Can we please have a roadmap for the dev of Devonthink

Can we please get some postings of the roadmap of the Current DevonThink?

I feel it is important for these reasons.

  1. It gives people the confidence that the product is still being thought about.
  2. It lets people with current workflow issues know if there problems will be solved in the next release or what kind of time frame, one month, one year etc… . (This is really just a core value of a good business so there is that as well)
  3. It helps people and business decide if your roadmap will reach their goals and expectations in the future, very important for most long term adaptation and workflow considerations.

Without these goals/fixes/development spelled out by the developer (company) and followed through, why would anyone commit to this product?

If it is the case that the development team has reached the apex of DevonThink then I feel that should be stated outright and conveyed to the potential users or company.

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Is DEVONthink broken?

Is there a small business macOS, or iOS or Windows developer that publishes that sort of information?

Publishing a “roadmap” is sort of the equivalent of pasting a “kick me” sign on one’s back. It’s better to announce things when they are ready, not when they are notional.


DEVONthink is a mature and reliable application, but it certainly hasn’t peaked. We don’t comment on development timeframes as it’s too dynamic an environment, and missed deadlines (real or imagined) are no good for anyone. Rest assured, we are hard at work in here and will make announcements as information is available. There are some amazing things to come! Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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I couldn’t describe it better :laughing:

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Yes, take a look at the Omnigroup. Ken Case publishes a road map every year. Gives real confidence.


I agree that is better to publish real improvements than just expectations.
At the same time, I think is a good practice to involve the user with the plans of development that not only is good for the users but also for the developers to get feedback that they can listen or not.

For me, the case of DevonTechnologies is curious. I know they work hard and provide solid updates in the software with a rock and great software as is DevonThink but taking in mind how fast change the Apps and technology environment is confusing that the company don’t provide any plan for the version 3 of their flagship application after a decade with the version 2.
At this point, most of us just wanted for a UI refresh and more friendly workflow. This software is the best in his category, no doubt about this, but some small tweaks are required and asked every day by the users.

I agree that security and continuous fixes are the keys to keep the application on the top but other side improvements are needed to bring DEVONthink an appealing software for 2019.
Are just my two cents and I am sure that you are working hard to bring incredible things in the future. No need a detailed roadmap, just some care to your loyal users to engage more with your software.

In love with DevonThink, really. Is just my opinion that I think a lot of users share.

This is definitely in the pipeline and the next upgrade will include much more than just a few tweaks :slight_smile:

That sounds great!!!
Looking forward to the news.

Hi all. I appreciate the sentiments in this thread, and as a user, I’m always glad to know what’s going on with apps like DEVONthink that I rely on every day (every minute?). But, in general, I am not especially concerned about UI tweaks and the like. I really want to know that there is a commitment to supporting the features that are in the app. Well, at least the ones I rely on :slight_smile:

Beyond that, it’s all icing on the cake. In the last 12 years or so, we’ve seen the explosion of mobile apps, the app store, and insanely fast update cycles. There have been some nice changes, to be sure, but also some very unpleasant ones. Subscription services are on the rise–it’s simply not possible for me to subscribe to everything I enjoy using (Amazon Prime, Audible, Hulu, Netflix, Dropbox, iCloud, Office 365, Google Drive, Bear, Evernote, Omnifocus, etc.). And, those are just the first things that come to mind. The solution, for me, is to just subscribe to one of those in that list, even though I used to use them all. DEVONthink has somehow avoided the subscription model and, funny enough, the relatively glacial update cycle has been a huge benefit–DT is one of the only apps I have that is reliable on a daily basis. Weekly updates (at some points) from other developers have seen features dropped (“no time to put them in–we’ll get to them in a later update” is the constant refrain) or apps made entirely useless (“sorry about that–we’ll have that fixed in the next update”). In my opinion, DT has been a constant companion for me precisely because it is a high quality app that is only updated when everything is ready to go.

Of course, user input is important, and that is what these forums are here to do. The developers and decision makers are in this thread reading and listening. If a roadmap is shared, I think it ought to be in a less public setting without anything official. Kudos to the app developers who share roadmaps, but from the outside looking in, the pressure to meet deadlines (literally from thousands of people around the world) looks way too intense to me–that’s no good for anyone. I’ve seen many, many cases of really angry users when deadlines get missed. It isn’t worth it.

