Yosemite and Things 2.5

OS X Yosemite is here, and with it, an awesome update to Things for Mac—including an all-new Today Widget, Handoff support, and an “Add to Things” extension. We’ve also released an iPhone update, which adds support for Handoff with your Mac.

Things 2.5 on Mac OS X Yosemite

Refreshed UI

Things for Mac receives a fresh coat of paint today; you’ll notice subtle visual refinements throughout the app—including new icons for the sidebar and preferences, new designs for the toolbar and tag filter bar, and tweaked windows for quick entry and tag management.

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Old

It looks perfect on OS X Yosemite—but it’s the great new features that really make today’s update shine. Let’s have a look at what’s new.

Today Widget for Mac

Things’ unique Today list—which shows you all of your tasks for the day—is now built directly into the OS X Notification Center. With a quick two-finger swipe on the trackpad, you can reveal your to-dos while working in any other app, and mark them complete as you go:

Things’ Today Widget

This is a major boost for productivity; you don’t have to switch back to Things any more to see what’s next, your to-dos are always just a swipe away. And because they’re listed alongside your calendar events, it’s the perfect place to get an overview of your day.

Handoff for Mac & iPhone

By utilizing Yosemite’s new Handoff technology, Things now allows you to switch context between devices seamlessly. When you’re reviewing a project on your Mac, for example, and need to head off to a meeting with your iPhone, just swipe up Things’ icon from the lockscreen and you’ll be taken directly into the same project.

Handoff

This is a great time-saving shortcut that turns Things into a single, unified experience across your devices.

“Add to Things” Extension for Mac

Things for Mac has a great feature called Quick Entry, which allows you to send to-dos into Things while working in other apps. Today’s update makes it even better by adding a new extension that integrates it directly into Yosemite’s share sheet:

Share Sheet

This new integration means you can do things that were previously impossible with Quick Entry. Integration with Maps is a great example: if you need to run an errand at a particular address, you can look it up on your Mac, Send to Things, and save the location in your to-do.

Add to Things

When you’re out later, running errands with your iPhone, you’ll know exactly where to go.

There are already many uses for this new extension, but it will become even more useful in the coming weeks as other apps begin to add standard sharing in Yosemite. We look forward to seeing what’s possible!


Things 2.5 for Mac and Things 2.5.2 for iPhone are available for download now. We hope you enjoy them!

Our plan next is to update Things for iPad with all the great features that have come to iPhone in the last few weeks, and we’re also working on a Today Widget for both iPhone and iPad. We’ll let you know as soon as those updates are ready.

Bigger Things for iPhone

Things 2.5.1 has just been released for iPhone, with support for larger displays on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

We’ve optimized Things so that it looks great on the new iPhones and takes advantage of the extra space. Here are the three sizes for comparison:

We’ve also added a new feature that allows you to share to-dos out to other apps; you can send a single to-do, or an entire project. Just tap the share button inside of an item.

Things 2.5.1 for iPhone also includes numerous bug fixes and stability improvements for iOS 8, and is available for download now.

As a reminder, we’re also working on our Today Widget, an update for iPad, and some great improvements for the upcoming release of OS X Yosemite—all of which are coming along nicely.

Things 2.5 for iPhone

We’ve just released Things 2.5 for iPhone, bringing full compatibility with iOS 8. It includes a fresh new design, a new app icon, and a great new “Add to Things” extension.

First we want to walk you through the changes in Things 2.5. Then we’ll share our plan for the months ahead, including some news about Things 3.

A Quick Tour of Things 2.5

When you install the update, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful new app icon.

When you open it up, you’ll see an interface that feels familiar, yet looks quite different. We’ve removed superfluous ornamental elements, adjusted the fonts, and updated almost all icons and graphics. Here’s what it looks like:

Things now also supports the swipe-back gesture for easier navigation, as well as the new keyboard. (Finally!)

We’ve also built in support for a feature Apple calls background refresh. Things will now periodically launch in the background and make sure your to-dos are up to date; i.e., it will generate your repeating tasks, move scheduled and due items into Today, update with Things Cloud, and update the app’s badge on your homescreen.

Things 2.5 also brings full 64-bit compatibility for the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus.

