for one tenth the cost so you'll have to decide what's best for you and what app you think is worth your hard earned money. As was mentioned, the program can be used stand alone or in conjunction with their Mac version.  However, to do so requires you to buy the $49.95 version of that program as well.  There is also an iPhone version that cost $9.99 if you want to have Things on all of your Apple devices.  If you already own the Mac version, there is no discount for buying Things for iPad  (or the iPhone app for that matter).  Nor will you get a discount on the Mac version if you own the iPad version.  You want all three, you pay for all three.  If you haven't been keeping track, that's almost $80 George Washington's.  That is a pretty steep hill to climb for a task manager application in this reviewer's opinion. Although there is a calendar function, it does not allow you select the time of day.  This could be a problem if you have something that you want to setup that is not only date specific, but time specific.  That project that is due to  your boss by 3:00 p.m. on July 27th, can only be entered as July 27th.  In other words, you are left to manage or remember the time of the day somehow else.  This is big omission for a task manager where "what time" is often as important as "what day". Currently, Things does not sync with a PC, nor is a version offered.  So if you're a PC, your out of luck if you were hoping to keep track of your tasks on both devices.  You also cannot sync with the iPhone version of the program which seems odd given the steep price tags for each version of the program.  Another concern is that there is no way to backup Things on the iPad.  You could spend hours, days, months creating tasks that could disappear with one wrong move.  Delete the app accidentally and your stuff is GONE especially if you use the program stand alone. Lastly, there is no search function.  You can't type in a title, name, key word, or date to find specific items.  To many that may sound trivial.  However, if you happen to be the user that has tens, hundreds, or thousands of things in Things, you may struggle to find exactly what you are looking for from time to time.  Hopefully this is something the developer may consider in the future.

The Verdict

Things for iPad works well and is a great looking application task manager.  Although there are a number of issues, it delivers a very easy and good user experience on the iPad.  However, a major drawback to this program is the cost.  It is hard to justify the $19.99 price tag.  Given the number of other app options out there that accomplish the same thing for considerably less money, I am hard pressed to understand why one should pay this much.  I know developers deserve to make money.  I agree developers need to make money.  However,  I have used other programs costing a couple of bucks that allow me to do most of the same stuff and look remarkably good doing it to boot. So where does that leave us?  In my opinion, it is just too expensive an application for what it does.  Add in the fact that the iPad version doesn't sync with the iPhone version, there is currently no PC offering, and that you pay full price across the board for all three programs from Cultured Code, and it makes it a tough app to recommend no matter how good it looks keeping track of your things.

Mentioned apps

Things for iPad
Things for iPad
Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG

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