Things roadmap hints at wireless sync, Web access

Cultured Code has been relatively quiet since making a splash with Things at Macworld Expo '09. Its Mac and iPhone clients have received a few minor updates since then—and won an Apple Design Award—but now the company has laid out a sort of non-roadmap for the two products. If you read between the lines, this list of upcoming, evolutionary improvements may reveal a fairly significant new feature in the works.

In a post ironically titled This is not a Roadmap, Cultured Code reveals a few details about what's coming in the next few releases of Things for Mac and iPhone. Things 1.2 for Mac will be all about keyboard support, bringing many more keyboard shortcuts and improving the Quick Entry panel experience. It will also bring Spotlight support and plug-ins for third-party apps, though the company does not say exactly which apps will soon play better with this upcoming version.

Things 1.2 should arrive within the next week or two, and the following releases will focus on over-the-air sync, collaboration, and other significant improvements.

Things for iPhone and iPod touch is slated to receive support for repeating tasks, collaborating with contacts, and Push Notifications.

That last detail, combined with the company's stated desire to do over-the-air sync, is where things get interesting. Cultured Code says it wants to do sync without requiring users to have a MobileMe account or their own WebDAV hosting.

If I may go out on a limb for a moment, one of the few conclusions that can be derived here is that Cultured Code may be working on some form of hosted sync solution. This might allow Web access to your tasks while away from any of your Things-enabled devices, but at the very least, some kind of Web-based sync seems necessary to provide Push Notifications for iPhone and iPod touch users.

I contacted a Cultured Code spokesperson for comment, but I haven't received a response so far. If the limb I went out on could actually materialize in the future, it would undoubtedly be a massive boon for Things. Lowering (or effectively eliminating) the bar for sync and adding Push Notifications will bring a tremendous new layer of value. It would also give Cultured Code a very large leg up on most of its competition in the to-do market.

Keep in mind, however, that I am merely putting two-and-two together with a reasonable dose of hope. I'm just a happy Things user and an eager early adopter. We'll have to wait for Cultured Code to reveal the new features along this non-roadmap to find out the truth.

  
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