Google’s Broken Tasks Promise
I am a dedicated Google user. From Gmail to Google Calendar to Google Search, I like the ease of use of most Google products. (Yes, they have too much information on me.)
Google Calendar is the Google feature I most next to Gmail. After Google Calendar, the feature I use most (or would use more often) is Google Tasks.
Let’s talk about Google Tasks.
Last year about this time, David Tattersall, Associate Product Manager, asked Tasks users to help improve the product by offering feedback. I didn’t know about the Gmail blog until after the poll so I missed out on offering my opinion. However in January 2011, Tattersall provides on update on the Tasks poll, which apparently was so popular that 17,000 people participated and 185,000 votes were received. Here are the features that were most requested:
- Ability to create repeating tasks
- Reminders and notifications
- Sharable task lists
- Tasks API and synchronization
- Visual distinction for overdue tasks
I agree with the feedback on all of these ideas. Tattersall encourages Gmail blog readers to “stay tuned for changes to Tasks throughout the year.” Unfortunately, it’s October 2, 2011, and I have yet to see a single change to Tasks. With killing Google Buzz, introducing Google Plus, and overhauling the design of all the Google-branded websites, perhaps Google hasn’t had a chance to tackle the obviously popular Tasks feature.
There has been no update on Tasks improvements since Tattersall’s January 2011 post, I’m still dealing with clunky, basic functionality, and relying on another source to manage my primary tasks that need advanced features as those detailed in the bullet points above. A Google Tasks mobile app doesn’t even exist; users must add the Google Tasks home page to their mobile desktop so forget about even accessing Tasks offline. There’s still a little less than three months to go in 2011 so maybe Google will surprise me by Christmas with a “BLADOW! IN YOUR FACE!” Tasks overhaul. I’d be overjoyed.
But I’m not holding my breath. I’m afraid December 2011 will come and go, and Google will have forgotten its promise to add these feature requests to Tasks in favor of things that weren’t necessary (Google’s attempt at yet ANOTHER social network and Google’s brand redesign). Perhaps Google is hoping to kill Tasks off which, considering the overwhelming response to the Tasks poll, would be a shame.
But I’d be more than happy to be wrong.