Immediately after releasing Push sync for iOS last night (in 2Do v3.6 – and yes, it’s coming to the Mac very soon), we’ve read some great feedback but have also been approached by the inquisitive and the concerned – and rightly so – asking “So, how do you do it? Does our private data even transfer over a secure connection? Do you save any of our private stuff on your servers? Do you keep track of our tasks in order to determine which device syncs what, when and how? How exactly are you pushing this information from device to device?”
These are all amazing questions, and for all these amazing questions, we’ve got one amazing answer: “Our Push sync solution is perhaps the most secure in the entire universe!”
Woah! Did we just say that? No seriously, we aren’t insane – at least not yet. The question is, how on earth can we make such a bold statement? And to think, we don’t even know how to spell encrypshion (that was deliberate!). You see, the most secure form of communication is … when you have absolutely no communication at all. That’s right! 2Do makes all this happen without actually communicating anything with anyone (communication quite literally involves an exchange of information between two or more parties). It shares no private data, or even public for that matter, with any server / device / human / satellite / living or non-living thing. That’s how we’re able to pull it off on top of all the existing sync solutions supported: Dropbox, Reminders, Toodledo, Fruux, Yahoo! and Custom 3rd party CalDAV servers.
Without going too much into the nitty gritty details, this is how we pull it off:
iPhone: Ya’ll! I just finished syncing.
iPad: Cool! I’ve gotta check this out, now!
iPod: Hey, not fair! I was about to sync some pending changes!
iPhone: Relax, dude. Just shout when you’re done.
In technical terms, this is what we call the Observer design pattern. One device syncs, makes an anonymous broadcast over a secure iCloud connection (zero information shared, just a shout out, absolutely nothing to secure, but the connection is secure any way). Other observing devices see this, and react accordingly. Each device maintains its own, private and encrypted connection to the sync service of your choice, and at no time does any of this information gets shared between devices.
So you see, you’ve got nothing to worry about! Unlike several other services, we don’t make you fill out any forms, force you into signing up to our own insecure cloud, or share details with any of our dodgy partners. While most product developers will explain, “You see, in order to provide you with fast, reliable sync in the background, we just have to implement our own cloud service – and that’s why we can’t support any of the more popular ones that people actually use at home or at work”. Yup, we believe you! Let me go ahead and pour out my life onto your servers for the benefit of your employees during those boring lunch breaks, eh? And then you can email us after a month, advising us to change our passwords, completely precautionary of course, since you care so much. Don’t we just love you for that!
Your data belongs to you. You sync it with whatever service you’re comfortable with. We’re not going to dictate or vouch for one service over another. They’re all awesome. Best of all, why reinvent the wheel when most of these services already do a pretty decent job when it comes to sharing data amongst other 3rd party apps (CalDAV, to name one). We’d rather spend all that energy working on the actual stuff that keeps you productive.
2Do speaks to no motherships. And that says a lot about our respect for your data.
Aug 25, 2015
We’re very excited to announce that for the very first time, 2Do will include support for transparent, background Push Sync. In simpler words, making a change on one device will (almost) immediately sync all of your other devices, transparently in the background. You no longer will have to rely on iOS to (in)frequently sync 2Do in the background, or wait for changes to appear after you’ve launched the app, including app badge updates. This will work irrespective of which sync method you’re currently using, giving you the freedom to pick whatever sync method you prefer, including your very own CalDAV server (unlike other apps that force you into using their custom cloud storage just for this one feature to work). How amazing is that?
This new feature is at first going to be available for all iOS devices, starting with v3.6, and will later be extended to support Mac OS X. Push Sync will not only result in rapid sync, but will also extend the battery life of your devices as it’s going to be a lot more energy efficient.
There will be no switches to toggle, and no settings to mess around with – it’ll just work after you update to v3.6. In fact, you won’t even notice it, except your other devices won’t show you stale data at launch anymore. It’s that cool!
Update: v3.6 is now available on the App Store!
Due to the success of this promotion and the amazing feedback received, we have decided to extend it. 2Do on iOS will be FREE for a limited period of time.