For the lead-up to the rollout of a new update at DT, see Eric’s post here in 2013 about DTTG. It’s a well-written statement of a philosophy that differs from the rest of the crowd–in a good way. … ink-to-go/
No one, including me, enjoyed the wait. But, it was worth it. Keep up the good work!

Indeed, this is very true. :smiley:

Absolutely agree.

Roadmap does not have to include deadlines. It can lay out the directional map where an organization plans to go and why that is important to go that way. my team did this for a $10 Billion European company to give guidance but we always were willing to change direction as circumstances changes. But it gave interested parties an idea of what we were trying to do. To continually bring up not wanting or to be able [and rightly so] to hit deadlines is valid but it avoids the concept of a roadmap. For example is there a plan to bring synchronicity of Smart Groups to DTTG? This is not a deadline but a vision. Yes or no.
The ability to customize DTPO is great, but what would the user audience size be if it was simply simpler to use? Is there a plan to make it more user friendly? You could help a much larger group of people instead of a geek [includes me] group. Many of the same questions about how to use DTPO come up over and over on the forums. Have you done an analysis to see what user friendly features are requested?

Hi. In general, I think the DT does a fine job of handling feature requests. It’s not a roadmap, but a general idea of what they think about each suggestion. For example, on search groups, they’ve said it isn’t there at this time, suggesting that they wouldn’t be opposed to putting it in there, and it may be there in the future at some point (functionally speaking, a roadmap for development).

As for “user-friendly,” I think that is a pretty subjective thing. In general, though, when people post with feature requests (including, making stuff user friendly), and give reasons for it, someone from the team comments on it. I know that I’ve seen some changes made that I’ve requested. I’ve also seen some changes NOT made that I’ve suggested. Fair enough. I’m satisfied that they listened and considered the suggestions. Perhaps someday they will revisit the transparent purple and pink color scheme idea.

This isn’t to say you don’t make some good points that others might agree with – rather, it’s my opinion about how the company interacts with its users. From my perspective, I know it’s a small team, and I’d prefer to keep these kinds of interpersonal interactions on the message boards rather than rely on quantitative analyses of the user base (an all too common interpretation of “analysis” by many companies).

I agree that they make an effort to handle feature requests. But many never show up nor are they given a priority explanation like " interesting but not really near the top of the list", which is ok it is their company. I do not agree that user friendly is pretty subjective, user friendly can be analyzed, tested and improved. I ran companies in Japan, Europe and USA and know it can be done. Toting up the number of requests for a features is not the way to do it. Nor is simply commenting on someones request for more user friendly feature. That is pablum . And I agree with devontech not doing that. I also agree with you about not overweighting message board input for changes, they tend to have a limited number of users and may or may represent the broader market or potential market of users of the product.
You mentioned “For example, on search groups, they’ve said it isn’t there at this time, suggesting that they wouldn’t be opposed to putting it in there, and it may be there in the future at some point (functionally speaking, a roadmap for development).” this is not a roadmap functional or otherwise, that is simply vague. I realize it is a small team and am constantly impressed with the massive quality and functionality they have built in DTPO. BUT, I still think [my opinion of course] they lag in use friendly interface and UI. Fundamentally, this hurts the usability by a wider audience. For example, Notebook [out of business] or Keep It had or have better interfaces and usability for a wider audience. They are not as powerful overall, but have easier to user interfaces, but if you want to help more people, more people are not all geeks who want to write or use scripts. Script capability is nice to have also. Sync is also still an issue as indicated by the number forum notes about it.

We’ll probably have to agree to disagree about the subjectivity of “user-friendly,” though I suspect we could probably meet somewhere in the middle to say that there are subjective and objective elements that make up “superior” interfaces. I am not a big fan of the “simple” look that Google, Apple and others have embraced in recent years. I bet they put a lot of money and effort into figuring out how “great” their design language is, but apparently I’m one of those people who missed the classes explaining why (for example) Apple thought it was a good idea to have hidden menus in OSX (the option key reveals them). Perhaps I am objectively an outlier, but subjectively, I know it is irritating. I’m rarely a big fan of massive UI makeovers to “freshen” up the interface on any app.

