Spring Cleaning

We have a big update for you today, and it includes nothing exciting! Sorry 🤓

Spring Cleaning

Every once in a while we’re going to release an update that’s hugely important but doesn’t seem so exciting for you, the user. Things 3.9 is one such release – the culmination of months of work, with broad refactorings, architectural changes, and preparatory work for future updates.

As unexciting as that sounds, it’s important for us to step back every once in a while and devote time to the health of our codebase.

So what have we been up to?

Three Big Projects

Our main work for Things 3.9 delivers non-visible improvements in three areas:

  • Reactive programming.

    The biggest change is one that will sound familiar to our fellow coders. There’s been a significant shift in the last few years to adopt something termed a “reactive” programming style. It’s a way to structure code that makes it very easy to understand and reason about, and thereby eliminate a big source of bugs. We’ve been experimenting with this style for some time, and with today’s update we’ve now implemented it across large parts of our codebase.

  • Repeating to-dos.

    We’ve also begun modernizing our implementation of repeating to-dos. As a first step in that direction, today’s refactoring lays the groundwork for later improvements, so the goal today is for you to see nothing different.

  • Sync refactoring.

    A few months ago we hired a new Things Cloud engineer. He’s been busy refactoring some long-untouched areas of our sync code – again as a preparation for new features we plan to build down the road.

Things to Enjoy

So maybe we downplayed this update a little – there are a few improvements that you can enjoy today:

  • Better performance.

    One of the benefits of digging deep and refactoring your code is that, once in a while, you unearth some real gems. So it was for 3.9, when we managed to find ways to improve performance for three common actions. You’ll notice that Things is significantly faster after you launch it from an idle state: the app opens more quickly, and there’s no lag when you tap to expand a to-do, or tap the + button to create a new one.

  • Improved layout on small screens.

    If you use a small device, such as an iPhone SE, your to-do titles could get a little cramped – particularly after setting start dates, deadlines, tags, and checklists. So we’ve now improved the layout and date formats to free up some extra room.

  • More clarity when setting dates.

    The “When” popover for setting dates has been enhanced to provide more clarity, especially when dealing with reminders.

  • Many smaller bug fixes across the apps.

As our version number is now at 3.9, questions about 4.0 will surely abound. But if Apple can count past 9 – so can we! 😄 Things 3.10 is on the way.

Until then, we hope you enjoy Things 3.9 – with all the shiny new code you can’t see but which is nevertheless totally awesome.

Dark Mode for iOS

We’ve got a special gift for you today – a perfect feature for the darker months of winter: Dark Mode for iOS! Available now in Things 3.8.

Things for iOS: Dark Appearance
Things for iOS: Black Appearance
Things for iOS: Light Appearance

The beautiful Dark appearance that came to Mac in September is now available for iPhone and iPad. Our journey to the dark side is complete. 🌒

However, for iOS we went a step further, adding a third beautiful appearance: Black. Black is particularly stunning on the OLED display of the iPhone X and XS, where the boundary between your device and the app almost seems to vanish.

You can set your preferred appearance permanently, or have it switch based on your display’s brightness. When the brightness drops below the threshold – which happens naturally in the evening – Things will automatically go dark. Just go to Settings > Appearance to try it out.

Things 3.8 is available now for iPhone and iPad as a free update for all our customers. We hope you love it as much as we do!

From all of us here at Things, Happy Holidays! Thanks for a fantastic year and see you in 2019.

Night and Day

We’ve just released Things 3.7 for Mac. It has only one new feature, but the difference is night and day.

Things 3.7 on macOS Mojave in Light Mode
Things 3.7 on macOS Mojave in Dark Mode

Things’ appearance now automatically adapts to your environment in macOS Mojave, with a finely tuned Dark Mode that looks absolutely stunning.

We love the new look so much that we’ve made it an option even when Mojave’s in Light Mode. And if you’ve got a Mac with an older OS, don’t worry – you get it, too! In Things, just go to View > Appearance to enable it.

