We are often asked about our plans for the future, and we would indeed love to discuss our plans in great detail. But there are so many reasons why it is in fact not such a good idea to publish detailed roadmaps. Today, I still would like to share a bit about what we are working on, while leaving a few secrets in the dark. After all, everybody enjoys a little surprise every now and then, right? ;)
Things for Mac
Our next release, Things 1.2, is due in about one or two weeks. Version 1.2 will be almost entirely about improving various aspects of keyboard support. Without going into the details here, let me just mention that 1.2 not only involves introducing many more keyboard shortcuts, but it also improves tabbing behavior when creating new to-dos, adds improvements for the quick entry window, provides support for Spotlight, and includes plug-ins for other apps. You might ask: “Why did those Cultured guys all of a sudden deem keyboard support that important?” Well, you’ll see when we release 1.2 – this is one of the surprises mentioned above ;).
After version 1.2, it gets more interesting. The reason being that we will have more developer resources available to us! This means that we will be no longer doing one feature at a time. Instead, different development threads (or goals) will be followed simultaneously. Forthcoming articles will have more background on the extraordinary talent we were able to attract.
Here are our priorities for the next releases: Over-the-air sync, performance, bug fixes, easier collaboration, mixed projects, and better communication of how dates work. Let’s flesh this out in a little more detail…
Believe it or not, we have been working on over-the-air sync since the beginning of this year. In the meantime, our goal changed from “something that works” (check out our competition if you want to know what we mean by that) to “a really sweet solution”. The tough challenge here is to develop a highly performance-oriented solution that works for everybody. In particular, we wanted it to work for Mac and iPhone users alike, without requiring a MobileMe account (or any WebDAV disk for that matter).
The whole issue is indeed complex and interesting enough to warrant its own blog post, but suffice it here to say that we are well under way to providing the above-mentioned “really sweet solution” :).
Performance should be pretty self-explanatory. Users with large libraries are beginning to see sluggish behavior. This is unacceptable for an application whose foremost goal is to make you more productive. While Things 1.2 will already deliver some performance improvements, major attacks on all other performance related issues will be started immediately after finishing 1.2.
Collaboration is a very interesting problem space, and I think the importance of better support for teamwork in Things is pretty obvious. We will soon make a little step forward in this area to ease the workflow when working together. We are committed to constantly improve what we are doing here in the next few months and most likely well beyond.
For some users, mixed projects are a big deal. What we mean by this is the ability for active projects to also contain inactive and scheduled items. What seems to be an innocent change is in fact also a big deal for us as developers. When conceiving Things, we very deliberately did not want to have mixed projects. We so much didn’t want it, that we even made the decision on the level of our data model design for both the Mac and iPhone version. This is the reason why we kept postponing the implementation of these improvements.
Things for iPhone and iPod touch
Let me close this non-roadmap with, uhh… a roadmap for Things touch:
- 1.4: Repeating tasks, global search, landscape mode
- 1.5: Push notifications, polish
- 1.6: People support