A Million Things

We are delighted to announce that we’ve reached an incredible milestone today—someone has just bought the millionth copy of Things!* We have some great gifts to celebrate the occasion, and we’ve got some news to share about Things’ future.

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A Million Thank-Yous

First and foremost we want to thank every one of you. Because it is you who have made all of this possible. When we first set out to build Things, we were making a tool that we would love to use, uncertain if it could become a viable long-term business. After all, few people seemed to take “to-do list” apps seriously at the time. Fast forward to today, Things is available on the Mac, iPhone and iPad, and we’re able to sustain a team of 11 people who care deeply about making beautiful software. We love productivity, and being able to work together every day on a project we care about is an incredible privilege for us—and it’s only possible because of you.

But there is a deeper reason we want to thank all of you and that is for the incredible feedback you’ve sent us over the years. Your encouragement and passion for productivity has inspired us from the beginning. It is deeply humbling and hugely motivating to see that so many people are more productive each day because of Things.

This is the number one reason that keeps us going. We have the highest respect for our users, and in everything we do, we want to make the right decisions in that light.

It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, however. Many of you will remember the struggles we had building our cloud sync solution. We had to embark on two different approaches, and learn the hard way how not to do it, before finally settling on what would become Things Cloud. If we’d known at the beginning how long it was going to take we might have been deterred. But even today, many apps are still struggling to deliver a stable and fast sync, and even Apple has found this to be a hard problem. What had once been Things’ achilles heel is now one of its most stellar features: when it comes to sync, Things has got you covered like nobody else. Again, our thanks go to you—because you stuck with us during that time, and believed we would come through.

Celebrate With Us

Today marks an important milestone for Things and you’ve helped us get here. We want to celebrate by giving you a chance to win some new hardware—and since we make Things for the Mac, iPad and iPhone, what better gifts could there be? Up for grabs are one MacBook Pro, one iPad Air and one iPhone 5s. Additionally, we’re giving away 50 copies of Things for each platform. Update: All gifts have now been awarded and the contest is closed.

Participating is easy, here’s how:

  1. Retweet this.
  2. Follow @culturedcode so we can DM you if you win.

That’s it! We’ll randomly choose the winners on December 25th (Christmas Day) – make sure you retweet before then, and best of luck!

A Million Things Yet to Be Done

If you’ve read our September blog post, you’ll know that ever since shipping Things Cloud, we’ve been hard at work on what we’ve somewhat shyly implied is “the next iteration of Things”. Well, today we’d like to reveal what exactly this means:

Things 3

For a little over a year now, we’ve been working on Things 3, which will be available for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It introduces a fresh new visual style, a revised user interface, more structure for your lists, and an array of great new features that are designed to make you more productive. We’ve revisited many areas of the app that have been neglected in the past, and renovated much of our codebase. It’s the most ambitious update we’ve ever undertaken.

Now, we know that the question on everyone’s mind is when this will come. We had actually hoped to show you a preview before the end of the year, but we’re sorry to say that the apps are just not ready yet. While we understand the desire for a concrete time estimate, they are notoriously hard to get right. So instead, we’ll make good use of our status board and keep you updated on the progress of development, from now until Things 3 ships.

With respect to iOS 7 we were faced with a pretty straightforward decision back in June. Apple had just unveiled iOS 7, and we were knee-deep in the development of Things 3. The decision was to either continue development of Things 3 as planned, or to halt development, revive the old Things 2 code, and ship a half-hearted re-skin of our app. It’s clear now what we chose to do. This means that you’ll have to stick with the Things 2 design a bit longer, but it also means that Things 3 will ship much sooner than it would have otherwise.

We think you will love Things 3—we have all started using it internally, and we couldn’t be more excited. Please sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter so you’ll know once we’re ready. Until then, we hope you’ll keep being as productive with Things as you’ve always been.

Thanks again for all your support throughout the years! Happy holidays, and see you again in 2014!

Mavericks and Things

This morning we released Things for Mac 2.2.2 and everything’s running great on OS X Mavericks.

OS X Mavericks

Today’s release improves the stability of several features and brings full compatibility with the new operating system. In particular, it fixes some issues we were seeing with Quick Entry and Reminders & Siri.

