To say that you support HTML5 may seem like a marketing gimmick nowadays and a way to put the little HTML5 banner on your site, but HTML5 is a great technology that allows developers deliver rich and powerful web applications. These applications can be so powerful inside of the browser that they can look and feel like native desktop applications.
When I got the email about the new Todoist being rebuilt using HTML5 technologies, I was nothing but excited. There are some apps online that can get away with taking time and posting back to a server as well as have the possibility of the server being unreachable at times that won’t be too disrupting to a service. Task and project managers are not one of them. Let’s take a look at the new Todoist, what it has to offer, and what it feels like to use.
One of the new Todoist’s selling points is its speed. I will say it does feel like using a native app. This is done by making the interface highly responsive while doing all of the data transfer of creating, updating, and deleting data asynchronously. You don’t have to wait for data to be passed from the your web client to the Todoist server and vice versa.
Moving, creating, updating, and deleting tasks is simple and works well. Even all of the searching and sorting is done client side making filtering of your lists and tasks nice and fast.
Another killer feature of the new Todoist is its use of HTML5’s local storage API. This allows the app to go offline if the Todoist server isn’t available and use local storage to create and modify your data. When the server comes back, all of your data is pushed back to the cloud and synced up. Like I said in the intro, this is an excellent feature for a task and project management application because of the nature of its use. People tend to use their project management application day-in and day-out, so having it available at any time, regardless if a server is up is crucial.
The use of the local storage API is fantastic and will be a precedent setter for any other web based task and project management apps in the future.
Another key feature of the new Todoist is its mobile support. The ideas is to have one app that supports a desktop browser as well as a mobile browser to ensure that your todos are available anywhere, anytime.
Another issue that I had with the mobile app is its use of non-retina graphics for the refresh and add task buttons as well as the Todoist logo itself. It’s a small detail, but something that takes away from the user experience.