I’ve “played” guitar for the past 15 years or so and I’m still mediocre at best. This is probably because of my lack of natural talent and/or lack of consistent practice time. I enjoy playing, but, as with most things, it’s easier to just not do them. While the talent gap may be hard to overcome, I found an app to make the practicing much easier – it’s called Yousician.
I initially downloaded their Guitar Tuna app to tune my guitar (as i was prepared to embark on my latest push to start playing again) and then found Yousician. Here’s a 30-second video overview:
Yousician has a syllabus for your instrument of choice (i chose rhythm guitar) and does a great job of progressing you from beginner levels to more advanced ones. While many guitar courses offer similar curriculum, Yousician actually tracks your progress through the courses and sends you reminders to continue or to finish a lesson. The reminders come in the form of email, but I would love for Yousician to use push notifications for the app*. They could learn from Duolingo, who sends reminder pushes at a time you specify.
Not sure if this made any noise outside of the Tennis world, but Roger Federer posted a live-practice session via Periscope on December 22. The ‘event’ was very well produced, with multiple camera angles and a mic’d up Federer. You can catch it on-demand here.
What struck me most about this was the level of access fans were given. I follow Federer on Twitter and Instagram, but now I’m watching my favorite tennis player (and arguably the GOAT) talk me through a practice session! That’s pretty insane, no?! I, and I’m sure many others, would have paid a few dollars to watch this, either live or on-demand.
So can this become a thing? You buy Kimojis and DurantEmojis in the App Store, so why not pay a one-time fee or even recurring subscription for access to your favorite celebrity, artist or athlete?
About a month ago, I started using an app called Gyroscope to track both my digital and analog self. Gyroscope integrates with a host of other apps to allow you to see the complete story of your life (isn’t that a One Direction song?). For example, integrate Healthkit or FitBit to track your steps, Moves for places you’ve visited, Rescue Time for online behavior, etc. It took a while to set up b/c I also had to download some of these other apps, but it was worth it IMO.
The consolidation and display of all this tracking is where Gyroscope really shines. Here’s a Weekly Report the app generates:
You can select individual categories at the bottom of the screen to get more detailed info on each one.
One minor complaint about the app is that the UI/X, while striking, can be a bit un-intuitive at times. For example, you can tap into each date in the report screen – it took me a few weeks of using the app to realize this. I also have the urge to swipe in a few places that don’t allow for swiping 🙂
Despite this, Gyroscope does have one of my favorite interactions on mobile. I love how they ask you to identify a location with Moves on this screen:
Tap on the button at the bottom and it takes you to the Moves app where you can add the location. The button is dead simple and using the Moves logo makes it clear what will happen. And with iOS 9 app switching, it’s just one tap to get back to Gyroscope. Done and done.
Spotify has an integration with Genius where, on select tracks, you can see lyrics and annotations from Genius. The concept is pretty simple, but they execute it really well on the iOS app. You’ll see the track card and then, behind that, the Genius card for that track. You do a simple swipe down on the cards to switch back and forth. It’s simple, but so satisfying. And, yes, I’m a Drake fan.