OK, the last time I ranted about my information needs I got a pretty good response. And my previous posts about iPhone apps have gotten decent attention from the developers. So here is my Issue Du Jour:
I recently upgraded my phone and lost most of my apps in the process. Not lost as in forever, but lost as in they were no longer staring me in the face upon startup. I had to go fetch them from the cloud as I needed them. I hate to say my kids told me so, but they were among the first ones squawking that I had too many apps on my phone and there was no possible way I really used them all. Five screens of apps, all in folders. Too much, you say??
I hate to delete an app that actually has potential. I’ve hung on to financial calculator apps and Christmas shopping organizers, saving my mad delete skillz for the likes of Talking Tom and virtual measuring tapes. (Do those ever really work?) My argument for the useless apps I keep has always been, “But I emailed that developer and he is going to make this app do exactly what I need it to do, so I have to hang on to it!” Except that I’ve been an app freak for four years now and those cool features I desire still do not exist.
Listen up, app-mappers. I have needs. I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one with these needs. (Then again, maybe I am. Whatev.) Essentially, I believe any app’s primary objective should be to make a small, even insignificant, aspect of my life easier. Otherwise, you’re just cluttering my already crowded phone with more useless stuff and empty promises. Allow me to be specific:
Reminders/To-Dos with snooze I love the native Reminders app on the iPhone. It will remind you of whatever your task is based on your location or time of day. It’s as customizable as any app I could ask for with one exception. I can’t snooze a reminder. Admittedly, Outlook has spoiled me. I can set any task and customize the reminder. When the reminder pops up, if I’m in the middle of something uber-important, like facilitating Middle East peace talks, I can snooze the reminder for anywhere from another five minutes to the next day. ‘Cause seriously, we can’t expect world peace to wait while I pay my Comcast bill, can we?
Product Usage I downloaded a beauty products app that touted it would remind me when to replace my cosmetics. Except it didn’t. It gave me a quick run-down on the known shelf-life of each beauty product, which had absolutely nothing to do with how fast I go through a product, or even when I opened it. So mascara typically lasts three months. Big whoop. What if I regularly burn through it in two? No, what I want is an app that will let me set a date that I open a product, assign my own typical usage period, and generate a list of items I need to replace. “Hey, Lori, it’s time to add laundry detergent to the grocery list.” Or, “You’ll run out of moisturizer next month. Better place an order.” It doesn’t even need to be that wordy, but you get the gist. I actually communicated with the lady behind the app I downloaded (which was only for beauty products) and she thought my idea was awesome and she swore she would find a way to implement it. Two years ago. Ahem. Movin’ on…
Recipe Storage Serving Sizer is a recipe organizer that I really liked. I bought this app only after asking the developers if they would consider making the app calculate nutritional value of each recipe. They assured me that they had already thought of that and were planning to include it in future updates. I haven’t seen it yet. (Three years, but who’s counting?) But if they’re listening, let me bend their ear on one more matter. I’d really like to see cloud storage on this app so that I can access my recipes from any of my devices, including online via desktop and a simple login to my account. Yes, I know that whole account thing would be new…work it out, guys. Additionally, I think that the desktop access is important because I also want to be able to upload recipes that I already have stored on my computer. Inputting recipes into this app is a bit tedious, and an upload feature would seriously rock.
Voice Commands I will not bore Apple with my Siri aggravation, but let’s examine my only two requests of her. The day after I got my new phone I asked Siri to install my WordPress app. She informed me that she could not install things for me. Later, I asked her what time a local business opened and she basically told me to Google it on my own. I knew before meeting her that she wasn’t going to cook dinner or fold my sheets, but seriously…what good is she?
Gift Card Wallet Passbook was on the right track, but it doesn’t support everything I have and/or want. I need a gift card wallet. You know, an app that will store all my current unused gift card balances and produce a barcode to let me pay with the gift card from my phone. That way, if I have $2.83 left on a Bass Pro gift card, I don’t have to carry it around with me on the off-chance that I need more camo. The app needs to operate like Cardstar, with the added feature of showing me a list of available balances. I mentioned this to a developer friend of mine one day several years ago. He just shook his head as he muttered something about “one single point of compromise.” But that was long before the days of wallet apps, so perhaps he’s changed his tune. Then again, this is the guy who used to chastise me for not changing my passwords every two weeks. 😉
Coupon Wallet While we’re on this whole wallet idea and offering single-point gateways to our innermost sanctums, could someone do the same thing for coupons, please? A coupon organizer on my phone – Holy frijoles! – wouldn’t that make me happy?! I’m not an extreme couponer by any stretch of the imagination, but I would be better at it if I had more than my paper-hoarding accordion file. I could add coupons to the wallet by scanning the barcode. Or by downloading them into my app from some huge coupon-making conglomerate’s website. If anyone is interested in creating this, it would be important to have a select option, much like in a grocery shopping app – click it to put it in a “cart.” Then at checkout, produce a list of coupons for which I have purchased products. And location services would be important too! Add lists of stores where I can use the coupons, and when I arrive at that store, have a notification pop up that tells me I have coupons to use at this location. Expiration dates will be important – they can delete themselves the day after expiration and immediately after use. Half my problem with using coupons is that I a) forget I even have them to use, and b) forget to throw them away when they’ve expired. Admittedly, this is probably the most difficult and least needed item on my list. Take it for what it’s worth.
Oh, one more thing. I’m willing to pay fair app prices for those that can make me happy. I am not willing to pay for apps without the ability to test-drive them first. So, be sure you have a limited free version for me to try. I promise, if it impresses me, I will not hesitate to buy the full version.