Chris Hannah

The Value of Using Stock Apps

Matt Birchler:

I was chatting with Andy Nicolaides recently about task managers (as you do), and he was telling me how he tried using Things again after my recent article about how I use the app, and he said it didn’t work for him and he’d gone back to using Reminders. He also mentioned how he sometimes feels like his preference for using stock apps for as much as possible might be keeping him from enjoying some great third party apps. As someone who tends to prefer third party apps, Andy and I are approaching things from completely different angles.

That said, there are some definite advantages to using stock apps and I wanted to give those reasons a quick shout out here.

There are certainly quite a few benefits of using third-party apps on your device, but as Matt points out, there’s a whole load of value in using what comes installed by default.

I’ve actually slowly using more stock apps/services recently, such as Reminders, Notes, and Mail. In the past, I’ve used third-party options for all three of these, but I seem to always come back to Apple’s built-in apps.

Reminders is one I’ve switched back to the most recent, with me coming from using Things for quite some time. I just found that I wasn’t doing anything special in Things, and although I appreciate the design, I don’t particularly hate the design of the Reminders app either. And I actually like a few things about it more than Things:

  • The price – Things has always seemed a tad expensive for me. So much so, I never actually got around to purchasing the macOS version. Which I think is a big reason why I was never fully invested.
  • Syncing – I’m not sure why, but Things didn’t feel like it had reliable syncing for me. But on the other hand, Reminders seems instant.
  • Apple can support new technologies faster, simply because they control the app. Which is a benefit for me as I use the beta versions on my personal device regularly, and I’ve noticed that third-party apps don’t always work that well on the major version betas.
  • As it’s tied into the system, I get the added benefit of the data being available in other apps like GoodTask and Agenda.

If you like Matt’s piece on the value of stock apps, then you’ll probably also like it’s companion article “The Case for Using Third Party Apps“.