Sharing the Love
Every now and then Apple teams up with developers to, quite literally, make your day! How exactly, you ask? Well, by sharing with you a lovingly built app for FREE (which, of course, is normally considered priceless but sold at a reasonably affordable price of $14.99)! But wait – did we just use the word day? We meant a week! Yup, 2Do for iPhone and iPad is going to be FREE for a whole WEEK, starting from the 4th of June 2015 till the end of day on the 11th of June (now extended). You just can’t miss it!
… in all directions
We could have just stopped there, but folks today the doors are pretty wide open! Okay, so they’re partially open. But they’re still open. 2Do for Mac, an app we spent an enormous amount of time refining and updating just recently, is going to be 50% OFF during this absolutely crazy up for grabs period (Mac promotion has ended)!
There isn’t one! Seriously! “But you gotta be making some money from the free app in some way, right? Some kind of an in-app subscription maybe?” Nope. “I’m serious” So are we! “Aha! So maybe you’re collecting users en masse to charge for 2Do II or something that’s due round the corner!” No, no, not at all! In fact, 2Do v3.0 came out just last year as a major update, and that too for free! 2Do has been around for 6 years, handing out one free update after another. No other major update is imminently planned or due around the corner. Look, this is how it works: Apple thinks our app is so awesome, we have just got to stop selling it for a week and share it with the whole world instead. We talk. We talk some more. And fast forward to today, we let you all download our cool app for free! Simple.
2Do is an awesome Task manager with a history of consistent 5-star customer ratings, awards, TV appearances and has been part of various Apple promotions. Opportunities like these come once in a blue moon (strawberry moon to be precise), so download now and enjoy what we’ve wholeheartedly given our lives into.
We did our bit, but we need your help to spread the love far and wide. You can tell your friends, family, colleagues, go knocking on doors or just spam randomly (no, skip the last two) by retweeting our tweet or sharing this Facebook post.
Jun 3, 2015
For all our existing and new users alike, we’re happy to announce that 2Do for Apple Watch is ready. As you all are probably aware, Apple Watch will be available to pre-order starting the 10th of April and should be in your hands on the 24th. We’ve made sure you’ve got one more reason to buy that watch!
2Do for Apple Watch is going to be a natural extension to the app on your iPhone, iPad and Mac. If you happen to be aware of the subtleties and limitations involved in developing for Apple Watch, you’d appreciate that we went all-out on getting this ready for you. Instead of dumbing down the app in the spirit of we wanted to keep it simple, our team took up the challenge and developed a truly remarkable companion app – one that you’ll actually want to use.
2Do on the Watch will give you direct access to all your popular lists, including a hand-picked list. This could be anything from a simple list to a Smart List built around a complex set of rules. You’ll immediately be able to familiarize yourself with the task list layout, as it has been designed to resemble the main app. Additional information regarding dates and times will be displayed where possible. If you’ve got the habit of organizing your tasks into projects and checklists, 2Do’s got you covered. It’ll let you dig deeper into the list hierarchy and access all your sub-tasks, so you’ll never have to take out your phone again when shopping… unless of course you want to.
We didn’t leave the task details screen out either. At a glance you’ll get all the relevant details assigned to the task, such as start dates and due dates, durations, tags, locations or actions; and a simple swipe to the left takes you to all your notes. Beautiful.
You’ll also have the option to schedule or delete your tasks directly from this screen.
2Do for Apple Watch will be making its way through the App Store and onto your wrists as soon as Apple begins accepting 3rd party apps, which we’re hoping will be around the launch date: 24th of April, 2015.
It has been almost a year and a half since we last updated 2Do for Mac, and many of you have probably wondered about it’s future. There’s a reason why we’ve been delaying the Mac update. It’s no secret really, we’ve just been crazy busy working on 2Do for iOS, and given our tiny team size, we simply cannot work on too many things at the same time. Some would argue that’s a good thing, and it probably is. It’s kept us focused, and gave us the time and opportunity to give our iOS app a diamond cut. Back on the Mac though, we’ve been mad busy for the last three months, working around the clock on the next big update of 2Do. Time for us to introduce to you, 2Do 2.0 for Mac.