Enjoy! 😎

Things 3.7 Brings Siri Shortcuts and More

Today’s update is packed with great new features for iOS 12 and watchOS 5 – including support for Siri Shortcuts, the Apple Watch Series 4 and the Siri watch face, Dynamic Notifications, Password AutoFill, and Landscape Mode for iPhone. Let’s dive in!

Things 3.7 for iOS 12

Siri Shortcuts

The biggest new feature in iOS 12 is Siri Shortcuts, a new technology that’s all about speeding up the things you do often. For Things, these shortcuts open up some exciting new avenues for productivity, and we’d like to walk you through five different ways you can use them.

1. Siri gets to know you better

Siri can now learn your routines and begin suggesting things that you might want to do. For example, if you open your Today list every morning around 9 AM to look over your to-dos, Siri will eventually pick up on this – and the next morning at 9, you might be greeted with a new “Show Today” shortcut right on your Lock screen. Tap the shortcut, and you’re instantly brought to the right place within Things. It removes a little bit of friction, and feels surprisingly delightful when it happens.

If you do something repeatedly, Siri will suggest a shortcut on your Lock screen.

2. Build your own Quick Entry

Things is great for collecting stuff you want to review and act on later, like remembering things you have to do around the house, groceries you need to buy, work tasks, and so on. When an idea hits you, you would normally open Things to enter it, maybe apply a tag or a date, and then select a list where it should go. Instead of doing these same steps over and over, you can now record a shortcut to speed things up.

In Things, go to Settings > Siri & Shortcuts > Add To-Do. Fill out everything that’s always the same for this particular type of to-do, then tap Add to Siri and speak your own phrase, like “new home improvement idea”.

Now the next time you want to jot something down, you can just say “new home improvement idea”, and you’ll be presented with a prefilled Quick Entry popover. All you need to do is enter the title and hit save!

“Hey Siri, new home improvement idea!”

Record a phrase to show a prefilled Quick Entry popover in Things.

3. Ready-made to-dos

Some of the things you do are always exactly the same. Say you travel a lot – you probably have a well-refined packing list you run through before every trip. Now, at the command of your voice, you can instantly create a to-do with that packing list.

Just go to Settings > Siri & Shortcuts > Add To-Do, and fill out everything you need in your to-do. Make sure Edit in Things is deselected so the to-do is created in the background, then tap Add to Siri and record a phrase, like “it’s travel time”.

When a new trip is coming up, just say: “Hey Siri, it’s travel time.” You’ve forgotten your socks for the last time 😀

“Hey Siri, it’s travel time!”

Record a phrase to quickly create to-dos you need often.

4. Quick access to lists

If you have a specific list that you need to refer to often throughout the day, you can create a shortcut that quickly brings you there. Go to Settings > Siri & Shortcuts > Show List to record your custom voice phrase for it.

You can even set it up to filter that list when it opens. For example, “Hey Siri, show me today’s errands” can open your Today list and automatically filter it by your “Errands” tag.

5. Workflows!

Lastly – but for power users certainly not least – these shortcuts are integrated with Apple’s new Shortcuts app. What’s great about the Shortcuts app is that it allows you to pull actions together from multiple different apps into one powerful, multi-step workflow.

Matthew Cassinelli over at The Sweet Setup had an early go at creating shortcuts for Things and plans to share useful workflows he’s coming up with. We can’t wait to see the creative ways you’ll all put this to use!

Dynamic Notifications

When you get a notification from Things, tap the Snooze button and you’ll notice that you now have granular control over the duration of the snooze: 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour.

The new options are revealed when you press the “Snooze” button.

Password AutoFill

Things supports iOS 12’s new Password AutoFill feature. It creates a strong password for you, keeps it safe, and automatically enters it for you when you log in on a new device. All of this now works with Things Cloud.

Landscape Mode

Turn your iPhone to the side, and behold – our shiny new landscape mode 🙃

Apple Watch

We’ve also added full support for watchOS 5 and Apple Watch Series 4. You’ll notice Things now appears on the Siri watch face; it shows the next to-do from your Today list, and how many to-dos are left for the day.

For the Series 4, we’ve built four great new complications for the new Infograph watch faces.

Things 3.7 is available for download from the App Store now. We hope you enjoy these features!

Until we meet again. In the Mojave desert. At night. 😱