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iPhone App Review: iEtiquette

iPhone App Review: iEtiquette

June 6th, 2011 by

Owen Lars may have had no need for a protocol droid on his remote moisture farm, but etiquette is a resource that is sorely lacking in today’s society. What most people think of as stuffy, boring traditions are actually the framework by which we’ve managed to maintain a more or less civilized society for so many centuries. The rules of etiquette have developed over the years for a reason: to keeps us from tearing each other’s throats out over something as simple as dinner conversation.

iEtiquette is an attempt to cram as much as formal manners training as possible into an iOS app. It covers situations from all areas of life: at the dinner table, weddings, at the beach, in elevators, and even the basic everyday things we take for granted like conversations and telephone etiquette.

How It Works

The app is essentially an ebook, organized into logical sections covering distinct areas of polite society. Tap “At The Table” for guidelines on how to set the place settings or arrange the seats. Heading to or hosting a dinner party? Tap “Hosting” and select either the “Guest” or “Host” option to see information relevant to your situation. There is also a Wedding section (divided into “Guest” and “Spouse”), a Shared Spaces section (covering things like the beach, the pool, and stairs), and a Lifestyle section that can give you help with introductions or pet etiquette.

Pros And Cons

iEtiquette is a shining beacon of light in a society that is rapidly losing its manners. Having new and faster ways of communicating with one another should not in any way mitigate the need to use proper etiquette in social situations, and having iEtiquette on your iPhone can help you maintain your own personal island of manners in a sea of rudeness.

Okay, that may be overstating things a bit, but the app really is a fun and illuminating read. If you can get over the speed bumps that litter the text from its hasty translation from Italian to English, it’s a very understandable instruction manual for how to behave in many social situations. I would recommend just reading the app front to back, similar to the way you’d read a book, then use it from that point on as a guide to be referred to as the need arises.

iEtiquette also has some nice interactive table-setting diagrams for each social meal of the day. Tapping on each element of the place setting will pop up a label telling you what you’re looking at. It’s a nice touch in an app that is otherwise entirely based around reading text.

The only real problem with the app, other than the translation issues, is the navigation. While it is organized into logical sections that generally serve their purpose, the app could use some enhanced ways to get around. One thing that would be ideal is a search or index functions, so that you could find keywords and jump straight to the section you need.

Another thing the app does is occasionally reference other sections, such as suggesting that you also refer to a section on Conversations while you’re in a section on dinner etiquette. It’s fine to not want to repeat information, but how about instead of telling us to see Conversations you just provide a link straight to that section, then of course give us an easy way back to where we were reading before we jumped?


In general this is a fantastic app that covers a lot of etiquette rules that most people today would have no experience with whatsoever. Far from being esoteric and straight-laced, the rules of etiquette turn out to be common-sense and easy to understand, as long as you know what they are in the first place.

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