2.0 is a release we wanted to make for a very long time. It’s premise is to bring the Mac app on par with its iOS counterpart. There were many gaps to fill in terms of features and ‘fill’ we did! For the very first time since v1.0 made its debut in 2012, we are bringing Actions and Locations to the Mac. Finally you can create, edit and launch all the actions you’ve been familiar with in 2Do for iOS for so many years. Thanks to Yosemite, the timing couldn’t be any better since you can now make calls and send SMS directly from your Mac using 2Do.
For Locations we took advantage of Apple’s MapKit on OS X and nothing stops you from creating new locations and assigning them to tasks or edit locations that synced over from iOS. All that from the comfort of the all new utility panel (well it’s basically the old tags panel as you know it, just shinier and so much more useful than before). In addition, you can finally search for addresses, not just move the pin around on a map – Yay! Of course we’ll be bringing this new search feature to iOS soon as well. As for the utility panel, you can expect calendar events integration in v2.1.
We are in the midst of Mac’s latest update, Yosemite, so we made sure we add some OS X 10.10 goodies as well. Notification Ceter Widget was the most obvious one. Since ya’ll loved our iOS widget so much (isn’t it the best out there?), we made sure you get the exact same workflow on the Mac. Same goes for a Share Extension and Action Extension. Yup, you can now create tasks directly from 3rd party apps. A fresh, modern, yosemite-inspired redesign? You bet! We’ve got that covered. We’ve made sure 2Do looks and feels as fabulous as ever. But we’ll let you be the judge!
2Do 2.0 was built with the Power User in mind so we ported our exciting new search engine (written for v3.4 – coming soon) over from iOS to the Mac. Forgetting all modesty for a moment, heck, we developed a complex search rule-builder that would take your Smart List building capabilities to the moon and beyond! Not only does it work with simple search strings but you can combine it with complex search presets, tags, locations and date range filters to create Smart Lists that would fall short of doing the tasks for you, after finding them and sorting them the way you like. Use logical AND, OR and brackets to create endless combinations like never before! This update also comes with our new URL scheme that will open doors to easy scripting.
For everybody else there is a native “Getting Things Done” Inbox as expected. We made huge improvements in sync, especially with iCloud’s Reminders, CalDAV and support for 3rd party CalDAV servers (such as Fruux, ownCloud etc). New sorting methods, a new and improved task editor and a lot more!
So when do you get to download this spectacular update you ask? We’re literally days away from submitting it to Apple now! Hopefully if all things go according to plan, you may expect it sometime in March (yes, March 2015! This month!) depending on Apple’s review time.
Oh and by the way, did we say it’s a free update? No? Well, it is! That’s right, no charge, no hidden costs, no trickery, nada.
That’s 2Do for Mac, and you are probably curious about what we have next in store. If you’re picturing an Apple Watch, that sounds about right. Apple’s wearable is just around the corner so we want to make sure we have our app ready on day 1. We’ll share more news in coming weeks.
Update: 31st March, 2015
2Do v2.0 is now available!
Mar 6, 2015
This is going to be short. We’re very pleased to announce that 2Do III is finally ready and it’s coming soon to the App Store along with iOS 8.
If we haven’t already emphasized this enough, allow me to reiterate: our goal and aim is to make 2Do amazingly intuitive on the iOS devices and thus support desktop-class task management on the smaller screen sizes without burdening the user with a ton of options. 2Do has already accomplished great feats on the Mac and now it’s time to bring some of this to its smaller counterpart.
Allow me to however point out a problem we’ve had with earlier versions of 2Do, and based on some initial feedback from our public preview of v3, a more elegant approach was needed. For a number of years now, 2Do has supported various customizations that allow you to optionally toggle certain things on and off, such as the display of list names, notes, indicators and so on. This worked, except in situations where one wanted to quickly zoom into the task and see more information without having to toggle those options ON or OFF again.
Many times, for example, you would want to only look at the titles of your tasks to get a gist of what’s due today without having to go through multi-line titles, assigned tags, notes, list names etc – clutter that you don’t want. But then at times you would want to quickly get an overview of all your tasks along with their assigned tags and notes when performing a lengthy review of your tasks to determine which one deserves to be embarked upon next.
This selective information density zooming has not been possible, until now. To begin with, we initially solved the problem of selective zooming by allowing users to be able to enter, what we call, Extended Mode. Tapping the priority / down-arrow button next to the title would immediately expand the task and show all details at once, including tags that you had assigned. In other situations 2Do would show one to two lines of titles, where possible, along with a preview of assigned notes. Great, problem solved.
