Things for watchOS 2 with Complications

Staying on track throughout the day is now easier than ever with our new native app and Complications for Apple Watch – available today in Things 2.8.2!

Things Watch Native App

Today’s update was due a few weeks ago, but we discovered a critical bug during testing that had to be resolved by reworking part of the app. Many of you have been writing in asking for Complications over the last few weeks, so we’re happy to finally get this out to you – we hope you like it!

A Faster Native App

With watchOS 1, apps were designed to run on your iPhone, and stream over to your Apple Watch wirelessly. This could cause noticeable delays during use, and your iPhone always needed to be within range. But with watchOS 2, Apple made it possible to run apps directly on the watch, which meant we could rebuild Things as a native app.

Since the watch app now runs separately from the iPhone app, it also stores a discrete copy of your data that needs to be kept in sync – so we’ve created a special new mechanism that manages sync for these two devices over a local connection. It doesn’t matter now if your iPhone is out of range, Things for Apple Watch runs independently – and syncs up with your iPhone again when they’re close.

Look, I’m a grown-up now!

But the feature we think you’ll love the most is Things’ new custom Complications – tiny widgets that display pertinent information directly on the watch face.

A Complication for Every Face

When we first released Things for Apple Watch, we said that our intention was to make an app that was focused, not on task management, but on task accomplishment – a companion that would encourage you to follow through on your daily goals. With the Complications we’re releasing today, this is easier than ever. They show you what to do next – right on the watch face – and display your progress as you go.

Varying in size, color, and content, Things’ three Complications are designed to look great on any watch face you choose. In fact, why not create several different watch faces based on your context? It’s very easy to switch between them with a force touch.

Things Watch Complication 1
Things Watch Complication 2
Things Watch Complication 3
  1. The Modular watch face allows you to display Things’ largest Complication, which shows your next three upcoming to-dos.
  2. Where space is limited, like on the Utility watch face, a one-line Complication shows you the very next thing you need to do.
  3. Finally, Things provides a Complication that subtly shows your progress each day in a ring that looks great on any watch face.

Each Complication also acts as a shortcut – just raise your wrist, tap the watch face, and Things will open. This makes your to-dos instantly accessible, and keeps you on track as you progress through the day.

Things for El Capitan

We’ve just released Things 2.8 for Mac with full compatibility for OS X El Capitan—it includes Split View support, and a nice little enhancement for drag and drop.

Multi-Tasking With Split View

Split ViewThe Split View feature that recently came to iPad is now also available on your Mac. Just click and hold the green zoom button in the corner of Things’ window, drag it to the left or right pane, and then choose another app for the other side. It’s great for setting up a dedicated workspace so you can focus on your events and to-dos together:

Split View

Drag & Drop With Force Touch

Force TouchIf you’re a Mac user with a Force Touch trackpad, today’s update brings a nice little enhancement for you. When you drag a to-do over the sidebar and want to drop it into a specific list, you can now press a little deeper on your trackpad and the list will open. With the to-do still under your cursor, you can drop it at just the right place in the list.

Force Touch (Video)
Requires a Mac with a Force Touch trackpad.

Things 2.8 for El Capitan is available now as a free update for all customers. We hope you enjoy it!

Things for iOS 9

Things 2.8 is out with full compatibility and great new features for iOS 9—including Slide Over, Split View, and keyboard shortcuts for iPad, and Quick Actions for the home screen on iPhone 6s.

Things for iOS 9

iPad’s New Multitasking and Shortcuts

iOS 9 introduces two great new multi-tasking features for iPad: Slide Over and Split View. They allow you to access Things while working in other apps by sliding it in from the right side of your screen. Here, you can use a fully functional version of the app in a neatly condensed layout.

These two new multi-tasking modes are great for working through your Today list, taking notes while researching something online, or viewing your to-dos alongside calendar events as you plan your day. Here’s how it looks:

Slide Over
Split View
Slide Over
Slide Over allows you to quickly check your to-dos with a swipe.
Split View
Split View allows you to run two apps side by side at full power.

Things 2.8 for iPad also introduces new shortcuts for external keyboards, making it easier to navigate around the app and create new to-dos.

iPhone’s New Quick Actions

Along with general improvements for iOS 9, this update adds a nice feature for the new iPhone 6s with 3D Touch. When you tap Things’ app icon, just press down slightly and a menu will appear with our new Quick Actions. You can create a new to-do from the home screen, or jump straight into your Today list:

Quick Actions

Things for watchOS 2

Our new native app for Apple Watch is almost ready. We intended to release it this week alongside iOS 9 and watchOS 2 but found an important bug that we need to fix. We’re working on that now and will release it as soon as it’s ready. In the meantime, the existing watch app will continue to work fine on watchOS 2.

Things 2.8 for iPhone and iPad is available now as a free update—we hope you enjoy the new features! Things 2.8 is also coming to Mac—it’s been submitted for review and we’ll release it for OS X El Capitan next week.

Things Cloud “Nimbus” Released

The next version of Things Cloud is here—with a brand new architecture we’ve built to deliver push sync across your devices.

Three years have now passed since the launch of Things Cloud. Over these 36 months, the service has done exceptionally well. It has proven to be robust and reliable, and continues to receive fantastic feedback.

Now, as you know, we’ve been working away on Things 3. Part of this time has been invested in enhancements for Things Cloud in a project we call “Nimbus”, and this is what we’d like to talk about today.

Pushing Changes Across Devices

Shortly after Things Cloud launched, we released a feature called Local Push. It makes sync instantaneous as long as Things is open on your devices (and they’re on the same local network). But of course the app is often closed on your mobile device—so it won’t receive the push, and won’t be in sync until you manually launch the app later.