The New “Add to Things” Extension

One of the features our users absolutely love in the Mac version of Things is Quick Entry with Autofill. Say you’re browsing the web and you stumble across some information you want to act on later. You can simply select the relevant text, invoke a keyboard shortcut, and a new to-do is saved to your inbox with that information—all without ever leaving Safari.

With iOS 8, the very same thing is now also possible on iPhone. You can see it in action here:

Things Action Extension

The new “Add to Things” extension allows you to send to-dos to Things from other apps.

Note that this is not limited to Safari. Other Apple apps that already work great with this feature are Notes, Maps, Contacts, Podcasts, and the various stores (App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, etc.).

As third-party developers start to adopt iOS 8, the list of apps that can “Add to Things” will grow, and we’re very excited about the new workflows this will enable.

Things 2.5 for iPhone is available for download today.


Our Plan for the Months Ahead

Today’s release is a slight change of plans. Things 3 is still taking some time to finish and we want to give it the time it needs, but we also want you to have a great app you can use today — especially with the great new features iOS 8 enables.

Most importantly, Things 2.5 for iPhone finally introduces a visual refresh which was long overdue (our original plan was to ship a new UI with Things 3). We’re sorry to have kept you waiting.

We have a new development plan we’d like to share with you. Here’s what to expect in the coming months:

Bug fixes for Things 2.5
We’ll be keeping our eye out for any bugs that might arise, and ship fixes as they become available.

Today Widget
Yes, this is another great iOS 8 feature that seems like it’s made just for Things: the ability to see your Today list right inside Notification Center. Our implementation is coming along nicely and we’re happy to show you a sneak peek right now. Beta testing of this feature will start very soon and we’ll blog again when it’s ready.

iPad Version
We’re currently integrating all the enhancements of Things 2.5 into the iPad version as well, so expect some updates in the coming weeks that include the “Add to Things” extension, Today Widget, background fetch, and 64-bit support. Visually, it won’t be such a big change as the iPhone version, but it will receive some polish. In the meantime, Things for iPad has already received a 2.3 update to ensure it continues running smoothly on iOS 8.

Mac Version
We’ll also polish Things for Mac for the upcoming release of OS X Yosemite. Yosemite is currently rumored to be shipping in late October, so expect a Things Mac update and blog post next month.

Things 3 Private Beta for Mac
Even though our development plan for Things 3 has been pushed back by the recent changes, we’re expecting to start a private Mac beta of Things 3 with our core group of testers at the end of November. The iOS versions will join when they’re ready, and we’ll gradually expand our tester pool as the beta progresses. We’ll have more info on this once the beta starts.


We hope you’ll like the fresh UI and new features that have shipped today in Things 2.5 for iPhone. As usual, you can visit our Status Board to stay up to date on our latest developments.

The Getting Started Guide

Every day, our support team talks to people from all over the world in both English and German. You may have had a conversation with me, Julia, or Mick via email or on Twitter. (Hi, and guten Tag!)

We seriously love helping out however we can. Day in and day out, we answer your general questions, lend a hand with your technical problems, and talk to you about your ideas. It’s always exciting to hear from you – to find out what you’re doing with Things, and, more importantly, to learn about what we can do better.

Looking back over the many discussions we’ve had, we’ve noticed that one question comes up again and again: “How do I get the most out of Things?” So while the rest of the team works on Things 3, the three of us have been reviewing your feedback and thinking about how we can make your experience with Things better.

How do you get the most out of Things? The team has a vision for the apps, but we also understand that everyone’s needs are unique. With that in mind, we want to start collecting and sharing some of the tips that have resulted in countless “ah-ha!” moments across the tens of thousands of emails and tweets we’ve exchanged with you over the years.

First off, we set our sights on writing a guide to help you master the basics. Our goal was to teach you the apps’ essentials, together with some of the pointers that have really helped others to stay productive with Things. The result, Getting Started with Things, is now available. If you’re new to Things, this guide contains everything you need to hit the ground running. If you’re a long-time user, we think you might still learn a thing or two.

Read the Guide

There’s a lot more we want to tell you about using Things to its full potential, but we wanted to get these fundamental tips into your hands now. Julia, Mick, and I are continuing to work on more material behind the scenes. As always, we’d love to hear what you think, so drop us a line with your thoughts on Getting Started with Things – or just to say hello!

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!