Then again, in many cases, things seem objectively better. For example, one click / tap is simply better than one. The thumbprint lock/unlock on DT is brilliant. An organizational feature such as smart groups (using the example above) existing in one interface and not in another is probably objectively irritating to anyone trying to use that feature in a desktop environment and then finding that it is “missing” from the other one. The vague answer from DT, I suspect, stems from a number of variables that arise from trying to achieve feature parity in different operating systems / environments. iOS is not OSX, and my iPad is still terribly limited, despite having the “Pro” tag and an amazing processor. Perhaps the smart groups “can” be done in iOS, but there is probably a lot of stuff to sort out (pun intended)–meanwhile it probably takes a back seat to stuff that “needs” to be improved (recently, the syncing is a lot better for me). It seems enough to me that they heard the request. I’m even more pleased to know that they seem to think it is reasonable. Beyond that, I’m happy to let them sort out their schedules–smart groups might help with that :slight_smile:

I am neither a professional programmer nor a CEO, so I lack any experience or valuable perspective on this issue of roadmaps. In my experience as an end-user, though, I’ve rarely found roadmaps or prognostication to be much use beyond a few concrete promises to support existing functionality, or a warning well ahead of time that some kind of functionality will be abandoned. My end-user experience with apps is littered with broken promises and half-baked functionality. Roadmaps promising exciting new features are kind of the antithesis of what I want. DT is one of the rare apps I can start up and reliably use every morning, whatever I need to do. I guess their user base is not as large as Google’s, but I’m not sure why it needs to be. I’m glad to know they are there behind the scenes squashing bugs and taking their time to develop new features for an app that is arguably the best in the world at what it does–I don’t feel it’s necessary (speaking again as an individual end-user) for them to lay out their roadmap for us in a public setting. I suspect they have a roadmap of their own somewhere in the office, or at least a shared understanding of where they are headed. I’m confident that they know what they are doing.

That said, I’m all for improvements. There is room for improvement out there. Are there any concrete user-friendly changes you had in mind? Would a list of these differ markedly from a roadmap?

Chiming in for a moment, we indeed have a roadmap internally but we also have frequent discussions about whether we should “take this exit or the next?”

We listen to ideas from various sources. But the list of ideas is longer than our lifespans (and yes, we all have our own lists too).

Ideas are cheap and easy (and fun).
Implementation is usually not.

Development, especially on an app as powerful as DEVONthink, is not a trivial matter. Add to that the fact we have several apps, including a mobile app, and you start to understand the dynamics of fixing / adding / planning / etc. for a software company. We have to prioritize our work and yes, we also have to react when necessary. Consider a change Apple makes in an update that causes a crash in one of our apps. We have to take time to respond, coding and testing (and recoding and retesting), and that means we’ve had to stop at another rest area (again) on our trip to our destination. If we had a set itinerary, people would expect us to arrive at a specific time. While we strive to meet the internal deadlines we set for ourselves (and yes we certainly have them), our road has detours and an occasional fallen tree we encounter.

We welcome peoples’ input but we also appreciate patience and understanding of the realities of creating (great) software.


I prefer to get a long and careful development of a new software version (and not just a maintenance update) than to get something quickly developed piece of sh*t, which should then be tested by user. And I can accept that things on side of the developers can change until the the final release several times

I expect major changes with V3 and they all need to be properly implemented and tested in different settings before they are made available to end users like me.

I have made many bad experiences with poorly implemented software - from even a bolide like Lightroom to currently Luminar (two EBV apps). Basically, both are good pieces software with a good concept, but Lightroom was as buggy in the early stages as it is now, for example, Luminar. I don’t want to experience something like this with DEVONthink, especially since it’s work software for me and not hobby software.

And such questions I can often read on Twitter or elsewhere, whether version 3 will support dark mode or not, are completely secondary for me.

It will :slight_smile: But that’s just a gimmick. All the other improvements will be much more important.

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Wearing sunglasses indoors works better :mrgreen:

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I’ll make a selffishish comment. There are many desirable and nice features suggested by many forum members, BUT please don’t rush. I think that stability and robustness of data management is the crucial and perhaps the most important source of trust from the current users of DT and please don”t consider trading features for stability and reliability.