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iPhone App Review: HoneyDo

iPhone App Review: HoneyDo

July 16th, 2010 by

The “honey-do” list has been the bane of every husband’s existence since the dawn of chores. High Five Labs has finally brought that evil scourge into the digital age with HoneyDo, a share-able todo list.

I had to fake-share this list with... myself.

HoneyDo works just like most other standard task list apps out there: you add tasks and due dates, they show up on a list, etc. The difference here is that you can now invite others to partake in your list by hosting a group, or by joining an existing group.

Once the group is established members can add tasks and assign them to other members of the group, complete with due dates and even subtasks. The group members can also comment on tasks and reply to the comments, viewable in the standard “chat bubble” interface. When you assign a task to a group member you can even offer a gift for the completion of the task (cup of coffee, cold beer, cupcake, hugs and kisses), or even inform them that they’ll be in the “doghouse” if the task isn’t completed on time.

Features

  • Host a list or join an already existing list.
  • Assign tasks to members or to “Anyone”, and offer a gift for completion.
  • Calendar integration for iOS4 devices (push notification alerts for prior OS versions).
  • Reject tasks (not a feature currently available in the standard pen and paper honeydo list, at least not that I’m aware of).
  • Reply to tasks, and reply to the replies. Combined with push notifications that’s almost like free SMS messaging.

Pros

To whom should I assign this task?

First of all, and this is no small thing, I love the icon. Okay maybe that is a small thing, but having a beautiful icon on your home screen goes a long way towards keeping an app in circulation.

The interface itself is similarly well designed. The colors are well-chosen and the app functions smoothly and efficiently. There is a slight lag in every tap (very slight), so I assume the app is contacting the mothership at each step in order to keep the data in sync. It’s not a huge problem.

There are very few settings for the app, which I think was a good choice on the part of the developers. Since the aesthetic design for this app seems to be aimed at families (rather than businesses), and the “techno-geek” makeup of a family may be all over the board, having the app be as simple and straightforward as possible is the right move.

That’s not to say that the app is lightweight: it handles what I think would be 99% of what most people want in a todo list application. Having the ability to assign tasks to an individual and discuss those tasks via messaging is what separates this from the rest of the pack.

Cold hard cash if you send those pics... anyone?

The sharing of tasks in general is a great idea and well implemented. You can assign pictures to each of the members of the group, then easily create and assign tasks to each person (or to “Anyone”). Communicating about each task is a great touch; keeping replies about each task within that task itself should definitely keep conflicts and miscommunication to a minimum.

Cons

The app has a few quirks that should be noted, from minor bugs to design choices that I feel detract from the usefulness of the app.

  • It has an “Advanced View” in the settings page, but it seems at this point to do little more than NOT group tasks by their due date and whether or not they’re done. I think the Advanced View idea is a good one for advanced users, but it should be put to better use (or have an entire “Advanced Features” settings page devoted to power users).
  • The interface is a little over-designed in places. In particular the Reply button on the task discussion page looks grayed out, signifying that it can’t be used. I almost didn’t even bother trying it but did, and it worked. There are a few other spots around the app where the design and color choices interfere with standard interface elements and lead to minor confusion, like my example above.
  • No landscape mode. I’m not a HUGE fan of landscape mode on the iPhone, but it does come in handy because of the larger keyboard in the orientation.
  • It would be nice to add the ability to add “Admin Privileges” to other users besides the host, so that others in a group can have the host’s abilities. Parents and coaches, for instance, should be able to edit all tasks and delete users from the group regardless of whether they started the group or not.
  • Minor bug – the first time I tried to change my profile photo by adding a picture from the camera roll, it crashed to the home screen. When I started the app up again it had changed the photo, and that crash never happened again.

The big issue I have with the app overall is that ALL users must have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iWhatever, in order to use it. It has no web interface or client for other phone platforms (that I know of). I, for instance, have three iPhones in my house of varying generations yet I’m the only iPhone user in the family, meaning that my wife and I can’t use the app. It would be nice if she could log into a website and assign me tasks (so that I could reject them, naturally).

Overall

The app is a really well-designed and thought-out app that could prove very useful for any one of a number of different group settings. It would be nice to able to share this group task app with non-iPhone users in the future. But for now if you have an iPhone and some people you know have an iPhone, and you all have a lot of tasks that need to get done (roommates & chores, hello?), then this may be the effortless solution that you’re looking for.

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