We’ve just released an amazing update for iPad. With full support for external keyboards, powerful shortcuts, Type Travel navigation, and much more – Things 3.6 takes our iPad app to the next level. Try it today!
For this update we had one goal: make our iPad app truly desktop-class. To achieve this, we had to substantially improve support for external keyboards – and by that we don’t just mean adding a few more shortcuts. In fact, adding more shortcuts was only possible because of one of the key features in this release: the ability to select items from the keyboard.
The lists you make in Things are constantly changing, so editing them has to be easy. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to make this feel as frictionless as possible on touch devices: insert items anywhere with the Magic Plus button, select items quickly with a left swipe, multi-select items by swiping down the circles on the right, and reorder items (even a multi-selection) via drag and drop.
The easy-ness of these list editing controls on iOS is something we’re proud of. But as soon as you attach a keyboard to your iPad, all that magic goes away. Almost every list editing action requires you to lift your hand off the keyboard and touch the screen, which gets exhausting.
This problem can’t be fixed by “just adding keyboard shortcuts”, because shortcuts require context: Where do you want to insert a new to-do? Which items do you want to move? And so on. Before you can use a shortcut, you need a persistent selection in the list that you can target. So that’s exactly what we’ve built for Things 3.6.
To see what we mean, just open the app and tap the down arrow; you’ll see the first to-do selected. Now you can move the selection around with the arrow keys, or hold down shift and use the arrows to select more to-dos. Yes, it works just like the Mac!
One of the beautiful things about the way it works on iPad is how keyboard and touch controls work together seamlessly. You can start selecting to-dos with your keyboard, then tap a few with your finger to add some more, and so on – it just feels natural.
Now that you have a selection in the list, there are all sorts of things you can do. Even with a small handful of shortcuts, you already have a lot of power:
- Insert a to-do below your selection: ⌘ Cmd N
- Open a to-do with Return and Tab around inside of it.
- Close the to-do again: ⌘ Cmd Return
- Move items up or down the list: ⌘ Cmd ↑/↓
- Duplicate, copy, or paste items: ⌘ Cmd D/C/V
- Set a date: ⌘ Cmd S
- Mark it complete: ⌘ Cmd K
- And so on…
These shortcuts are all very straightforward – chances are you already know most of them. And if you’re a shortcut-enthusiast we have good news! We’ve added over 70 shortcuts across the app. Press and hold the ⌘ Cmd key in any view to see what’s possible, or check out the full list on our website.
You’ll notice that popovers in Things are also fully accessible from the keyboard (When, Deadline, Tags, etc.). Open a popover, such as ⌘ Cmd S, then use the arrow keys to move your selection around. Better yet, just start typing in any of them to filter down the results!
Quick side note: Apple’s Smart Keyboard for iPad doesn’t have an Esc key 😱 So how do you get out of popovers? Well there’s a system-wide shortcut for this: ⌘ Cmd . – and it also works in Things.
There’s a really cool feature we built for the Mac, called Type Travel. It allows you to navigate Things with your keyboard. You don’t need a shortcut to use it – just start typing where in the app you want to go, and instantly you’re transported there. It’s magic. We’ve now brought this feature to iPad, and it really shines here. It’s amazing how quickly you can get around without even lifting a hand.
To polish it all off, we’ve built three long-standing feature requests into this release:
- You can now drag & drop to-dos into Things’ sidebar to move them to other lists.
- Tags and deadlines can now be applied to multiple to-dos at once: just select a group and tap •••. Works on iPhone, too!
- Things now supports app-wide undo and redo on iOS.
After taking this update for a spin, we think you’ll agree: using Things on iPad feels completely different now. That “I’ll just wait till I get back to my Mac to do serious work” feeling is replaced with a feeling of empowerment: almost anything you could do in Things on your Mac, you can now do on your iPad.
So grab your keyboard, head on down to the coffee shop, and see what you can do with Things 3.6 – we hope you’ll like it!