The iPad, the Keyboard and the Mouse

It’s a big day for the iPad! Apple is shipping out their new Magic Keyboard, which for the first time includes a trackpad that lets you control an on-screen cursor. We’ve now updated Things with full support for it.

Apple surprised us all last month when they added cursor support to iPadOS. Even though apps get basic cursor support “out of the box”, there’s a lot developers can do to make the experience great. That’s what we’ve done for today’s release.

The good news is, this feature works with any Bluetooth trackpad or mouse, so if you’ve got one lying around you can play with it right now 🎉

Things supports the iPad’s new cursor
Things supports the iPad’s new cursor. You don’t need the Magic Keyboard to try it out, just pair any Bluetooth trackpad or mouse.

The first thing you’ll notice when you connect your trackpad is that Things’ entire interface responds to the cursor. As you move it near a button, for example, or a to-do’s checkbox, it now magnetically “hops” into place and takes on the shape of whatever you’re clicking. It’s quite playful!

Of course, there are all the normal benefits you would expect from using a “mouse” – you can click, select, drag & drop, just like you would on a Mac – but it has also made a few other great features possible.

New features

Context menus everywhere. You can now right-click stuff! This will reveal context menus with powerful actions. To see what’s possible, right-click a to-do, project, or area. It also works for lists in the sidebar like Today or Upcoming.

Open a new window. New windows are now just a click away: right-click a list in your sidebar and you’ll find the option to Open in New Window. This puts Things into Split View so you can see your two lists side by side. To close one of the windows again, just hit Cmd + W.

Swipe gestures. As a touch-based app, Things for iPad has many great gestures available. We’ve now made these work for the trackpad as well; just swipe with two fingers. For example, swipe right on a to-do or project to schedule it, swipe left to enter selection mode, or swipe left within a to-do’s checklist to delete rows.

Selection tips

When it comes to selecting things, it’s worth mentioning a few tips:

  • Clicking on a to-do will open it, just like when you tap with your finger. If instead you want to select the to-do, hold down Option when you click it.
  • To select multiple items, hold down Cmd or Shift when you click. Or, while in multi-select mode, click and drag downward on the dots to the right.
  • To deselect something, just click in an open space.

Today’s update is all about the trackpad, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Things also has excellent keyboard support. The app’s entire interface is navigable at the touch of a key, and there are powerful shortcuts, too.

Together, the iPad, the Keyboard and the Mouse provide a truly wonderful experience for Things, and we can’t wait to hear what you think!

New Things for Apple Watch

Since New Year, we’ve been working on a big update – and it’s all about modernizing Things for Apple Watch. All the app’s internal parts have been rebuilt, it now syncs directly with Things Cloud, and we’ve added some much-requested features!

Things for Apple Watch now syncs directly with Things Cloud
Things for Apple Watch – now with cloud sync!

Five Years On

We first created Things for Apple Watch five years ago, when watches were still slow and entirely dependent on your phone for connectivity. In order to get changes from your watch to the cloud, the iPhone app had to act as a middleman, ferrying changes to and from the cloud on the watch app’s behalf. While it seemed like a fine idea at the time, in practice it turned out to be slow and error-prone.

In the years since, the Apple Watch has come a long way. Devices are faster, have more storage, support background refresh, connect to WiFi, and many are free-roaming on LTE. Compared to 2015, it’s a huge leap forward.

In short, we knew that big improvements were possible for Things – and well overdue. So in January, we disassembled our watch app and began replacing all the parts: the sync, data layer, complication integrations, background refresh, Siri integration – everything under the hood is completely new. But without doubt, the biggest change today is the sync: we’ve brought Things Cloud to Apple Watch.

Things Cloud on the Watch

The most important change in this release is that Things on your watch will now sync directly with Things Cloud.

Now
Things for Apple Watch now syncs directly with Things Cloud.
Before
Before, Things on your iPhone acted as the middleman.
Now
Before

Syncing directly with Things Cloud is far superior to the previous implementation, and we couldn’t be more excited to get this into your hands.

Even when you’re away from your phone, the watch syncs instantly with the cloud and you can be confident that you’re always looking at the latest data.

When you enter a project, for example, or a to-do with a checklist, you’ll no longer have to wait for that content to load. Everything is already on your watch and ready to go.

