Perhaps the most important of the distinguishing factors of the App Store and iOS development is the insanely high quality of apps. Not all apps — not by a long shot — but the ones that are made with care and attention are truly wonders of form and function wrapped in a gorgeous shell. Due is one of those apps. It takes the mundane task of setting a quick reminder and makes it easier than using a calendar app and more, dare I say it, fun than it should be. No tricks, just good solid design and all the functions you need within easy reach.
Make no mistake, Due is just a to-do list with timers, so if you’re looking for something else, Due isn’t for you. But if you ever used Diddlebug on the ancient Palm OS, this is as close as I’ve found (with Diddlebug you drew on the screen and added a timer). Why there’s no iOS version of Diddlebug is beyond me, even a crappy 8-bit version would suffice. At any rate, Due allows you to create a timed reminder with a default notification and chime within about 4 or 5 taps, depending on some options. Four if you accept the default timed “on the next quarter hour.” You can adjust the default time interval in the app’s settings, from 1 minute to 30.
Reminders, once created, go in a queue. Tapping on a reminder allows you to set whether or not snoozing is allowed, if you want a reminder to repeat, chime options and if you want to reschedule this for 10 minutes, 1 hour or 1 day later. All of that in a submenu, and it’s quite intuitive to boot. Swiping a reminder allows you to delete it.
An example of the app’s lovely attention to detail: when you go to set a reminder, there are four “default time” buttons which correspond to when you wake up, what time you eat lunch, when you leave work and just before bedtime.
Gallery: Due for iOS
Timers, the other part of Due, are even simpler: just a simple countdown timer in a list with a cool switch graphic. You can make your own, but three examples are included.
Once you dismiss a reminder, it goes to the Logbook, which is a sort of recycling center. You can quickly reset the timer for another time in a pop-up menu with three presets and a customize option. Or you can swipe your finger and delete the reminder forever.
The default alarm sound is a pleasant chime. You can set a secondary alert in the app’s settings. You can also turn off the sound effects in the app, although I found the ticking and clicking added to the beauty of this app. There are only eight alert sounds, but they are designed to be loud and long. You can choose from sounds like Beep, which is a very loud beep on my iPhone’s tiny speaker but lasts only 1 second, or Wind Chimes, which are somewhat softer but last 30 seconds.
First, the settings are accessed through the Logbook, which I found a little odd. But the settings you get in Due are plentiful and useful. Several powerful defaults can be changed here, including a default due date, default snooze period and the minute interval for setting reminders. You can also set the time you wake up, go to lunch, etc.
But wait, there’s more! Backup and sync. Yes, the app will backup its own database and let you revert to that saved state within the app. You can restore within the app or email your database. With sync, you can link your database to Dropbox — which is heavenly.
If you find the iPhone’s built-in Calendar app clunky and you just need simple timed reminders, Due is simply a must-have app. From its intuitive and beautiful design to its simple functionality and powerful customization options, you won’t regret the $3 for such a well-made app, compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Check out Due’s website (itself a thing of beauty) and see more demos of the app in action.