So we just found out that GMail now does Tasks or To Do lists. Supposedly, there was much rejoicing.They actually had a very simple reason for doing this as well:
People use Gmail to get stuff done, so we’ve added a lightweight way to keep track of what you need to do, right from within Gmail.
They made adding tasks simple, as well as reviewing the tasks. Overall, it looks like a very nice and minimalistic approach. You can actually say it is very Google-like. However, I have a simple question. Why? There are several To Do list and task managers that have been in existence for several years. My personal favorite, Remember The Milk, has fantastic list and task management, uses Google Gears for offline access and even integrates with GMail. Why not just buddy up with one of the existing options? Even better, why not purchase Remember The Milk (RTM) and give it full Google service integration? They actually have revenue in the form of “pro” subscriptions.
I am sure people will ask why I think they should buy RTM. First, GMail just created their service, so there are bound to be issues. This first release, though nice enough, has a limited feature set. What makes RTM such an attractive partner? RTM has list sharing as well as the concept of public and private lists. RTM has Twitter integration. RTM has an iPhone and iPod Touch application. RTM has synchronization with BlackBerry tasks as well as the Tasks application in Windows Mobile. RTM integrates with Google Calendar. RTM has widgets for iGoogle and Netvibes. And they also have a really nice mobile version. Oh yeah, they also have various translations and an API for third party applications.
So, I ask again. Why create a simplistic task management application for GMail? Why is Google wasting time creating little applications like this when there have been some issues with GMail and GTalk lately. Is Google finally spreading themselves too thin?