“If I Had a Dollar” is a series that highlights one useful or entertaining app per week that costs less than $1. Skip your vending machine soda and try some new apps!
For some reason, the world of the mobile task list is kind of a bizarre one. While both iOS(s aapl) and Android(s goog) have stock to-do apps built-in, there are major (“No infinite lists?”) and minor (“Why is this so ugly?”) quibbles that cause some users to seek out third-party offerings.
But here’s where it gets confusing: Some apps are free and function-low; others are freemium with a “pro” subscription where all the good stuff is hiding; and still others have monstrous price tags ($4.99 and up) for seemingly indiscernible reasons. So is it possible to find a cheap and cheerful yet still feature-rich to-do list that is usable?
For the most part, Taasky keeps its promise of making its interface as simple and intuitive as possible. Creating new tasks within lists just requires swiping down, and then the tasks can be dismissed with a simple swipe to the left and a tap on a garbage icon. The minimalist interface seems to have taken every available design cue from iOS 7, and its flat color scheme actually makes it very easy to focus on tasks that are written down. Perhaps the most novel feature is its “one thing at a time” rule, which prioritizes one particular task and enlarges it to be front-and-center, so to speak. It’s a great way to get an at-a-glance look at which task is most important, and changing priorities is simple. But otherwise the features are minimal: a simple reminder tool is the only thing that will help reinforce tasks.
Unfortunately, not many people will be happy with the limits Taasky has. As of right now, the app only offers four lists: Home, Work, Friends and Shopping. A lack of customizable or coordinating lists means that ultra-organizers will feel unsatisfied with creating their tasks. Furthermore, prioritizing tasks only works well if the task itself is short — the large font means that there isn’t enough room to fit more detailed descriptions neatly. There’s also no social media integration, no list-sharing, and no collaboration.
That said, it’s much more intuitive than the iOS Reminders app, and it costs a fraction of what most paid to-do list apps charge these days. If you like simplicity and don’t care too much for many features, then Taasky will be worth your dollar.
Unfortunately, Taasky doesn’t have an Android port, nor a comparable counterpart in the Google Play Store. Instead, users might want to check out Any.do, a free app that has similar minimalist design cues and swipe functionality. While it is available for both iPhone and Android, Any.do is very much integrated with Android and has many more cool features because of it. Important Android features include task auto-complete, list-sharing with friends, and a nice widgets app that makes it easy to post important tasks directly to the Android home screen. It also has a much more expansive capacity for lists — key for power users.
While Any.do is simple and easy to use, it does require a log-in to work — and often pushes integration with Facebook. It’s also much more focused on planning out entire days at once, which can be a daunting prospect for people who want more casual list-writing. Still, for no cost, Any.do offers enough helpful integration with Android that it becomes a real value over paid apps.
Do you have an app that is worth my dollar? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Dollar App” and the app’s name in the subject line.