37Signals gets finger friendly

37Signals just rolled out a cool new feature for iPhone and iPad users. I've recently become the proud owner of an iPad but using Basecamp in Safari has been a little frustrating. Many features in Basecamp are centralized around hovering your mouse over something but, since you don't hover with a multi-touch device, they've added finger friendly menus to To-Do lists, To-Do items, Milestones, and files.

That is a great help and shows that their developers are doing everything they can to accommodate new users on new types of devices. Unfortunately, there are still a number of problems I encountered when trying to get some work done from my iPad.

First off, the video that 37Signals posted on their blog (see it here) cannot be viewed on the iPad. I assume you can't see it on iPhone either. Since I was checking my feeds on my iPad from the toilet I immediately went to watch the video about the new features but alas, it was not playable on my device. Come on, you couldn't use a video tag?

Secondly, although being able to edit todo and milestones is cool, the date picker used for selecting dates just plain old doesn't work. This make setting dues dates for todo items impossible and makes editing and adding milestones pointless since they need dates to be effective. Seems like an important but somehow overlooked detail.

Thirdly, if you click a file it gives you the pop-up option to "Edit" or "Delete" but it took me forever to figure out how to actually download or view the file I clicked on. If you're not zoomed in, the difference between clicking the link for the file (to download) and clicking the item (for editing or deleting) is a small one at best.

Finally, the text areas for messages in Basecamp have no mechanism for scrolling up. This means that if you've typed a bunch of text (or pasted some) you have no way to scroll up and edit content that is past the top of the text area. Again, a pretty important detail and one that makes me not want to use Basecamp from my device.

I am really hoping that 37Signals resolves these issues because my company uses their products constantly and being able to access them on the go would really help me be able to stay in touch with projects without having to take out my laptop.

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