We’ve also improved the quality of data on the watch face. Since both your phone and watch now sync to the cloud, we’re at liberty to choose whichever data is more recent and display that in your complication. After all, you want to be sure when you glance at your wrist that the info’s up to date ⌚️👀

Of course, all of this requires a Things Cloud account. If you don’t already have one, you can create one for free.

More New Features

Even though today’s update is mainly focused on the app’s foundation, we were able to sneak in a few of your most-requested features.

Other new features
  • Add to Today

    By default, the watch app saves new to-dos to your Inbox; you can now set Today as the default instead. To access this setting, open the watch app and force press in the main list.

  • Remove from Today

    Many of you complained that there was no way to remove a to-do from Today – that is to say, put it in Anytime. You can now do this by tapping Clear in the date picker.

  • Scribble support

    When adding new to-dos, or appending some notes, you can now scribble instead of speaking the text 👆

  • Multiple watches

    Incidentally, the new implementation of sync brings another benefit: many of you wrote in saying you use a spare watch for sleep tracking and really missed having Things on it. Now you can!


If you love your Apple Watch, we think you’ll love Things 3.12. The addition of Things Cloud makes a world of difference and we find ourselves using the app more than ever. Take it for a spin today and let us know what you think!

Come Work With Us

We have big plans for Things and want to expand our team.

We are hiring!

We’re currently looking for:

  • Software Engineer (C++)

    Responsible for our client-side data persistence and sync frameworks.
  • Cloud Engineer

    Responsible for the server-related aspects of our sync solution.
  • Executive Assistant

    For our office in Stuttgart (German required).

If these roles sound like you or someone you know, head on over to our jobs page to learn more.

We’d love to hear from you!

View Openings

The Quick Find Update

A big update for the Quick Find feature is here, with new ways to navigate Things and quickly view important data.

Quick Find
Things gains some great new lists – all available by typing their name into Quick Find.

Quick Find – New Lists

Things’ Quick Find feature makes navigating the app feel light and easy. If you’ve been using it for awhile, you’re probably quite adept at hopping from project to project, or into your Upcoming schedule, or into your “Errands” tag list, and so on.

We’ve now extended Quick Find further with some great new lists that provide helpful perspectives on your data. To jump into these lists, simply type their name into Quick Find:

  • Deadlines Deadlines – all your upcoming (or passed 😱) deadlines, neatly sorted.
  • Repeating Repeating – all your repeating to-dos in one, convenient place (finally!).
  • Tomorrow Tomorrow – a nice focused list to plan tomorrow, today.
  • All Projects All Projects – an overview of all your big goals.
  • Logged Projects Logged Projects – an overview of your past achievements.

For those of you geeking out on Things URLs – yes, they’re supported 🤓

While technically not a list, note that you can also type “Settings” (or “Preferences”) to quickly get there. No more digging for that Settings button!

Quick Find – Recents

Sometimes, if you’re deep down in a list, accessing Quick Find can be quite a journey – you have to scroll all the way back to the top to invoke it. No more! Now just tap the list’s title and you’re ready to go.

Better yet, Quick Find now shows your recently-viewed lists, so you can hop around without even typing, which is particularly great on iPhone.

Quick Find – Recents
Quick Find remembers where you’ve been, so hopping back is easy.

Quick Find – Headings

Many of you pointed out that projects’ headings should be found when you search for them – and of course, that makes sense! So all your headings are now included.

Of course, their inclusion in Quick Find doesn’t just help you locate them – it allows you to navigate to them, making your movements around the app more precise.

Quick Find – Headings
A project’s heading in search results.

A few more things…

We’ve also snuck in a few other small-but-great improvements that we know some of you will really appreciate:

  • You can now see the date when an item was created or completed with a new Get Info option.
  • The following prefixes are now recognized as bullets and stripped out when pasting into to-do lists or checklists: , *, - [ ]
  • When typing the time on systems set to a 12-hour clock, the date parser now chooses AM/PM more intelligently (and offers both options in some cases).
  • On Mac, you can now hold down Cmd when clicking a link to open it in the background.
  • On Mac, when inside an area or the new All Projects list, you can now insert a project with a button in the toolbar or Touch Bar.
  • And finally, we’ve increased the sidebar width on larger iPad Pros to accommodate those longer project titles 🙌🏻

Things 3.11 is available for download now on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. We hope you’ll enjoy these improvements.

From all of us here at Things, Happy Holidays! Thanks for a great year, and see you in 2020.