Pocket – the app that let’s you save articles to read later – just introduced an ‘Estimated Time’ to read feature. It’s subtle, but makes my experience with the service much better. I save a TON of articles to read later, but the number I actually go back to read is shameful. It’s hard to prioritize what to read when you can’t even count the number of articles in your archive – this is where Estimated Time helps. It adds context to my archive and makes it feel less overwhelming. Before, I couldn’t prioritize what to read because it all looked interesting – I was the one who saved them after all! But now I feel the product respects my own context. So if I’m on the bus commuting, I’ll go through some of the shorter articles. And if I’m spending a lazy Sunday on the couch, I’ll read New Yorker articles 🙂
I’d love to see the service add even more data-rich features like this. Here’s a few things that would be great to see:
Total Number of Articles Saved – this might scare me, but would provide additional motivation to actually read; I try to be mindful of the time I spend on my phone, but I classify reading on Pocket as a productive thing
Total Number of Articles Read -this would provide a sense of accomplishment; I don’t like over-gamification of apps/services, so a simple articles read per week or month would be great
Progress made on each article – it remembers my scroll position, so a progress indicator seems doable; like estimated time, this would help me scan my list and quickly make decisions to read
If you know me, you’re probably aware that I have a borderline obsession with Tennis. I love playing the game, but I follow it with even more passion. One of the enablers of this passion is the ATP/WTA Live Scoring App for iOS. The app is dead simple: it provides live, point-by-point scores for every match on the ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals), WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) and Challenger (This is what Triple-A is to MLB) Tours. The Tennis season is basically year round, with multiple tournaments per week, which have multiple matches per day. So the number of opportunities I have to open this app and see something new is really, really high. And so I open this app more times per day than I’d like to admit 😐
The App navigation is pretty straightforward, allowing you to quickly scan through active tournaments, daily schedules, and individual match statistics. The app won’t win an Apple Design Award at WWDC, but that’s not the point. The ‘point’ is that you can see live scores, updated in almost real time. The app has a setting that allows you to enable Auto Refresh of scores (I set that to ON, duh) and a setting for the Refresh Interval (10s is the fastest). According to the FAQ “As all data is received directly from the assigned ATP/WTA Chair Umpires, the data is considered official.”
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.