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July 23, 2011 2489 comments so far

Firetask Cloud Syncing: Public Beta

With the great feedback and help of our closed beta group we finally did it. Firetask's free cloud-syncing service is ready for its public beta test. Let me share with you some of the ups and downs we encountered as well as on how to get started with cloud-syncing using Firetask for Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

First of all, how can you get your hands on the cloud-syncing beta? Very easy, simply get the latest versions of Firetask for Mac (1.5), iPad (1.5) or iPhone (4.5) from the Mac and iTuns App Store and press the sync button. Where you originally could only sync with your Mac you will now also get the choice to "Sync with Firetask Cloud". If you want to know more about this check out the new "Syncing" section in our updated tutorial page on the Firetask website.

What was the biggest challenge during the private beta? Answer: reproducing problems users reported in our labs. For instance, even though our testers were really great in describing problems, we did not always have access to their data and thus, it was sometimes hard to get the same behavior as our beta users reported. Another problem was that in the second half of the private beta we switched to the production servers, but of course we still discovered several bugs. Since access to the production servers was limited compared to the staging environment we used earlier, debugging proved to be especially challenging during these last weeks of the private beta test.

What was the greatest moment during the project? When we were able to upload projects, categories and tasks correctly to the Firetask Cloud and also to download them again exactly as they were before for the very first time. This really felt good :-).

All in all we are very happy with the results of the private beta. We discovered a lot of issues and we could sort out every single one of them. We hope of course that we found all major problems in the private beta, but you can never know before a larger number of users uses a new system on a daily basis. We will keep cloud-syncing in a public beta test until we feel confident that we have done everything to ensure that our users enjoy cloud-syncing the way it is supposed to be ;-).

Last but not least, many thanks to the guys at MindMeister who managed to build the server components beside their development work on the next version of their great collaborative mind mapping platform. It was and is a pleasure to work with you on this project together.