During a recent round of updates to the Do.com social task management application, Salesforce launched the Do Social Productivity app for Android. It joins their free Do - Social Productivity iPhone app for enabling users mobile access to their Do.com projects and tasks. I use Do.com for managing some reoccurring midsize projects, so I recently spent some time using their new app on a Google Nexus 7 tablet. While you can use it from an Android smartphone, the app makes nice use of the extra screen real estate tablets offer.
When you open the app, you have the option to login using either a Google Apps or Do.com account. If you don't have a Do.com account yet, you have the option to create a new account directly from the app.
Create tasksWhen you open the Do Social Productivity app, a list of your assigned and available tasks greets you. The tasks are written in white text on a black background, which can be harsh on the eyes. It's the one part where the fabled Salesforce user experience stumbles in this app. I found the white text on a black background hard to read even on a tablet. Figure A shows an example of the task list. Figure A
The task list shows your tasks by section.When you tap the plus sign [+], it brings up the Create a Task screen (Figure B). I tried to assign a task to another user, but the assignees feature wasn't picking up anybody from my address book or the test email addresses that I shared with the project. However, a Salesforce representative said that the Do development team is about to submit an update to Google Play that will allow users to add new assignees via an email or through the device's address book. On a brighter note, the calendar interface for the due date is well designed and easy to use. Figure B
Create a Task screen.
Unfortunately, when I tried to add the task to an existing Do project, the Do Android app crashed repeatedly, and I was never able to get the feature to work when I was writing this post. I followed the prompts to report the crash, which brings up a rather intimidating Google legal agreement that you have to accept or decline before sending notice of the crash and your system data to the minds at Google. On a corporate or BYOD tablet, this would be inexcusable. The only workaround at this time is to add tasks from the web and only use the mobile app to strike tasks from your Do.com project.
Access and create projectsThe Projects list is way more readable than the list of tasks. You can scroll through all of the projects you have access to in Do.com, with direct links to Tasks, Projects, and Notes. The scrolling was responsive on my Nexus 7 tablet. Figure C shows how the Do app presents Projects. Figure C
Projects in the Do Social Productivity app.You can create new Do.com projects using the Android app. It works like a charm. To add insult to injury, actions like finding assignees and creating a new task worked flawlessly in the new project I just created. Figure D shows the Create a Project screen. Figure D
Create a new project in Do.com.
Add NotesThe notes feature (Figure E) is pretty bare bones as note-taking features go. One immediate reaction is you can only type text above the line in the note — it's not a space for a heading (if it is, then that's another thing that didn't work for me in this app). The notes I entered using the Do Social Productivity app didn't synchronize back to my Do.com project. Figure E
A blank note in Do.com.
Wait for the update
While the web version of Do recently gained Do Contacts, a contact management feature, and Do Deals, a lightweight CRM feature, you'll have to wait for these to appear on the Do Android app. However, if you have a task associated with a Deal or Contact from the web app, it will still appear in the Android app.
The Do Social Productivity App for Android has great potential, but the readability issues and multiple crashes make it seem like a beta app when put up against the high quality Do.com cloud application. I can't recommend this app right now, because the significant quality issues make it unacceptable for business users. I advise waiting in hopes the development team resolves the quality issues and delivers an update on par with the Do.com social task management application.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.