I’ve had a complicated relationship with lists for as long as I can remember. On the one hand, I feel like I can’t really remember anything unless I write it down (physically or digitally). On the other hand, I also feel the incredible tyranny of the to-do list and the constant pressure to do more. I want to see my to-do list, but I always don’t want to see it. And that’s why I’m not sure how I feel about the new Google Tasks app for iOS and Android.

For a time, I relied heavily on Google Tasks to keep tabs on everything I wanted to do. I liked how it integrated with both Gmail and Google Calendar as a sidebar widget. That way, i could always have my tasks available at a glance.

When Google Keep launched, I liked some of the additional features and functions it had to offer over Google Tasks. Google Keep doesn’t integrate with Gmail and Calendar, so it meant having to keep a separate tab open in my browser and a separate app on my phone. It took some time, but I’m pretty accustomed to this workflow now.

And then Google decides to release a Google Tasks app and I’m all conflicted again. As you can see, the standalone Tasks app is super clean and minimalist. Some people might even say it’s too clean with too much white space; early reviews are already requesting a “dark mode.”

This is basically the same Google Tasks you’ve always known with due dates and subtasks, but in a dedicated mobile app. What’s troubling for me is just how fragmented this whole Google experience has become when it’s supposed to be so unified. When you add something to your shopping list via Google Assistant, that shopping list lives in neither Tasks nor Keep. Why? You also can’t create tasks in Tasks (confusing, I know) using your voice and, for now, there is no home screen widget for Tasks either.

It’s almost like what Google is doing with messaging, between Hangouts, Allo, Android Messages and more. Why can’t we just bring it all together? Why not just merge Tasks with Keep and add in Google Assistant’s shopping list too?


In any case, you can pick up the Android and iOS versions of the Google Tasks mobile app through the respective app stores starting today.

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