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.
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.
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.
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.
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!