Today 1.7: Printing, Task Sorting and Classic Date Formatting

I'm happy to announce that Today 1.7 is now available. Version 1.7 of Today adds following:

  • You can now print your daily list of events & tasks
  • Rewrote the task sorting algorithms to be more reliable when sorting by due date or priority
  • Improved verbage and sizing issues in both French & German localizations
  • Reverted to iCal-style date selection in place of natural dates

The full change list is listed in the release notes

I want to touch on the last bullet point I listed. With Today 1.6, the big feature was the support for entering dates using natural language instead of the traditional date picker. I thought this was a great way to enter dates and was quicker for me than using the date picker in iCal. I think some people also agreed with this, but the majority of users found this incredibly confusing.

How do I know this? The support queue for Today 1.6 went up over 300% with people not understanding why they couldn't create events. In many cases the problem was built around the idea that people didn't understand what that blank text field had to do with a start/end/due date.

Given the high level of confusion this feature caused my non-geek users, I decided to pull the feature and revert back to the standard iCal-style date picker. The lesson to take away from this for other developers is don't over engineer for the sake of geek cred. The iCal-style date pickers worked great and I'm sure Apple did plenty of testing to determine they were the best way to work with.

If you were a fan of the natural date selection, I'm sorry to take it out of this release, but given the choice of keeping Today easy to use and accessible to as many classes of users as possible, I think this change is for the best. I may try a hybrid of the natural date entry and date picking down the road. I have some ideas, but I'll make sure to do a wider beta test before putting it out in the wild.

Thanks for supporting Second Gear and Today.