gTasks (Google Tasks) Review
This is a mini-review of gTasks beta (free in Android Marketplace), v0.3.37m..
gTasks - beta
I have played with Google Tasks, the web based variant, and it's not bad as a pretty simple task manager. It comes with gmail, and I had a gmail account (actually, accounts), before Android came along, anyway, but every Android user is going to have a gmail account, and it seems then logical enough to think of using Google Tasks. I had actually put a bookmark on my base phone page, to get to Google Tasks through the browser, but that is a bit clunky, slow to come up, and always seems to reprompt for userid and password (even though I checked the Remember me box), and it seems to have problems finding everything, so despite being from Google and intended to work on mobile phones, not really in my book a viable alternative.
gTasks, which is an Android interface to Google Tasks, seems to actually address a lot of these shortcomings in the mobile/web interface. A previous append suggested that it had improved, and I'd say that's an accurate assessment. The current version is really not bad, ironically much better than Google's own. The outfit that puts gTasks out is listed as SSI, Web page:
Home of gTasks (Simple Seamless Integrated: gTasks)
and a discussion group at: gTasks | Google Groups
gTasks synchronizes with Google tasks, so that's a plus, don't have to worry about backup and so forth so much, can see and edit them on the PC, and that's kind of an advantage if you have to do bulk entry. And a task that is given a date will then show on the Google calendar, so the integration is pretty good there (at least, if you use Google calendar). You can create multiple task lists, so that allows some organization, and you can indent tasks under others, giving it a sort of main task/sub-task organization, which is nice. Now that, said, Google Tasks (and gTasks) are pretty crude as list managers go, there's no real priority (other than the date), no way to tailer the fields (you have a title and some text, that's it), none of the field reordering or edit operations offered in ListPro. gTasks does solve actually one pretty severe restriction in the base Google Tasks, it has a sort function (user order, Due date, or task order), so that's a definite plus (the way you get around it for Google Tasks is copy the tasks out, sort them in an editor or Excel or whatever, and then paste them into a new list -- cumbersome squared). And visually gTasks works pretty well, you can tailor size a bit, and the check box is pretty easy to touch to check or uncheck, it visually then shows a checkmark and crosses out the title, works nicely.
- Relatively easy to Use
- Synchronizes with Google Tasks
- Has sort and other list order techniques
- Supports mulitple lists (but not really in a hierarchy or anything fancy)
- Sort by Title seems to undo Google Task indents (flat sort, but going back to user order restores the indents)
- No Priorities or Item Colors, etc.
- No menu function to enable display of checked/unchecked items
- Clear Completed is apparently just one way
- Does just one level of Folders for Lists (ListPro does multiple)
- No way to clear all checkmarks at once (reset list, useful if you have a checklist or similar)
- List entries are very simplistic, just one text entry field, no way to edit or add fields or use a template, etc. (examples: Quantity, Price, Notes (text) field that shows only when item is in edit, etc.
- Couldn't figure out how to move items up and down on the task list (could do that on the PC)
In running tests for this review, gTasks seemed very stable, no FCs, worked as I would have expected (excepting the indent on sort thing).
So I guess my net would be that gTasks is a is a good, simple, two level, one field type list manager. Nothing wrong with that. It does sync up with Google Tasks, which is a very handy feature. But gTasks (and Google Tasks) in general, is not up to the functionality of ListPro, and for that matter, LiveList (free), Noodles, Astrid, etc. are all functionally somewhat better, with the exception of syncing with Google Tasks. If you use Google Tasks on a PC, then no question, get gTasks, it's better in some ways than the PC based variant (and certainly the Android web based phone variant).