Not entirely, though. The second problem was the ability to selectively do this for all visible tasks in your list, without having to go through various toggle options in settings. Allow us to introduce to you: Pinch Info Zooming.
2Do v3 will support a simple pinch-to-zoom gesture, allowing you to move between three display modes: Compressed, Normal, Extended. As the names suggest, in Compressed you’ll only see task titles and dates. In Normal you’ll see titles, dates, notes and list names (where applicable), and in Extended you’ll see it all, all in one go – including multiple assigned tags.
We hope to make 2Do enjoyable, intuitive and easy to use, not to mention improve upon the vast usability options 2Do first introduced. Enjoy the demo.
Jun 30, 2014
As you may know, Apple unveiled their new versions of iOS and OS X few days ago. Both brought a fair amount of new features as well as new designs and UI changes. On top of that, there is a new programming language called Swift.
Let’s start with OS X Yosemite. 10.10 got an iOS 7 design treatment, it’s discrete, less skeuomorphic and makes good use of translucency. A clear departure from Aqua UI. Apple has started a new chapter and now it’s up to us, the developers, to finish the book. We can’t be more excited. At this moment we still have 2Do 3.0 for iOS in the works so we won’t start working on a 2Do “Yosemite update” right away, but our designers are already up for the task and working hard to bring you the best OS X 10.10-inspired UI we’re capable of. It certainly doesn’t stop there, as there are many new features including Notification Center widgets that we will look into, as well as other new features we want to include in future versions of 2Do for Mac.
Next up, iOS 8. Apple introduced some amazing new features for developers that has gotten us really excited. We want to take full advantage this golden opportunity, especially since we’re still working on improving 2Do for iOS 7. The first thing that comes to mind are extensions. They allow us to theoretically reach beyond our sandbox and integrate with other apps – email clients, Safari or Address Book – to create tasks on the fly. They also permit us to develop a Notification Center widget for you to see your today tasks or mark them done without even opening the app. There’s a lot to study and a lot to investigate of course, and that’s exactly what we’re currently up to.
We are very eager to see what is possible with everything Apple unveiled during the opening of WWDC and we can assure you that you are about to see some exciting things this year. Stay tuned.
Jun 5, 2014
We’ve finally come out of the woods and felt it’s about time we publish an update on what we’ve been doing, what’s coming next and what’s so exciting about this next big update? Today, folks, is the long awaited ta-da moment.
They say pictures speak louder than words. Maybe not so much for this post in question. The glaringly obvious visual changes, design language and UI elements is there, but what it can’t tell is how amazingly tangible it now is. That’s what this update has been all about. We kept improving it till there was, for now, no more room left for improvement. Everything is more fluid in every way imaginable. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself:
Everything – including the stuff that was already there before. It’s new. The underlying code is new, the way you’d interact with it is new, the way tasks get updated, added, deleted, moved, dragged; from tabs to tasks to tags to editors – we literally dumped all the previous code ever written and re-wrote it from scratch. That took a lot of time, but boy are we glad we took this route. It opened up ways to new things, new ideas and new ways of doing the same ol’ stuff.
2Do has always had this unique look and feel about it, including its ability to offer everything under the Sun without compromising ease of use. The list tabs that we all love, as well as the several different intuitive ways you’d go about managing your stuff. The core ideas it evolved with over the years were all great. We wanted to retain all the goodness and improve upon the core. Our journey involved working on new ideas as well as porting proven ideas and concepts from our Mac app, ideas that earned it the ‘Best of 2013’ title on the Mac App Store. Without further ado, let us delve straight into some of these. Bear in mind though, this post is in no way an expansive overview of what’s to come. This is merely a glimpse of what to expect – a very thorough glimpse to say the least.
The Three Ts (Tabs, Tasks, Tags)
Up until now, the ability to move rapidly between your lists, tasks and tags was only possible on the Mac, thanks to the amount of screen real-estate you inherit. We’ve explained in a previous post how Tabs make our lives easier, by allowing us to switch context easily and effectively; something that we believe is vital when it comes to being productive. Our recent update for the Mac showed that people fell in love with Tags, all over again. It boiled down to mainly one thing: the ability to quickly and effectively reach out and access tags in between your usual workflow, so you could find stuff quicker, and the quicker you find them, the quicker you do them.
