DT, focus on sync and iOS next (& a suggestion on sidebar)

There are some loud voices on certain legacy features of DT2. Some of them are very constructive suggestions, such as bringing back inbox and tags and document-only view in the list view and keyboard navigation to the sidebar. I think the key issues are that a particular portion of users may have an unusually large number of items, folders, and databases that they require an effective way of managing them. Some others may have limited screen space (but all screens will get bigger given time). I think the sidebar is getting there with each incremental change. Users just need to be patient. For those who keep threating that they won’t upgrade, give them some time, and I bet they will. Remember that you are likely to have a lot more happy customers for your excellent products and services. For those who complain, I think they also love the product, just in a different manner. If DT is merely a product (e.g. a “blow-up finder”) that can get rid of easily, they’ll simply walk away instead of complaining.

I just google and find out that Apple has more than 1.4 billion active devices as of Jan 2019. I am “guessing” that there are many more iOS devices than Mac OS devices. With Apple’s positioning of iPad/Pro/iPadOS as an alternative to notebooks, I think some earnest effort should now be placed in perfecting iOS and sync on any cloud. Very few products are having both iOS and macOS app functioning at par (obviously, limited by the OS’s capability). If DT can do it, they may hit a home run. More iOS users may be attracted to use desktop DT because of the iOS app, even just as a synced container. I am one of those users who purchase quite a few desktop apps after using the iOS app. I’m aware that this is a highly simplified and perhaps naive argument, but I say it anyway.

Just a kind reminder, I wish DT won’t apply the same greyish iconology to DTTG. iOS needs to look sexier!:smile:

Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary license user of DT.

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Thanks for the feedback! Considering the limited hardware, OS and usability of iDevices, it’s at least in the foreseeable future unlikely that both platforms will be at par. But there are definitely plans to improve DEVONthink To Go and to bring some features of DEVONthink 3 to iPhones/iPads (and of course to fix existing shortcomings).

Looking forward to see that.

For sidebar, I am aware that keyboard navigation is a planned feature. I would like to add two more thoughts:
(1) Allow to jump from sidebar to the list pane or even consecutively to the preview pane by the tab key. I recall many DT2 users are looking forward to this key-driven jump. It is a legitimate, and logical, suggestion. When a user has located a group in the sidebar, it is natural that they want to drill into the group/s for further review. Some users may be comfortable to continue the drill within the sidebar, but some may want to use the list view to continue the process and then scroll within the content (in std view or widescreen view).

(2) The database switching in sidebar needs some refinement. When users click on a database in sidebar, there are three main purposes that I can think of: (i) switching to a different database and starting at the root, (ii) switching to a specific “group” in a specific “database” (iii) switching to a database BUT hoping that they can go back to the last retained view in that database.

The current flow of sidebar can handle (i) and (ii) but (ii) requires some additional mouse clicks if the db’s tree is not expanded. However, if keyboard navigation is possible then (ii) is no longer creating “pain” for the keyboard-based user.

THE main issue is that the sidebar CANNOT handle (iii). In fact, I think that’s one of the main reasons users are asking for tab windows or perhaps 3PV.

Scenario: Someone with more than one databases that have many groups, and he needs to cross-reference different groups in different databases OR he is actually multi-tasking. (a) it is unlikely that they have expanded all databases and/or all main groups/subgroups in the sidebar due to the vertical space limitation, and (b) they just spend good amount of time in locating the group/items in DB1, they want to find some specific group/files in DB2, and another groups/files in DB3. And then they want to go back to DB1 to CONTINUE their works on it.

For this scenario, imagine a user is physically surrounded by multiple desks and they simply want to rotate their chair to review their materials lying on each desk which are arranged for a certain task. But instead, they are seeing an automatically clean-up desk every time even though all materials on the desk are going back to the right shelves! I think these users are desperately looking for a way to flipping/switching to the last retained list of each database. And sidebar can be very clumsy in handling this situation.

Suggestion: offer a hidden/explicit option when a database is clicked on the sidebar: either the list view is showing the root of the database (option disabled) OR the list view is showing the last list view of the database that the user is working on (option enabled). When the option is enabled, the sidebar should also move the selection to the same group of that retained list view (if the tree of that database is expanded on sidebar). With this option, users are effectively getting a tabbed windows of databases.
However, I am not sure how sidebar would handle the selection IF the last retained view is a search list.

I may have misinterpreted the real reason for asking 3PV, my apology in advance.

As soon as the sidebar supports keyboard navigation it will be also supported by Ctrl-Tab and Shift-Ctrl-Tab. These are the recommended shortcuts to switch the focus as Tab might e.g. be already used for other stuff, e.g. in rich text views.

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Sounds good enough!
I think my suggestion on (2) is a real issue. Even I feel the pain sometimes, and I only have two main databases …