Trello users can now access the project management tool directly from their desktop after the launch of native Windows and Mac apps.
The software had previously been browser-based only, meaning that Trello boards could easily get lost amid a multitude of browser tabs. The company said in a blog post that the desktop app should make the software simpler to use, since Trello has added a navigation sidebar to help keep track of boards in a similar fashion to channels on collaboration tools such as Slack.
Other features include “more granular” keyboard shortcuts and desktop notifications. Those using the latest Mac Book Pro laptops will also be able to open boards and create new cards from the Mac’s Touch Bar.
A desktop presence is an important option for collaboration or productivity tools, said Gartner research director Larry Cannell. “To be successful, workers need to be using them on a day-to-day or minute-by-minute basis,” he said. “Why should Outlook and a web browser be the only apps open on a desktop? For teams using Trello, this will be a welcomed addition.”
The company also announced Wednesday that Trello boards and cards can now be embedded in separate applications, including Bitbucket, Dropbox Paper and Confluence Cloud.
“By embedding Trello cards and boards inside the apps you use to plan, work, and communicate, teams can stay connected and see who’s doing what (and what needs to get done) without switching apps,” the company said in a blog post.
According to Raúl Castañón-Martínez, senior analyst at 451 Research, the addition of features such as the desktop app shows how Trello’s technology has evolved since its acquisition by collaboration software provider Atlassian for $425 million earlier this year.
“The big picture here is how Trello – and the entire Atlassian portfolio for that matter – is evolving,” said Castañón-Martínez.
“The company is enhancing its products with new features that allow users to be more effective with their work; for example, interacting with other users across other Trello boards and across other applications. This enables them to get more work done in one place rather than jumping around between applications.”
He called creation of the desktop app a “natural progression” for Trello.
“It is evolving from an application into a workspace,” he said. “The benefit for the end user will be that it enables them to work with less distractions. Jumping between applications is a productivity-killer.”
The announcements were made against a backdrop of accelerating adoption, with Trello claiming to have reached 25 million user sign-ups. That’s up from 14 million in May last year, according to Forbes.
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