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

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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.

Things Cloud Status

Six months have passed since the release of Things Cloud. Our users have now created over 150 million to-dos, requiring the service to handle up to 7,200 transactions per minute.

During this period, Things Cloud has performed admirably. It’s had only two minor hiccups with less than 3 hours of interruption, and only for a small portion of our users. That’s an uptime of 99.9%.

We get an awful lot of feedback from users praising the speed and reliability of Things Cloud; some even say it’s the best experience they’ve had with a cloud service.

For us, and for our users, it has been an incredible success. We couldn’t be happier with how things are going.

New Status Indicator

Like all cloud services, Things Cloud is an ever-changing landscape; it’s always taking on new users and more data as it becomes increasingly active.

If we should ever run into any kind of issues, it would be great to have an easy way to communicate the status of the service – so we’ve placed a new status indicator at the top of our redesigned Status Board:

In addition to showing the current state of Things Cloud, it shows historic information about the service over the past 7 days – and also provides a place for users to report any problems as they arise. If problems do occur, we’ll change the status for minor hiccups or major outages.

Of course, we plan to continue on the success of our last six months, and hope that the status indicator sees very little action indeed.