Tags have been part of 2Do for numerous years, but it’s the first them ever that we’re bringing them out in the open; access them as you would on a Mac, right next to your tasks. A single swipe gesture and you’re in in Tags. In an instant, know which tasks are tagged, known which ones aren’t, and find and act upon those that are. It’s simple, beautiful and you’ll love it. [···]
With a recent scare from a calendaring app called Sunrise brought to everyone’s attention by John Gruber and Marco Arment, it seems many are not clear why 2Do needs their iCloud credentials too and what it does with it. This article is meant to clarify a few things. Bear in mind though, 2Do only requires this when synchronizing 2Do with Reminders over CalDAV (and so this does not apply to other supported sync methods).
Apple has made vast improvements on Reminders / Calendar and iCloud in these past few years. What was once a side-feature of iCal transformed into what is now ‘Reminders’. But long before all this happened, 2Do became the first iOS task manager to fully support direct synchronization with iCal and Mobile Me (what later transformed into iCloud in a broader sense) by supporting the CalDAV protocol. This kept 2Do highly functional and flexible as it was able to now synchronize with other personal and enterprise devices using these services.
In order to do this however, 2Do acts like a typical 3rd party CalDAV client (like iCal, Outlook etc). It uses your credentials to connect to Apple’s iCloud servers directly over a secure connection, in order to keep 2Do’s local data synchronized with that in the cloud. The login and password itself are stored in the System Keychain. At no point in time does 2Do establish any connection with any other service / server. All data stored on your phone and in the cloud belongs to you, is managed by yourself and is completely inaccessible by any 3rd party (including our staff).
Apple now also (finally) supports two-step verification, which means you can now create app-specific passwords. This way, the password you use in a 3rd party app is tied to that app alone, and the 3rd party in question has no way of accessing your iCloud account in normal circumstances even if they somehow got hold of this password. We would highly recommend you switch to two-step verification in order to increase security around your iCloud account. If and when you do, simply change the password you use in 2Do to use the new account and you’re all set.
It’s worth mentioning that we have no servers that 2Do connects to. ‘Push’ notifications you receive are in fact ‘local’, i.e. information related to your tasks are stored locally on your device and alerts are generated by the System. Unlike some apps / services, 2Do does not use your account details in order to ‘help’ you with email alerts and reminders. We take security seriously and for this reason do not offer our own Sync solution. Your data is as safe as the rest of your information stored in iCloud.
In case you’re interested, here’s a bit more background: The first update we pushed out with CalDAV sync support in fact asked users to enter their ‘iCloud Login’ details. Reminders / Mobile Me Sync was the only sync method we supported at that time. This was immediately picked up by Apple and we were prevented from publishing our update to the App Store. After a number of emails and phone calls with management at Apple, it was decided that until and unless it was made absolutely clear that 2Do used CalDAV directly from within the app, in addition to supporting other generic CalDAV services, they would not allow this. At that point we actually had to delay the update for a couple of months in order to add support for a number of other CalDAV services, namely: Yahoo! Calendar & Custom hosted Mac OS X iCal Servers. We also had to change the name to ‘Reminders Sync (CalDAV)’ in order to avoid confusion and change the way the setup screen looked. To the user it was now more of a ‘Pick from a number of supported CalDAV Services’ and ‘Enter credentials’. The store’s description also had to be updated to reflect support for CalDAV.
So why don’t we simply support the built-in Reminders Sync feature that was made available to developers some time ago? The main reason is lack of meta-data storage per task. Plus we get to support Siri for free (tasks added using Siri make their way into 2Do via CalDAV sync). 2Do adds a lot of value on top of the simple Tasks you see in Reminders. In order to ensure all information is synchronized correctly across various devices, we would need to store extra meta-data that the built-in Reminders SDK does not currently support. Once this feature is made available, we will look into supporting Reminders Sync directly. We may still never replace our current implementation using CalDAV as this will later be expanded in order to support other popular CalDAV servers.