This article was published on October 3, 2017

Zenkit’s first mobile app could spell trouble for Trello [Update]

Zenkit’s first mobile app could spell trouble for Trello [Update]
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Zenkit today released its first iOS app. The app is a welcome addition, and could put Zenkit firmly ahead of Trello in a battle of competing services, at least for iOS users.

Sorry Android fans, your app isn’t yet available; but the Zenkit team assures me it’s close. I’m told the timeline is four to six weeks.

I first heard about Zenkit when our own Matt Hughes profiled the productivity app earlier this year. I was instantly enamored. The web app is the perfect blend of everything I love about Trello, but with customization options and collaborative features it didn’t offer. The calendar view, ability to prioritize tasks, and mind map your notes into a full-fledged idea are welcome additions to the Kanban board-style presentation of Trello. And if you prefer the Kanban approach, it’s still one of the four available view options in Zenkit’s web app.

If you’re looking for all the functionality of the web app, you won’t find it here.The mobile app isn’t quite as feature-rich, at least not yet. But for me, all I really need it to do is add quotes, links, and research material from the iOS share menu. I can handle the heavy lifting, as I often do, at my desk.

The beta version I’ve used the last two weeks does all I need it to, and the web app is its perfect compliment. If you’re a comparison type, think of the mobile version as Wunderlist, while the web app is more traditional Trello competitor.

And in my time using the beta, the app works mostly as you’d expect. It doesn’t get perfect marks, as I did run into one frustrating omission.  Clicking the “+” icon adds a new note to an existing board, but won’t let you create a new one.

This, I’m told, was a conscious decision to get the product out the door and something the team plans to address down the road. According to founder and CEO Martin Welker:

 We’re working hard to try and get as many features from the more-powerful web app into the iOS and Android apps. It’s always a question of the resources available on a phone vs. those on a computer. We need to factor in screen size and computing power, which makes building a database on your phone a bit more tricky. We’re confident that we can crack it though.

Also on the roadmap:

  • Creating and editing teams and collections
  • Creating and editing labels and fields
  • Kanban board
  • Calendar view
  • Adding members
  • Favorites
  • Reminders
  • Deeper iOS integrations (shortcuts without opening the app)
  • And more, depending on user feedback

I’ll be anxiously awaiting the app’s transition into a full-blown Zenkit experience. For now though, the iOS version is a superb compliment to an already exceptional web app.

You can get it today, free, at the App Store.

Update: Zenkit has since released apps for Android and the desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

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