Any.do is one of the most popular and acclaimed to-do list apps for Android, and today the company behind it is bringing the same app and experience to the iPhone and the Chrome browser. The new free apps preserve most of Any.do's best features, and bring an almost entirely unchanged interface to the new platforms as well. We got a chance to try out the app ahead of its release, and if you're in the market for a new task manager, there's a lot to like about Any.do.
The app reminds us a bit of Clear, another ultra-intuitive and beautiful task manager for iOS, though Any.do's even simpler to navigate. You organize your tasks either by date or by folder, and to move and sort tasks all you have to do is drag and drop. There are plenty of other gesture-based features, too: to complete a task, you swipe to the right as if you're crossing it out; to add a new task, just drag down from the top of the screen. You can add a task by voice, just by dragging from the top and holding. Tapping once on a task lets you add a due date or a note, or mark it as high priority — pressing and holding activates it for dragging around.
As you add a task, Any.do tries to guess what you're typing, so if you say "get ready for" it might autocomplete with "get ready for the beach." The prediction and voice recognition are hilariously wrong as often as they're right — you're better off using the built-in Dictation feature in iOS — but it's a handy thing to have when it does guess correctly. The app also tries to guess what your task means, so if you say "call Dad," it will look for Dad in your address book and give you a button to call your Dad in one click.
It's beautiful, simple, useful, and has terrible voice recognition
The app is absolutely gorgeous, with a focus on typography that would fit in perfectly as a Metro app for Windows Phone or Windows 8. By default, all you see are collapsible lists of your tasks; dragging up from the bottom reveals the different menus and options. Rotating your phone on its side gives you a landscape view with a calendar on one side and your tasks on the other, so you can tap on a day to see your to-do list or easily move tasks around between days. There are light and dark themes, both of which look great.
The Chrome app is a stripped-down version of the same thing: most of the gestures aren't available, but it's still really easy to move tasks around or add a few. The app resides in the Chrome address bar, and opens over top of your current window so you can quickly add a task without opening a whole new tab. If you want, you can pop it out into its own small, always-open window. The Chrome app syncs seamlessly with the Android and iOS versions of Any.do: you create an account or log in with Facebook, and everything stays automatically up to date.
For power users, Any.do might be too simple — if you have a lot of tasks, the lists can get a bit unwieldy, particularly the "Today" list that shows both everything due today and everything without a due date. The app also has far more competition on iOS than on Android: from Things and Omnifocus to Clear and Due, there are a lot of good task managers for your iPhone. Any.do should fit in nicely, though, and is definitely a solid way to manage anything from a shopping list to a job's worth of projects.