Will Things 3 Help Cultured Code Shed Its Lethargic Reputation?

Will Things 3 Help Cultured Code Shed Its Lethargic Reputation?

icon of Things 3

Knight in shining armor.

If you’re a Things user, you may or may not be disappointed that Cultured Code doesn’t frequently update its iOS or Mac apps.

Personally, I haven’t been a user long enough to notice. I don’t even care too much about the frequency of a product’s updates, provided that the current version does what I need it to do.

It’s true that some Things users may have a legitimate gripe with Cultured Code. After all, it did take a long time to release Things’ sync service. And Things 2 does have a slightly dated look to it.

But some users are adamant about getting constant updates just for the sake of getting them. For example, blogger Rands decided to look elsewhere for his GTD needs, prompted by what he called Things’ stagnation (even as he freely admitted that there was nothing wring with Things’ functionality and stability).

In an ideal world, companies would be able to release frequent updates that made their apps more attractive and current, but which were also stable and well-designed. In reality, companies often have to choose one over the other.
As a paying Things customer, I for one am happy that Cultured Code favors the latter.

Things 3: Coming Late?

drawing of a hare and a turtle

Cultured Code’s approach: slow but steady.

Whether you want a revamped toy to play with or a truly need new features, you will likely get your wish sometime this year. (Things 3 was purported to be released early this year, but this being April, it’s now obvious you have still some waiting to do.)

Indeed, a reader commented on my previous article on Things that the company would likely release Things 3 just in time for iOS 8, which is widely expected to be announced at the upcoming Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June. (The comment is now gone.)

However, when contacted about this article, a Cultured Code representative said they can’t offer an ETA for the release at the moment, and that they don’t currently have any plans to make their release coincide with iOS 8.

As for their so-called lethargy, here’s the company’s reply to my enquiry:

“A few months after we finished Things 2 (2012), we turned our attention to the next major iteration of Things. In the intervening time, we did release some updates to Things 2, but nothing too major. Since Things 3 has been the focus of our attention, we haven’t spent too much time on our Things 2 codebase – and when iOS 7 came out, it began to look a little out of place. This sort of amplifies the lack of a major update, and I can understand that people are eager to see a new UI in our apps. Things 3 will be the first time we’ve seriously modified the UI (although Things 2 did have some tweaks), and we’re intent on achieving a high level of quality (in addition to some new features) – and that takes a considerable length of time. We hope to deliver Things 3 to all devices as soon as we possibly can.”

Things 3 Details

Announced on December, 2013 just as the company sold its millionth copy, Things 3 promises to bring a “fresh new visual style, a revised user interface, more structure for your lists, and an array of great new features that are designed to make you more productive,” according to Cultured Code’s blog.

The company also says they’ve revisited many areas of the app that have been neglected in the past, and renovated much of their codebase.

“It’s the most ambitious update we’ve ever undertaken,” boasts the Things 3 announcement.

A fresh visual style and a revised iOS 7-compatible user interface are always welcome. They will also appeal to those users who crave new looks and a fresher UI.

But what else is Things 3 bringing to the table? What does the company mean by “array of great new features”? More importantly, exactly when will it ship—and for how much, if anything?

On all counts, Cultured Code is keeping mum. We can speculate the new version will address common requests like contacts integration, a fresher look and reminders. And thanks to the project’s status board, we know Cultured Code is going beyond eye candy: on February 10, the company wrote that besides animations and all new-sidebar icons, it had also reintroduced behavioural refinements.

My Own Wish-list. What’s Yours?

icon of Evernotes email function

Could Cultured Code take a cue from Evernote and let users send to-dos and addittional information to a secret, personal email address?

I for one would appreciate being able to search by multiple tags. And since the Quick Entry feature in the Mac app has become a favorite of mine, I would also to see something similar on my iPhone version. Something basic would work, even if it was an Evernote-inspired email solution where you place tags and project names in the subject line. Lastly, time- and geo-based reminders would be great.