Friday, February 19, 2010

New Toodledo Options

We’ve introduced two new Toodledo options to make an advanced settings page.

Folders and Categories

The first new feature lets you choose how categories should be mapped between your phone and Toodledo.  You can choose ‘tags,’ ‘folders,’ 'contexts,’ ‘goals’ or no mapping at all.

What’s the difference?

  • Tags offer the most flexibility for the device.  The categories from your phone are mapped to (and from) a comma-separated list, such as “Personal, Birthdays, Purchases” at Toodledo.  You can sync as many categories as can fit in the tag field at Toodledo this way, and filter your phone’s view on any one or several of the values.  The downside is that Toodledo doesn’t offer a good way of filtering the view based on the tags.

  • Quoting Toodledo, “Folders are a convenient way to organize your to-do list. You can use folders to keep track of different projects, or keep work-related tasks separate from personal items.”  When mapping categories to folders, only one of the categories is synced back to Toodledo, since tasks can only be in one folder at a time.  You can move tasks between folders on your phone by selecting the appropriate categories, or create entirely new folders by creating a new category.  When the device sends the category list back, if any of the selected categories is already a folder we will use it.  If none of the chosen categories is already a folder, we’ll create one from the first category which the device sent to us and place the task in the new folder.

  • Toodledo contexts are used to filter tasks based on where you are and what you are doing.  For example, while you are out of town on a business trip it isn’t helpful to have a task reminding you to wash the car at home.  Contexts help separate the two.  To the phone, contexts appear much like folders, and the rules are the same.  Whether you prefer to use folders or contexts mostly depends on how you prefer your tasks to be arranged at Toodledo.

  • Toodledo goals are used to group loosely related tasks.  For example, you may create the goal of losing 10lbs, and then associate tasks like a jog in the morning, picking up some fresh fruit for lunch, and exercising at the gym after work.  To the phone, goals look much like folders and contexts, and again, which would serve best depends mainly on how you’d like to organize your Toodledo list.

  • You might choose no mapping at all if your phone doesn’t support assigning categories to tasks, and you want to make absolutely certain that the folders, contexts, goals, and tags you’ve already assigned at Toodledo will not be disturbed.


Completed Tasks

The second new option is whether or not to retrieve completed tasks on the initial sync.  While most of the time it makes sense to start with only active tasks, sometimes you need access to past, already completed tasks for reference.  This option lets you select which you behavior you’d prefer.


Any questions or comments, please head on over to the NuevaSync forum.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New E-Mail Feature – Follow Up Flags

We’re pleased to announce an enhancement to our IMAP/GMail push e-mail service.  We now support syncing message flags (aka stars).

Flagging—“starring” in GMail terminology—helps you keep track of important messages that require further attention.  Phones such as the Palm Pre, GMail with the “Starred” label, and most desktop e-mail programs provide additional tracking by offering an “All Flagged” or “All Starred” virtual folder to zero in on all your important messages, no matter which folder they are really in.

To date, we’ve tested flags successfully on Windows Mobile 6+, Palm Pre, Dataviz Roadsync (tested on Nokia), and Nokia Mail for Exchange.  Apple devices and the Nokia N900, unfortunately, do not make use of flags.

More information about capabilities and device compatibility is available at our wiki.

For any questions and feedback, please visit our push e-mail forum.

Flags on Palm Pre

Flags on Windows Mobile 6.5

Flags on Nokia E61i (MfE)

Flags on Nokia E61i (Dataviz RoadSync)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thoughts on the Nokia N900

This is the first blog post I've written about a specific mobile device. It's also the first post I've written on a mobile device. "There's an app for that" it's called a WEB BROWSER:

This device's browser combined with the 800-pixel wide screen (800x600 screens were common on desktop PCs until quite recently and so most web sites are still designed to fit that size) make for by far the best mobile web experience yet. Even Javascript and Flash-laden sites like Facebook, Google Finance and Youtube "just work". So 90% of the apps you'd use on an iPhone are unnecessary. Just as well as there are very few Maemo apps at present. If you want you can even install real Firefox, but I've been happy with the built-in browser (also based on the Mozilla code). The N900 is sold unlocked in the USA and is a GSM-only device. We only have 2.5G GSM here so I'd love to have a CDMA version that worked on Verizon's network but sadly that device does not exist.

The top 10 things about the N900

  1. Works well with NuevaSync (after we spent a few weeks spent studying its sync client and writing special code to accomodate its wily ways).

  2. The command prompt (bash shell of course), which Nokia quaintly calls the "X-Term". (I don't think I've heard that since the 1980s...). Old friends like ps, df, awk, grep, top are all there and after installing an extra package you can gain root access in seconds.

  3. Deep integration with Skype and Jabber. There's no Skype app: you just call a contact with skype.

  4. WiFi works when the device is sleeping so you can be available on Jabber and Skype and receive push email without cell data service.

  5. A VNC client (great for that quick sysadmin task on the run).

  6. Very open platform. You want to write an app? No problem. A quick script? Sure. How about a Kernel module? Yep, that's just fine. No need to ask permission from a black turtleneck-wearing person.

  7. Best slide keyboard. Big improvement vs. the Droid.

  8. Excellent movie-watching device. Using legally downloaded DRM-free video files, of course.

  9. I can listen to KQED while driving in my car here using the built-in FM transmitter. Hopefully nobody from my cell carrier is reading this.

  10. Tetherless experience. Firmware updates are over-the-air. Backup to memory card. scp your media files.

The not so good

  1. It's impossible to use the keyboard when the headphones are plugged in.

  2. The device gives the impression that it's sometimes engaged on much more important activities than responding to user input (calculating Pi to a million decimal places??).

  3. The user interface is...well the best word I could come up with is "zany".

  4. The touch screen is horrid. You'll need the build-in stylus for many tasks.

  5. There's a front-facing camera: great for videoconferencing. But the Skype client doesn't support it.

  6. The map application can take a minute to start, which I find limits its value considerably.

  7. The calendar app doesn't sync multiple calendars like the iPhone does.

  8. Composing HTML email is cool, but otherwise the mail app is quite limited and quirky.

  9. VPN client support is limited at present, but you can create ssh tunnels.

So although the N900 is not perfection in your pocket, it's the closest I've seen and rates a solid A-