Paws for Trello was born out of a personal need, on a sunny afternoon on the Canary Islands. Three weeks later the first version was live on the Mac App Store. Fourteen months and countless updates later it became the official Trello desktop app, announced by Trello CEO at Atlassian Summit 2017.
Delivering the best Trello experience for desktop
In 2016, Trello was only officially available as a browser application, and a native app was much needed and asked for by thousands of Trello users. Our main intention and ambition then was delivering a smooth, stable and fast Trello experience. We also identified the shortcomings of competitors’ products, and improved on them significantly in Paws for Trello.
The challenge here was finding the balance between desktop OS integration and simplicity. Handling important things in the background, while maintaining the elegant product people already love.
Going beyond what web can do
The core of the app was the familiar Trello experience users knew from the browser. That was our main strength, but also the main point of constructive feedback. Encouraged by the overwhelming positive response to the improvements we made in initial versions, we decided to explore the question: “How far can we push the web technology and how close can we bring Trello to a native desktop experience?”
With warm reception on Product Hunt, over 10,000 purchased copies and a steady rating of 4.6+ stars, it soon became the most recognized desktop client for Trello.
The best Trello app on the market
Users quickly recognised our app as the best available Trello desktop app. With warm reception from early-adopter community on Product Hunt, over 10,000 purchased copies and a steady rating of 4.6+ stars, it was by far the best-rated and most popular desktop client for Trello.
We didn't stop at the release. Instead, we kept improving and expanding the product, adding countless bug fixes and performance enhancements. This work culminated with a 2.0 release where we took a big step beyond the web app and added new, unique features. The biggest one was Quick Add: the ability to add a card to any Trello board with a simple keyboard shortcut. This made Trello feel at home on the desktop and made our app truly stand out.
At the 2.0 milestone, we also released the app on Windows, and became the first Electron app in the Windows Store, just weeks after there were tools to allow that. This no doubt played the part in what happened next...
Acquisition by Atlassian
After Atlassian acquired Trello in early 2017, we were uncertain about the app's future. We knew that Atlassian's CEO was using our app - he reported bugs on Twitter, which we promptly fixed. A few months later, their M&A team got in touch interested in acquiring the app. The process went smoothly and we helped transfer the app working with key engineers at Atlassian and the Trello team.
With the process complete, Trello Desktop was introduced on stage during the Atlassian Summit 2017. It quickly became a mainstay on Product Hunt and main screens of Apple App Store and Microsoft Store. The app also became a finalist of Microsoft Build 2018, nominated for an Innovation award. It is used by 2+ million people today.
The journey from a poolside in Tenerife to the stage at Atlassian Summit was not something we could ever plan for. It was all made possible by the support of our customers and our determination to serve them, by delivering the best product possible.