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Summary:

While Apple still seems stubbornly set against allowing iPhone users to get things done, since they haven’t introduced any kind of note or to-do syncing for the iPhone, Google appears eager to scratch the itch. Today, Google announced that iPhone users can now visit an iPhone-optimized […]

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While Apple still seems stubbornly set against allowing iPhone users to get things done, since they haven’t introduced any kind of note or to-do syncing for the iPhone, Google appears eager to scratch the itch.

Today, Google announced that iPhone users can now visit an iPhone-optimized Gmail Tasks site by pointing their Safari browser to http://gmail.com/tasks. Tasks you create at the site are automatically synced to your Gmail account and are accessible via your desktop browser as well. The new optimized site was unveiled by Google Tasks Engineer Michael Bolin at the Official Gmail Blog yesterday.

After playing with the new web app for a little while, I can say that it’s an impressive offering from the folks at Google. The interface is visually appealing, and not too flashy. It works so well you almost forget you’re using a web app at all, with smooth transitions back and forth between screens, and easy to hit checkboxes for marking tasks complete or incomplete. You can create multiple lists to keep track of your tasks, and add Notes to any individual item on your lists. And it comes complete with a nice icon, should you decide to add a bookmark to your home screen.

photo-5The blog post by Bolin focuses on the whys and wherefores of how the design for the mobile version of Tasks came about, and it makes sense that his goal was accessibility and simplicity. Still, as someone who uses Remember the Milk and Appigo Todo, I do find myself missing some of the more advanced features of those apps. RTM’s location and tagging features in particular are ones that I find myself using a lot. And they still offer simple, quick task addition if you’re in a hurry or can’t be bothered to go into detail.

Still, Google’s offering is free, works well, and does what it means to, so if you’re just looking to keep things simple and remember to pick up your dry cleaning, then this is a great little app that fills in for some of Apple’s missing features. Check out the video below, or just navigate to the site with your iPhone or iPod touch.

  1. Any word from users being able to access tasks from their mobile if they use a Google Hosted account?

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  2. How about Google Apps users? How can we use the iPhone Tasks feature on our own domain? We have Tasks, which I use and like, in our Google Apps “Gmail” panel.

    It seems to me about time for Google to find a way to merge one’s “paid” Google Apps account with one’s standard Google account. It is getting quite annoying to have to maintain two separate accounts in addition to the fact that most of the better services can ONLY be found on one regular Google account.

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  3. Agreed. Google should provide a way to merge accounts. It’s strange to log into a Google account using my Hosted account credentials and still be able to access a normal Gmail inbox.

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  4. It works great with Google Apps and your own domain.

    The official URL is:
    http://mail.google.com/tasks/a/%5Bmydomain%5D/

    You also need to enable the “Turn on new features” option in the Apps

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  5. Maybe it’s not rolled out to all accounts? Tried the URL but received a bad request – unknown service name: goanna_mobile.

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  6. Um, technically, this isn’t “syncing”. Syncing means you have data in multiple places (on your iPhone, on your computer, on Googles servers), and software makes sure the proper data is copied to all the different places.

    Google Tasks just hosts the information. It isn’t copied to your iPhone or your computer when you use the web site. You need a separate application get gain the need to ‘sync’ your data (such as an iPhone app, or Google Gears on your computer).

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  7. jott does the same thing…but better

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  8. @Darren:

    The link you provide doesn’t work (replaced ‘mydomain’ with my domain-name just like you would do with google mail). It refers me back to this page:
    http://mail.google.com/mail/help/tasks/
    where it tells me to enable Tasks in Gmail. I have already done this (in my Apps account).

    I tried adding the tasks to iGoogle, but unfortunately it did so for my regular Google Account (no Gmail) – not my Google Apps Account. So I think Google is confusing itself with the links…

    Do you have any solution to this issue?

    All this confusion just because Google continues to introduce new features to Gmail users, but leaves Apps users hanging. (Google PLEASE let Apps users have Picasa access, Google Bookmarks access, Google Notebook (oh wait you killed that one)), and whatever other services you introduce).

    /Erik

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  9. Love it works great!!!!
    Better than any other task application for the iphone.

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  10. @Erik:
    Doesn’t work for me either; I also get that help page instead. Apparently it hasn’t been rolled out to all accounts yet, so we have to wait. I’m *so* with you on your further comments!

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