Things in Review – What the iPhone needed built in all along

things1I remember when I first got my iPhone (it was a first generation that I had to unlock to use outside of the US), I was very amazed by the syncing capabilities. The data on the phone was exactly the same as on the computer, I could copy all my bookmarks, e-mail account settings and my entire phonebook without any problems such as duplication or the phone simply not syncing (I used to use Sony Ericssons). However I was, and still am, intrigued as to why the phone cannot sync tasks or to-dos. The reason is very simple; Leopard has it and since it could sync everything over from the computer, why not tasks and to-dos??

Enter Things by Cultured Code; an app from the App Store that I think should have been built into the platform. Upon opening the app, I was presented by a screen that showed: Inbox, Today, Next, Scheduled, Someday, Projects and Logbook. These categories are simple enough; although I don’t like that fact that I cannot change these default folders or add another one.

things2Anyway, clicking on the bottom left “plus” button will then bring up a screen to create a new to-do, with an additional button to enter details such as notes, due dates as well as what categories the item will go to. An additional feature that I like very much; if the task was due today, then the icon in the home screen of the iPhone/ iPod Touch will show a badge with the number of task to complete, just like e-mail. This is a very good final touch in my opinion, because whenever I unlock my device, I can immediately find out that I still need to do some things, thus not requiring me to proactively check the application.

things3To avoid clutter in the to-do list, the application will automatically move items done to the logbook, so that whilst the user will get a history, it will not clog up the list making browsing difficult. Also, another clutter reducing feature is the “Project” feature. Treat it as a folder within the list, but it has its own Due Date, and separate tasks can have its own Due Date, which is a very nice touch.


Overall, Things is a very intuitive app; however, don’t be fooled by its innocent face. It is a very powerful tool that can allow its user to view their information in a very elegant yet flexible way. The authors of this application have taken a step further in hiding features that are not commonly used, but still offering it for power users to use. Hence, this app can be tailored for a larger demographic. Honestly, I don’t know why Apple hasn’t put these functions into the platform natively, but as far as I’m concerned, having this is enough… if only it can sync like MobileMe and Calendar…


App Summary
Title: Things (v1.34) Developer: Cultured Code
Price: $9.99 App Size: 0.6 mb
  • Easy to learn, and even easier to use
  • Automatic archiving of “done” to-dos
  • Interface can cater to power and novice users alike
  • Badges on the icon of the application
  • Cannot change the categories on the front page
  • Premium price tag
  • Nothing else major…


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