There’s nothing Google’s developers love more than making new messaging apps and task management/to do/reminder apps. When Google Tasks was announced, more than three years ago, we thought it would be the one solution to rule them all — at least for task management. Except Google’s strategy with this app, as it has been for years, has remained as disjointed as ever. It’s no surprise then that Tasks just made it past the 10 million download mark on the Play Store.
10 million might seem like a big number for any other developer and app, but Google plays in a whole other field with a whole other scale. 10 million is minuscule compared to the installed Android base and three years is way too long to reach that milestone. As a point of reference, Android Auto took 2.5 years to get there and that app was geo-restricted to a few countries and only catered to people who drive. By comparison, Tasks is available everywhere and is aimed at people who have things to do, i.e. anyone above the age of three. Another sad point of reference is Google Allo, which reached 10 million in 3 months, and it was Google Allo.
The sad part in that story is that Tasks isn’t all that bad. It’s simple and straightforward for basic task management. Sure, it launched with a lot of limitations, but it has fixed several of these over time. Plus, it’s now integrated with Gmail and Calendar, so there’s a bit of an effort behind it. The real problem is that Google has no strategy whatsoever for managing your to-dos and that means users have no idea where exactly Tasks fits.
Between Calendar appointments and reminders, Assistant reminders, and Keep notes and lists, Google Tasks feels like a redundant solution. And we’re not even sure what the problem it tries to fix is. If it’s supposed to be a place to add things we have to do, why can’t we use it with Assistant on our phones, speakers, and smart displays? If it’s supposed to be a place we store notes and lists, why isn’t it part of Google Keep? And in any case, why is there a separate Google reminders thing, that has nothing to do with Google Tasks?
So I guess congrats to the Google Tasks dev team for reaching the 10 million milestone, but do better next time. I’m sure there’ll be one.