Android App Review: GTasks
With Google I/O coming to a close, we are starting to see a push from Google to get things off the ground with developers. Surely new Samsung Galaxy Tabs aren’t going to hurt their chances. This is a great thing considering the lack of quality apps in the Marketplace. Recently, a favorite Android app of mine has been updated for tablet optimization. GTasks, which is developed by Dato, is a straight forward task and to-do list which can (optional) sync with your Google tasks to keep you more efficient and on top of your never ending chores and errands. If you’re anything like me, you always have something that needs to be done. Hit the jump to see what this little task manager has in store.
The app can either synchronize with your Google account’s task list, or can just be stores locally. I choose to sync everything with Google, but having the local option is a feature most apps don’t give you the option of. Let’s face it, there are plenty of people who are tired of giving all of their information to every website under the sun and I don’t blame them. However, if you sync with Google, you have access to your task list through the web and Gmail accounts (supports multiple accounts) as well as on your tablet. There are a couple of different options to sync, such as auto, on open & exit, or manually. Again, nice to have some options.
From within the app, users can setup multiple task lists, such as home or work to keep things more organized. A simple swipe to the left or right from within the app cycles through these different lists. When you draft a to-do list or a task, you can input due dates and reminders to ensure you actually do these tasks, which is pretty imperative to actually finishing the task. From there, you have the open list of tasks, which can easily be manipulated to list the most important ones by dragging the task up or down the list. This comes in handy when you use the GTasks widget. The widget shows roughly the top 8 tasks you have scheduled, so leaving the important ones on the top ensure that you constantly have a reminder to do them.
This is one of my most used applications for my Android tablet. I’m constantly adding new tasks daily, and taking a few off here and there as well. Anytime I have an idea for anything, it gets jotted down using GTasks, which not only keeps me organized, but it keeps my information in the Google cloud to ensure I don’t lose it. This synchronization to Google, rather that having yet another company (remember the milk, catch, etc) have my information is a big deal for me. Heck, Google knows more about me than I do, so what’s another bit of information for them?
Adding a task (or list) is really as simple as opening the widget and tapping the + sign. On the phone version though, they did have the + button on the widget, which eliminates one more tap. This should easily be implemented on the tablet, and hopefully will in future versions. From there you type your task (or title of notes, list) and once you hit the back button, everything gets saved in the cloud. In, out, and over with.
As much as I like the app though, it’s not the prettiest or most full featured note/to-do list application out there. You don’t have the option to take pictures for note references, nor can you record audio. Also missing is a color coded tag system for priority tasks vs regular tasks, which is something I like a lot. Whether that’s a deal breaker or not is up to you, but I haven’t used those features as much. I do 95% of my notes and lists based on text input, so this dead simple application works for me, and does so without a hiccup.
This isn’t an app that will win any awards for beauty and extra features. In fact, just think of this as an extension of the Google Tasks list from your GMail account. The UI is simple and to the point. No guessing needed here, as you don’t have to cycle through an ever expanding array of options to remind yourself to do the laundry. If you’re looking for a full featured task system that has everything under the sun, pass on this as it won’t satisfy your needs. If you’re the type of person who needs a quick solution to keep you organized, this will be for you. It’s that simple, and that’s just the way the Dato developers want it.