To-do list fanatics, such as me, drool over good apps that sync seamlessly across multiple devices. Any.DO (free), which has apps for Android and iPhone, puts your daily tasks on more screens with a browser plug-in for Chrome. The extension syncs without a hitch and looks clean, but lacks any special features. Tasks themselves support reminders, additional notes, and a red label for high priority items, but settings and customization are nil.
For to-do list apps on iPhone, I’ve become a huge fan of Awesome Note ($3.99, 4 stars), which does not have a desktop app or browser plug-in at all. I wish it did, but I can live without it primarily because 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. That alternative solution is pretty good, though I’d still love to see Awesome Note on my desktop monitor. Some might say Microsoft OneNote accomplishes the task, but it operates more like Evernote in that it’s more set up for notes than to-do lists.
Any.DO serves basic to-do list needs reasonably well, but just doesn’t have anything special that might entice list makers to use it. In some ways Any.DO for Chrome reminds me of the iPhone app Clear (free, 2 stars), another to-do list that looks pretty and functions fine, but doesn’t meet the needs of its users.
Install the free Chrome extension for Any.DO, and it will appear in the upper right corner of your browser as a tiny icon: a blue label with check mark. To make syncing possible, Any.DO requires either a uniquely made account or Facebook authentication. And that’s the set up in its entirety.
You can create to-do list items, with annoying suggested autocompletes dropping down as you type, as well as folders to house them. The app comes readymade with a few samples of each to help guide you through the main capabilities and features. Beneath the icon hides a succinct display: options for showing your to-do list by time or by folder, a “clear completed tasks” button, a settings icon, and a button for popping out the app to its own window.
The settings icon contains nothing but a log-out option. The pop-out key does its job, but you can’t resize the new Window it creates. Any.DO’s developers have left themselves room on the menu pane, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they rounded it out with more options in the coming months. As-is, however, it looks dreadfully incomplete.
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, when added to a task, pop up on the lower right corner of the screen, where you’d expect them. Reminders do sync across to your mobile device, so if you set an alarm in Chrome, it will buzz on your iPhone or Android phone as well… as long as the phone app has a chance to sync, that is.
Any.DO for Chrome barely covers the bases, and doesn’t add anything to its browser presence to entice a to-do list maker to use it. The concept—syncing via a browser rather than a desktop app—is sound, but more work is needed in terms of understanding users.