Any.DO (for iPhone)

Lifelong list makers do not take their task-master apps lightly. When it comes to finding a to-do for my smartphone that I can rely on for functionality and ease of use, I’m not necessarily looking for something that pushes the boundaries. and that’s one reason the Any.DO iPhone app (free, also available for Android) isn’t for me. any.DO experiments with form but at the expense of function. and while the app does have one draw—a synced Any.DO Chrome extension that lets you manage your to-dos from other Internet-connected devices—the auxiliary piece offers even less functionality than the mediocre iPhone app.

Any.DO reminds me a lot of the iPhone app Clear (free, 2 stars), another to-do list that looks pretty, uses iOS to its full capabilities, and operates just fine, but doesn’t meet the needs of its users. too much emphasis on form, namely interactive gestures, has left hard-core functionality out in the cold in both cases. any.DO and Clear both do something neat, but ultimately aren’t giving to-do list makers the things they want and need.

Any.DO’s FeaturesBecause any.DO is a synced app, it requires that you either create an account or login with Facebook. Aside from downloading the free app from the Apple App Store, that’s any.DO’s setup in its entirety.

A first look at the app shows readymade samples of folders (“Personal,” “Work”) and to-do tasks to help guide you through the main capabilities and features. The pre-populated tasks actually explain how to use the app in the text field, so there’s no tutorial or help pages to read. this novel how-to integration works here, but other non-conformist functionality quickly wears thin.

What you can and cannot do in the app changes depending on whether you hold the phone in portrait or landscape mode. Portrait mode contains the ability to create new tasks and folders, change their names, and write additional notes in them. In landscape mode, you lose these abilities, but you gain the ability to drag and drop tasks onto new due dates on a display calendar or into different folders. Portrait mode gives you the ability to add a new task using voice dictation, triggered by a “drag down and hold” operation, which all disappears when you turn the phone horizontally.

I wouldn’t mind a change in the look of the display or small features being unique in one or the other orientation, but the number of features and appear and disappear between portrait and landscape is too high. It’s almost all of them. When you need to add items to your to-do list, change the dates of existing chores, and otherwise manage tasks, the last thing you want to do is think about whether you need to turn your phone sideways to perform the action you want. A good to-do list and calendar should let you perform all the necessary actions quickly and easily, and ideally from one screen. while in portrait mode, any.DO’s primary selections, which let you change how the to-do items display (by folder or by due date), are housed in a menu at the bottom of the screen that you have to pull upward to see. Pull it up, and it covers more than a third of the screen, but the panel is the same white color as the background. It’s hard to see, and switching to a reverse color theme (light gray text on black background) doesn’t improve matters much.

Better options start showing up within the tasks you create. to any task, you can add notes either as a block of text or line by line. you can also change the priority of the item, although you’re limited here to a red label or none at all, with no gradations. Reminders or due dates, when added to a task, do work with the iPhone’s push capabilities, thankfully, and these alarms can also sync across to the Chrome extension version of the app.

OutclassedAny.DO barely covers the bases, and doesn’t add anything of value to list makers that you can’t already find in great apps such as Awesome Note ($3.99, 4 stars), except a Chrome extension that syncs. however, Awesome Note can sync both to and from Evernote , our Editors’ Choice for note syncing, which has apps for practically any device  you can name. So as long as you have Evernote, you have your Awesome Notes, which is good enough for me for now.

Any.DO’s syncing concept is sound, but is not enough of an attraction given the significant form-over-function issues found in this iPhone app.

More Productivity App Reviews: •   Any.DO (for iPhone)•   Any.DO (for Chrome)•   RescueTime Solo Pro•   Slife (Premium)•   Google Drive•  more

Any.DO (for iPhone)

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