Badges and Other Features

The response we got on the release of Steps, on the App Store, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, has been great. It is exciting and encouraging, because it means we have done a couple of things right. Your enthusiasm and your criticism is really making us happy, and helping us to understand your needs.

When you use Steps first time, it will explain itself and it is very easy to learn. But if you would like to learn more details about how things work, we have set up a page that lists all functions available in the current version of Steps. Keep in mind, we are planning on more features, while keeping Steps elegant and simple.

There have been a couple of questions we haven’t talked about yet. Some people thought there are no badges, but there are. Or Web syncing, or how iCloud syncing actually works.

How Badges Work

Many list apps use badges to indicate how many tasks are open. Or they show how many tasks are due, be it today, next week or in a year. Some of these apps have complex settings to adjust what a badge actually means. Getting rid of this confusion was one of the important design decisions we made during the design of Steps.

Badges in Steps work similar like badges in Mail on the iPhone. They show the number of reminders you haven’t responded to. So when a task is due today and it alerts you, there will be a badge on the blue Steps icon, indicating how many tasks are due.

Of course we could have made this badge show how many tasks are open at all times. But that makes the badge not more useful, it makes it more annoying, causing a fatigue effect, just like a full mailbox. The higher the number on that badge, the less you want to open that app.

Web syncing

One of the greatest features of Steps is syncing with Google Tasks. Many people who use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, or are on Google+, don’t even know they have Google Tasks as well. It is accessible over Gmail and Google Calendar.

Steps syncs with the lists you keep in Google Tasks, and that means you have your due tasks automatically showing up on the Google Calendar website.

iCloud Syncing

We use iCloud as a main database repository. What that means is, it doesn’t use iCal, or Apple’s Reminders to store lists and tasks. This was a decision we made early on. iCloud helps Steps to keep different devices in sync, and it acts like a cloud based backup for your content. Syncing with Reminders or other to-do systems may be something we consider to add in the future, but at the moment we have no plans for it.

We have already started working on the next release, to bring you more great and useful features. We want to keep Steps as streamlined as possible, but really integrate it in your daily workflow. It has been a great start and we are looking forward to more of your questions, ideas and suggestions!

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