Wunderkit Finally Hits the Mac

If you spend any time at all with your nose in the realm of productivity software (and you know we do), then you’re probably aware of the splash that 6Wunderkinder made when they finally opened their super-secret new web app, Wunderkit, to public beta just a mere few weeks ago. By building on the success of Wunderlist (which many would agree is one of the most refined task-list managers on the market thus far), 6Wunderkinder designed a highly anticipated platform that has the potential to change the way we organize our life.

In a not entirely unexpected move, 6Wunderkinder released a Wunderkit client for both Mac and iPhone on the same day that the beta of the service went public, and those of us who utilize those platforms got a taste of what’s to come from 6Wunderkinder’s almost certain multi-platform roadmap. Today, I’m going to take a look at attempt number one at the Wunderkit client for Mac. Hit the jump to find out more.

One Platform To Rule Them All

There are three core aspects of Wunderkit that makes it stand out from the competition. The first of these aspects is Workspaces, and how they work. A heavy majority of productivity software that I’ve used focuses on either independent task management or team collaboration, but rarely both. If one does include the other, it’s usually a weakly implemented afterthought. Wunderkit, however, allows you to make your Workspaces either public or private, effectively abolishing the need for more than one tool to manage your productive life.

Dashboard gives you all of the days relevant information in one place.

Dashboard gives you all of the days relevant information in one place.

The second thing that raises the bar is the social nature of the service. From the above screenshot, you can see that the interface is already laid out more like a social network than a task list manager, and that was the point. 6Wunderkinder’s idea is that collaboration should happen effortlessly, so you can spend more time on creating and less time trying to figure out how to communicate.

Social productivity means follows and profile pages.

Social productivity means follows and profile pages.

Lastly, Wunderkit is touted as more than just a task list app. It is heavily referred to on the 6Wunderkinder webpage as a platform. What this means is that, in the future, the feature set and usability will expand, as the developers (and presumably third party developers?) add functionality beyond the three built in apps that Wunderkit contains now. Dashboard, Tasks, and Notes are a great start, but I’m excited to see what kind of other tools they implement.

Tasks is one of the built in apps, and looks quite a bit like Wunderlist.

Tasks is one of the built in apps, and looks quite a bit like Wunderlist.

If you want to read more about the nuts and bolts of how the Wunderkit service functions, check out this post on Web.AppStorm. It’s worth noting that since the publishing of that first review of the web app and service, 6Wunderkinder has announced a restructuring of their pricing, and full collaborative capabilities will be offered to all users for the low, low price of free. Pro users will eventually have access to some advantageous features for only $4.99/month, but I’m happy to see them embracing the “pay for the horns, but get the bull for free” philosophy.

But What About The App Itself?

I could honestly rave all day long about how exciting the service is, but that’s not really why we’re here, is it? This is a site where we review Mac apps, and the Wunderkit app for Mac is, well…a bit disappointing. Disappointing, but not so much in that it’s faulty or buggier than you would expect a beta application to be, but in the sense that there’s so much missed potential here.

When I first caught wind of Wunderkit and began exploring what it was all about, I pored over the small handful of posts on the 6Wunderkinder blog, clamoring for any information I could find. There were a few screenshots featuring portions of the UI that had me giddy like a schoolgirl, and my imagination ran rampant about the possibilities of a beautifully designed, fully integrated productivity platform on my Mac, free from the boundaries of a browser window.

What we got instead, when the Mac app was released, was a single-window app that more or less imitates the experience of using the web app. Upon launch, the app takes a fair amount of time to load (presumably, connecting to the service, rather than syncing with it), and from then on behaves identically to the web version of Wunderkit.

Unfortunately, I've stared at this screen for longer than I'd like to on more than one occasion.

Unfortunately, I've stared at this screen for longer than I'd like to on more than one occasion.

While the iPhone really isn’t in our realm here on Mac.AppStorm, I’d encourage you to check out the iPhone app as an example of a Wunderkit design that takes full advantage of it’s platform. Wunderkit for Mac falls short here.

Let me be clear: I’m going to keep using this app, for a few reasons. Firstly, the app isn’t really bad as much as it is not living up to it’s potential. Aside from a somewhat sluggish launch time, the performance of the app itself isn’t any worse than what you’ll find in the web app, and what is to be expected in a beta service.

Second, and perhaps the biggest reason I’ll continue to use it, is that in most cases, any app is better than no app. The web app is beautifully designed, so to have it emulated in a desktop window really isn’t so much a problem as it is moderately unfortunate. And as an added bonus, I don’t need to keep a Safari tab open to run Wunderkit!

The Bottom Line

I love Wunderkit. The service has, unlike most collaborative task managers, stepped up to fill the role of both personal and team management for me. I think that the social aspect is brilliant, and the concept of Wunderkit as a platform for other apps means that what we have today is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Wunderkit could someday be capable. The productivity enthusiast in me has rarely been as excited about a new product or service in recent memory.

However, the other part of me is the Mac app enthusiast and review writer. And that part finds the Mac client for Wunderkit to be just a little bit underwhelming, especially when such a product has so much potential for OS X integration. 6Wunderkinder has a solid history of continual improvement (features are still being added to Wunderlist), and I have full faith that my concerns will be addressed in the most elegant way possible, but for now, I will open Wunderkit each day with a tinge of “What if…?” in my heart.

If you’re a Wunderkit user, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the Mac client. Let’s get some discussion going on down below!


Summary

Wunderkit is an incredible productivity platform that I can't say enough good things about. The Mac app for the platform, however, is decidedly lacking in what could be some really great features.

7
  • Jonathan Willing

    Just to let you all know, 6WunderKinder is working on a native Mac application that I’m sure will run quite nicely.

    It’ll be worth the wait.