As always, if you have any questions or encounter any issues, please let us know on Twitter or contact our support team – we’re always ready to help.

Things and iOS 7

The release of iOS 7 is upon us – the most exciting update since the original iPhone. What does this mean for Things?

We’ve been testing the current version of Things (2.2) over the past few months and it works great on iOS 7. Just update your devices to iOS 7 and you can continue using Things without missing a beat. The app looks and works just as it did before.

An elephant in a room.

But let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

iOS 7 looks, feels and functions quite differently. You can easily spot the graphical changes – its flatness, the absence of shadows, and its distinct icon style. But it’s the underlying design principles that make iOS 7 truly exciting – the focus on content, the clever use of animation, and the restraint on ornamentation. Above all, it challenges us to rethink how we interact with an app. So what about Things?

Shipping Things Cloud last year gave us tremendous freedom to shift our attention back to Things itself. It was time to start innovating again on its core features – reimagining how you interact with the app and how your content is presented to you. We also evaluated many of the feature requests we had received, and decided which ones would be a great fit. Then we started developing. When Apple unveiled iOS 7 three months ago, it only added fire to our plans and encouraged us to go even further.

We are incredibly excited about what we have in the pipeline. Things is going to feel right at home on iOS 7, and we can’t wait to show you more—a bit later this year.

We’re Hiring

We have lots of exciting work going on here at Cultured Code, and the time has come to expand our team.

iOS Developer, Mac Developer, iOS Intern, and Mac Intern

Learn More

Things 2.2

In the past months we’ve been working on three important projects that have culminated in today’s 2.2 release. Jokingly referred to around the office as “Snow Things”, this update includes no significant interface changes, but greatly improves some of Things’ core functionality.

Dates and Time Zones

When you go traveling, you shouldn’t have to think about time zones. Your phone automatically detects your location and sets the correct time zone for you. Apps can then use this information, adjust as necessary, and make sure that everything happens on the correct day.

Time Zones

Due to the way Things previously stored and processed dates, however, it was possible for a to-do to show up on the wrong day when you traveled to a different time zone. For example, an item that was due on the 17th could show up on the 18th instead. While this would only happen in certain situations, it was unacceptable – and something we just had to get right.

For this release we’ve been through and carefully adjusted all the date-related functionality in Things. It’s been a considerable amount of work, but these improvements – which affect scheduled dates, due dates, repeating tasks, local notifications, and the Daily Review – are a good and necessary foundation going forward.

After updating to 2.2, you’ll never have to worry about time zones again when you go traveling; Things will know where you are – or should we say, when you are.

Better Performance in Things for Mac

When we first developed Things, our dream was to make a tool that people would use to manage the many aspects of their day-to-day life. Now all the time we hear people say things like “My whole life is in here”, “I can’t imagine working without it”, and “Things is my brain”. It’s amazing to us how central Things has become in people’s lives, and many of you have thousands of to-dos in your library by now.

There’s been a downside to having such a large library, though: in some cases, our Mac app wasn’t efficient enough to handle the processing of so many to-dos. For example, it could be quite slow when deleting a large number of to-dos all at once, often leading to an encounter with the nefarious beach ball.

Wanted - For Slow Performance - Dead or Alive

We’ve identified the resource hogs and improved performance in key areas that were troublesome in the past. Below are some measurements we took before and after these improvements. Overall, the app now feels much more responsive, especially when you perform an action on multiple items at once:

Performance Improvements

(Even) Faster Things Cloud

Things Cloud is really fast in day-to-day operation, but there is one use case where we wanted to make it even faster: If you have a really large database, downloading it for the first time onto a new device (or a fresh install of Things) could take a considerable length of time. We’ve managed to improve this procedure significantly, and it’s now more than three times faster than it was before. This isn’t something you’ll do often, but it’s there when you need it – and makes moving to your next new device that much more seamless.

Faster Things Cloud

On top of these three enhancements, Things 2.2 includes more than 50 additional bug fixes and tweaks, and is available for download now on Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

If you have any questions or encounter any problems with this update, let us know on Twitter or contact our support team – we’re always ready to help.