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Summary:

In half a dozen years, I’ve tried more task manager apps than smartphones — and I’ve tried dozens of phones. But Any.DO, a free app for Android, offers an elegant iOS-like interface and syncs with Google Tasks. If you do one last thing this year, try Any.DO.

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In the past half a dozen years, I think I have tried more task manager apps than smartphones — and I have tried dozens of phones. I have long wanted to use Google Tasks, since all of my online activities are Google-centric, but the company has never fully invested time and effort into making Tasks a robust solution. Third-party mobile apps have tried to leverage Google Tasks, and one, Any.DO, is a very solid piece of free software for Android devices.

The first thing you will likely notice about Any.DO is how much it doesn’t look like an Android app. To my eyes, the look and feel of the software is something I would expect to see on iOS: polished, refined, simple and effective. It supports speech-to-text input by using Android’s native speech-recognition engine. You can drag tasks to different days or swipe across a task to mark it as complete. And shaking your handset clears all of those completed tasks. I actually enjoy using this app to manage tasks, something I can’t say about any other that I have tried.

 

Usability is excellent, but if a task manager can’t effectively manage tasks, then it’s not very good. Fortunately, Any.DO has nearly all the tools and features needed to keep me productive. You can create folders to help organize tasks, set reminders and sort by date, priority or folder. Any task can have a detailed note for further explanation. Tasks can even be shared with friends or team members. The app also supports two widgets for viewing tasks or to quickly add new tasks.

If I had to pick on Any.DO, I would say the Google Task synchronization is the area I would hit. The feature works perfectly fine and the app supports multiple Google accounts, but you can’t pair a task with an account. That means all the tasks are synchronized with one account or the other in my case, as I have two Google accounts. The sync function is currently manual as well, so you have to remember to hit the sync button in the app. Maybe I should create a recurring task reminder for that?

Regardless of the minor shortcomings, Any.DO has become my current task manager on Android. There are versions in the works for iOS and the web, but for now, this is an Android-only solution. It is rare to see a third-party developer focus on Android first and iOS second, but there is no loss in app quality because of that decision. It won’t work for everyone’s task methodology, but I highly recommend that Android users give this one a try, even if you don’t use Google Tasks. Why? The company says it plans to support task synchronization with Todo, Remember the Milk, Springpad, Microsoft Exchange and many other platforms in the future.

  1. I’m an Android man myself and I use any.do and Evernote but when I want to rest a bit I use the what I call “Anti.do” app.
    http://theregjoe.blogspot.com/2011/07/regular-joy-nothing-pro.html

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  2. I just started trying it last night, and I’m not that impressed with the interface or the widgets. It doesn’t seem to do anything I can’t already do using Outlook and syncing with my Android. Actually it does less because it requires extra steps to find the time things are supposed to occur (both with the application and the widgets).

    What is appealing is the sync feature with other accounts, but I haven’t tried that yet, and probably won’t before uninstalling.

    Finally, I’m not that impressed with gimmicks like shaking a phone.

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  3. In my opinion Google should do it right and have todos, lists of any kind as fragments. A todo list app should be an aggregation of todo list fragments. While Google thinks about fragments as an enabler for late binding display adjustments they can also be used as late binding context creation, where sensors [including voice] define context. Which then enables context in a flexible API to take on Siri and do it right, but that’s just me.
    Sorry tasks as an app is so Desktop :-).

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  4. The permissions this app asks for are ridiculous, I’m avoiding it personally.

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  5. Interesting you say iOS – I’d say it looks a LOT like WP7 – mostly typography based, with minimal outline icons.

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  6. Were you all paid to write this? App is terrible. As far as Google doing this themselves, try Astrid: it’s the best Todo app and is backed by Google.

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  7. Thanks for the recommendation; it’s just the to-do app I’ve been looking for. I needed something really simple. Usually I add things to my calendar but this is better, easier, and neater.

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