Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by Emily Boyd
To say that we were excited when Apple made it possible to start developing native apps earlier this year would be a massive understatement (we're big iPhone fans!). There was no question that we'd be developing an app for the iPhone and iPod touch… the only question was, "how big?" :)
Building an app that simply gave access to your RTM tasks online wasn't enough (after all, the web-based iPhone version does that already :) The app needed to give you the power of all of RTM's functionality in your pocket (Smart Lists, tagging, search, etc), take advantage of the device's features (like knowing your location), and of course the whole thing needed to work offline too (it's no good carrying RTM around with you if you can't manage your tasks as soon as you're out of phone or Wi-Fi range!).
We set about re-creating pretty much all of RTM on the iPhone, but that was a big (ahem) task! We recruited a new team member to help us (we didn't mention it at the time, but Ab's a Mac developer… we're sneaky like that). You know you've been staring at your iPhone just a tad too long when you reach out to tap an icon on your iMac screen, so we're happy to announce that we're finally done!
Features and more features
Stay in sync.
Everything that you create in the app on your iPhone or iPod touch syncs back to RTM (and likewise everything from RTM syncs to your iPhone). That's tasks, notes, lists, Smart Lists, tags, locations… the whole lot! You can even use the entire app offline without an Internet connection, then sync up later when you're back online — perfect for subway rides. Auto sync makes it easy to stay up-to-date.
See things your way.
Organize efficiently by list, Smart List, tag, or location and prioritize your tasks. Not sure what's next? See at a glance how many tasks are due today, tomorrow, and this week. Don't like the ordering? Choose to sort by priority, due date, or task name for each list.
If you have enough time left over after organizing your tasks to actually do them, you can review completed ones with a fast switch between incomplete and complete tasks.
Manage your tasks.
The most important bit, right? Add and edit tasks with a few taps. All the fields you've come to know and love are supported (task name, list, priority, due date/time, repeat, time estimate, tags, location, and URL) and you can even customize the fields shown. So if you're big on tagging, you can set that field to always display when adding tasks.
There's flexible options for setting due dates and times, too; choose from days in the upcoming week, a full date/time picker, or enter your own in any of the supported formats.
Get stuff done.
Swipe a task in your list to complete it, and get that sweet feeling of accomplishment every time. Need to complete or postpone multiple tasks? Just tap 'Edit' to perform actions on several tasks at once. And because two ways of doing something is never enough, you can also complete, postpone, or delete while editing a single task.
Add tasks the Smart way.
Save time with add by context: tasks added to your today list will be due today, while tasks added to Smart Lists inherit their criteria. If your Smart List happens to show all your high priority tasks that are due today and located at the office, any tasks added to this Smart List will automatically inherit all these properties.
Need to store additional info about a task? Write a note for quick reference. You can manage your existing notes too, and easily edit or delete them.
Email addresses and links in your notes conveniently auto-link to Mail and Safari. Phone numbers in notes also auto-link for handy one-touch calling (iPhone only feature). When your call is finished, RTM will re-open where you left off so you can keep on managing those tasks.
See tasks located nearby.
Ever since we launched the Locations feature in our web app back in September 2006, we've been hoping for an opportunity to do this next feature. With the iPhone and iPod touch being able to find your location, we thought it would be pretty awesome if we could show you tasks located nearby.
So that's exactly what the Nearby feature does! See your nearby tasks due today, this week, or any time, and plan the best way to get things done.
Manage your locations.
Queueing at the supermarket? Take the chance to add your current location to the app. You can also add by address, and rename and delete locations. Remember that if you locate your tasks in the app (e.g., "pick up the milk" at the supermarket), you can view them on a map in the web app.
Your own personal tasks search engine.
Not only can you search for tasks by name, you can use any of the advanced search operators supported in the web app for more powerful searching. Want to find your high priority tasks due in the upcoming week and tagged with 'bananas'? No problem! Save your favourite searches as Smart Lists for quick access. (For anyone new to this feature, Smart Lists are very handy; they're similar to Smart Playlists in iTunes, but allow you to easily see tasks that match your desired criteria, rather than music!)
Thanks to the Nearby feature, the app also gets a special new search operator. Use "locatedWithin" in a search or Smart List to include tasks within a particular distance of your current location. For instance, you could find high priority tasks located within a mile (or kilometre, if you're metrically inclined).
Customize, then customize some more.
Find yourself doing a lot of searching, or always checking what's nearby? Head over to the More screen and configure the icons for quick access to your fave features. You'll find even more options on the Settings screen.
The little touches.
The app remembers which screen you're accessing, so if you close the app, it will handily re-open at the same place. Want to type with a larger keyboard? Try landscape mode (just flip your phone to see it in action!).
Available in every language the iPhone supports.
We're launching the app today in English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, and Polish (whew!) — thanks to all the translators who helped to make this possible!
A big thanks to the RTM users in the Pro Tester Program who helped us to test the app, giving us lots of feedback and reporting bugs. (Unfortunately we could only invite 100 testers, as there's a limit on the number of devices that can be authorized for iPhone testing, but would have loved to invite many more!)
Ready to use RTM on your iPhone or iPod touch?
Got an iPhone or iPod touch? Sweet! Here's the link you'll need to launch iTunes and take you to the app page:
Want to learn more, or have any questions about the app? Please check out our Remember The Milk for iPhone and iPod touch mini-site. We hope you like the app! :)
Posted in: New Features & Updates