    • Scott Lougheed

      Is that not exactly the thing that this article covers? Isn’t this article a review of 6Wunderkinder’s Mac application?

      • Jonathan Willing

        No, although this article covers the Mac app, it currently is only a “wrapper” over the web application. The wrapper is a native application, but all it basically does it just display a webpage inside the application. I don’t consider that to be native.

        A native application would be one that actually uses the frameworks provided by the system for most of the app’s functionality.

  • http://galacticboom.com Corey

    While I love the app I really hope they come out with something that can be used when offline. I have a 2 hour commute every day and do quite a bit of work while on the go. Not being able to use it at that time throws a huge wrench in my workflow so I’m stuck using other less-awesome apps until they update it.

    • http://twitter.com/@scottld3 Scott Danielson

      Exactly, Corey. The app should be usable on it’s own. I think I’d like to see something that syncs with the service and stays updated (indeed, like Wunderlist does), rather than simply a desktop portal to the web app.

      • Miguel

        I actually can be used offline. It will sync up with the web server next time it connects, but a web connection is not necessary once you’re set up.

      • Miguel

        I meant *It* can be used offline.

  • http://doctype.me Aleks Dorohovich

    I tried Wunderkit before (online app, but i don’t see any differences from desktop version), and I think wunderkit team re-invented Google Wave – same look&feel, similar ui. That’s bad :)

    • Miguel

      I thought the same thing- that it was similar to GW (which I didn’t like), but Wunderlist has made several key design decisions and controls that to me, make all the difference. Though I admit I fall prey to the what if? mindset as the author of this article did. For now, its a competent, pretty, shareable to-do list for my freelance projects. I think it has lots of potential to be much more though.

  • http://www.rightsizedview.com Hank VanZile

    I largely agree with your review, Scott. Wunderkit is good, but I can’t wait for 6Wunderkinder to get some of the wrinkles worked out. Right now it feels like a pokey web app inside a Cocoa frame. Unlike you, I’m not entirely enamoured of the social element – I use the app for tracking client projects and would hate to accidentally make one of my workspaces public. All that said, I use it (and Wunderlist) daily and 6Wunderkinder has quickly become one of my favourite development companies. I have a tremendous amount of faith that it will become an amazing platform in the near future.

  • Johannes

    I tested Wunderkit too. It has a really nice Interface but i missed a view functions so i switched to asana. Asana has all functions i need, it is faster than wunderkit and its free.

  • onebranch

    This article is spot on. I’ve been a very loyal Wunderlist user. Loved the interface and speed when using it on the Mac, IOS and Android platforms. Using Wunderkit for Mac however was not a good experience for me. Hate that it takes forever to boot up due to it’s need to connect to it’s “social” servers that i wish there is a switch to turn it’s “social” feature off. Hate also the busy Social UI that greets you everytime you open it. The IOS app is much better even just for the fact that the “social wall” portion is not visible right away when you boot it up. I also affirm the fear of accidentally making your critical tasks “public”.

  • Jay

    Your review made me try wunderlist – what, no feature for repeating tasks? You called it “refined”, I called it DOA.

  • Mary

    Now, just because no one talks about it : the app isn’t working on 32.
    Yup, still people on that and working on Snow Leo.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewbostock Matthew Bostock

    Hello everyone! My name’s Matt, Product Marketing Manager for 6Wunderkinder.

    Firstly, thanks for the article Scott, and all the feedback you guys have left in the comments. As Hank guesses, we’re ironing out the wrinkles right now. So what about the Mac App?

    We’re working on a completely native Mac client. What we have currently available is somewhat of a stop gap. We promise to make the Mac experience even better, in true 6Wunderkinder fashion of course!

    Keep an eye out for more platform support in the future too!
    Thanks,

    Matt.

    • http://twitter.com/@scottld3 Scott Danielson

      Hey Matt, thanks for stopping by and reading. It thrills me to hear that you’re working a native client for Mac. Keep up the great work.

    • India

      I agree 100% with Scott’s article and onebranch comment. Wunderkit is still useful even with its faults and what I consider “too much social” aspect but the reply from Matt is why I stay. The 6wunderkinder is one of the best development team I’ve seen in a longtime. Their commitment makes me trust the improvements will come.

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  • http://www.amazeline.com/337 Jacelyn

    Like Wunderkit’s GUI.

  • Jan Demarez

    Evernote?

  • Blir

    I think Wunderkit is amazing. I use it mostly for personal organization, connecting and working with friends on art projects and curating duties. So for me it’s perfect; I can’t really think of a feature it’s missing. But I can see that for business offices, which needs lots of co-ordinating of large projects, Wunderkit might fall short for those users. But it does take a long time to load on my Macbook from mid 2010.

  • James Sandells

    How can i use the app offline when it is not connected to the internet the window will not load and tells me it does not have a connection, so can this app be used without a connection as wunderlist can .

    • http://www.cloudproductivity.net Jeremy Roberts

      I’ve just been using Wunderkit for iPhone when I’m offline.

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  • http://osxstory.com OS X Story

    Download Wunderkit URL please…

  • http://www.cloudproductivity.net Jeremy Roberts

    I’m a huge Wunderkit fan and use it all day, every day on both my Mac (using the Mac app) and my iPhone. When I’m in transit I often lose reception to my phone, that means that my laptop loses internet access too. But what I do is sync Wunderkit on my iPhone beforehand. Then, when I open Wunderkit again later when I don’t have reception, Wunderkit fails to sync (obviously), but I can still access all my tasks and notes and create new tasks and notes. Then, when I have reception again a quick sync pushes all my changes up to the cloud so I can see them on the app or web browser.

    But it’s true the best thing about it is that I can use one application to manage my activities across all areas of my life. Love it!

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