Today’s new version of Things Cloud solves this problem by sending your devices a push from the cloud (regardless of what network they’re connected to). This means that most of the time you’re in sync even before you launch the app. Here’s how it works:

  1. You make a change on your Mac; this change is immediately sent to Things Cloud.
  2. Things Cloud determines which of your other devices should receive the change, and asks Apple’s Push Notification Service to contact them via a push notification.
  3. Apple’s notification service contacts your devices and wakes Things.
  4. Things wakes in the background on these devices, requests the latest changes from Things Cloud, and integrates them. The next time you launch the app, it’s already in sync.

Note that Apple’s role in this process is only to deliver notifications, not transmit the data itself. Your data is only ever communicated between your devices and Things Cloud—just like before.

Of course, we need to be responsible about the frequency of these pushes. If we did too many, too often, there would be a lot of unnecessary traffic. So we’ve configured Nimbus for low-priority pushes that wake Things infrequently: typically, up to 10 minutes can pass until a push is received by a dormant device.

You’re already using it

Nimbus is a significant enhancement to Things Cloud—a 2.0 if you will—which enhances the “just works” experience you’ve come to expect. You don’t need to enable it, or configure any settings—you’re already using it. We hope you didn’t notice! It’s meant to be completely silent.

Things for Apple Watch

We’re delighted to show you the latest addition to the Things family: Things for Apple Watch.

Available on the App Store

Designing Things for Apple Watch

With the Watch, Apple is entering a new device category: wrist-worn computers. Much like with the iPad before, in order for the Watch to be useful, it needs to do some things better than our existing devices. This burden is not on Apple alone—we as developers need to strive to find good answers for our apps as well. What exactly is the watch better at? Which interactions would be great, and which wouldn’t?

Making Of... Things for Apple Watch

In our view, the most defining feature of Apple Watch is its immediacy: it’s always with you, literally at your fingertips. There is no barrier between your wish to interact with it and your ability to do so—all you have to do is tap your wrist. The watch can even tap you on the wrist to get your attention. We believe it’s the immediacy of these interactions that makes it possible for Apple Watch to become your very own companion that guides and assists you throughout the day.

Apple’s own health app is a perfect example of this: if one of your goals in life is to live healthier, you now have a friendly companion to help you achieve that goal—subtly reminding you to move more, and showing you at a glance how far you’ve progressed.

We see Things for Apple Watch in exactly the same light. Things has always had a unique feature that lets you curate your very own Today list: everything you want to accomplish on a given day goes there—be it individual to-dos, to-dos from various different projects, or even entire projects themselves. After you’ve compiled your list for the day, all you need to do is follow through. As with your health goals, this is easier said than done. The Watch, we believe, is the perfect companion to help you stay on track.

With this in mind, we set out to design a version of Things that’s focused, not on task management, but on task accomplishment. Specifically, what you’ve decided you will do today. Let’s take a look at how it works.

A Tour of Things for Apple Watch

Today’s To-Dos at a Glance

Things for Apple Watch: Glance

As you go about your day, the quickest way to access your to-dos is by pulling up Things’ Glance—just raise your wrist and swipe up on the watch face to see it. Two things are prominently displayed here: the next few outstanding to-dos for today, as well as the progress you’ve made so far. There’s also a nice little graph that tracks your performance over the past few days.


Tapping anywhere on the Glance opens the main app, and brings you directly into your full Today list where you can quickly mark your to-dos complete as you go.

Each accomplishment doesn’t go unrewarded: there’s a nice animation as you check off your items, and the ring at the top inches forward as you progress through the day.

Quick Decisions

If you tap on a to-do, you’ll see all relevant information: its title, the project it belongs to, its notes, as well as its due date. This gives you all the information you need to decide how to proceed with the to-do.


Do it now? Great, then tap the checkmark at the top to complete it.


Plans changed? No problem, just tap the arrow to postpone it for later.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this screen, you can also tap to dictate some notes, or change the due date.

Adding To-Dos


With Siri, you can add new to-dos to Things right from your Apple Watch. Just press and hold the digital crown, or say “Hey Siri, remember to contact Sarah about our trip”. This sends the new to-do to Things’ Inbox where you can process it later.

Inside the app, you can also tap the + button in the top right to dictate your to-do. If you want to work on it right away, move it from the Inbox to your Today list with a quick tap.

Work with Projects

If you know you’ll mostly be working on a given project throughout the day, you can simply mark that project with a star on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone and it will show up on your Apple Watch, together with all its to-dos.

Fully Integrated

Things for Apple Watch is integrated with Things Cloud for seamless updates across all your devices. Every thing you dictate; every task you complete; every due date you set; every change you make—it’s all passed over and synchronised instantly with your Mac and iPad via the iPhone app.

Also, if you’ve scheduled to-dos for a certain date, Things for Apple Watch can remind you in the morning on that day. This gives you a chance to review them so you don’t miss anything important. Just turn it on in Things for iPhone, and choose a time for your alert.

With this combination of features, we hope you’ll find Things for Apple Watch to be a great companion that truly helps you achieve your goals every day.

Available Today

Things has already been released for Apple Watch. This means that if you already own Things for iPhone—and millions of you do!—you’ll be able to install it as soon as your watches start arriving later this week. Just pair the new device with your iPhone and all of your to-dos for the day will appear on your wrist.

We look forward to hearing what you think of the latest addition to the Things family!

If you like Things for Apple Watch, you can share today’s news on Twitter or Facebook. Also, a big thank you to Peter Gromer for writing the great music for our video.