While Apple (s aapl) 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 (s goog) 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.
The 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.