24me: To-Do, Task List & Notes [Android, iOS]
Permissions: Identity, Contacts, Location, Photos/Media/Files, Camera, Device ID & Call Information.
24me is one of the leading iOS to-do lists and personal assistant app that launched in 2012, if I am not mistaken, but it only recently made it to Google Play. As I write this review, I feel I might have to write an update some time when the developers release an update that more or less addresses the woes of users. Mind you, many users download 24me for Android based on their positive iOS experiences, but alas, the Android version is far from its older iOS sibling in feature set and functionality.
Still, it is a viable option for your Android, as long as account syncing, simplicity, and smart design is what you are looking for, and definitely worth your attention. Nonetheless, for now it needs those core missing features you would expect to see in 24me.
24me wants to be your AI assistant, scouting and scanning your calendar apps, emails and social network accounts for important stuff and putting it in front of your nose, so that you don’t forget your mother-in-law’s birthday, or miss that phone bill again. It’s like a lovely skin, or umbrella that covers your notes, to-do lists, birthdays and financial errands and generates notifications and reminders, and learns from you to predict your agenda.
The app is smart because it ultimately tries to predict your daily routines by tapping into your other accounts – calendars, notes and to-do apps, as well as your personal and financial accounts. Ideally, you should be able to process your routine payments, like carrier bills, via 24me or sync your social network accounts to keep track of your friends’ birthdays and other important events.
It won’t be able to predict your tasks, or let you process the payment from its reminder unless you sync the relevant services with it. From there, events like bills and birthdays will have an “Action” button, which will let you pay your bill, or post a greeting on your friend’s Facebook wall from within the app, or send the text, or email.
While iOS users sing odes to 24me, its Android version needs a lot more polish to impress. Right now, you can link your other accounts to 24me app, like Google. It works with: social networks – Facebook, Google +; Providers and Banks – depending on your location; Errands – depending on your current to-do app.
What it does then is it puts all those existing, or newly created tasks, events, lists and reminders into a unified screen, where you will be able to view events by Time or Label. So, if you sort them by Time, you will see Today’s events, Tomorrow, Rest of the Week and Later. Similarly, if you sort them by Label, you will see Not Labeled, Personal, Household, Work, and whatever labels you create.
No Calendar View
Immediately, it becomes clear color-coding and Calendar views are missing. You can’t view a weekly, or monthly Calendar with events laid out like in an organizer. Nor can you color-code the events for faster visual recognition of important stuff.
At the top of the screen, there is the main Menu on the left, which expands when you tap it into View by Time or Label, My Links, Settings, Tutorials and Removed Tasks, among other less important things. My Links lets you connect your social network accounts, as well as banking information to process payments via the app in a timely manner.
Settings are not overly complicated, and you can only change temperature view from Celsius to Fahrenheit, switch the first day of the week from Sunday to Monday, turn on lock code and sound effects, as well as customize reminder sounds and when the reminder pops up and rings – sharp on time, or several minutes, hours, or even days before the event.
Back to the main screen, at the top right corner there are three buttons – Plus button to add new entries, the Notifications button, which, when pressed, brings up pending events, and the icon that looks like Notes, and I have no idea what it does because no matter how precise I try to tap it, it does not seem to do anything.
Now, adding a new event is rather easy – tap +, enter the event’s name, and choose its type – a call, text, email, gift or errand. Alternatively, you can skip selecting the type and just enter a new entry’s title, date, time, and label. You can also share the entry via your linked accounts or email.
Another marker you can add to your new entry is Priority – High and Low, no Medium for some reason. One nifty feature I liked was the Notes you add to the main entry, which can ultimately serve as sub-tasks, or in my case – a shopping list (without prices, or items because I was too lame to enter that much data manually).
Notes section lets you add camera shots if you need to elaborate on your entry. If the note is too long to type in manually, tap the mic icon to dictate and have the app type for you.
The Notifications area lets you snooze and dismiss the pending events. Alternatively, you can remove events from your main screen by swiping, and you will see a trash bin next to the task. The app keeps your removed tasks, in case you want to get back to them.
You can set recurring tasks to repeat daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, and the recurring tasks will have a circling icon when displayed on your main list.
Editing an entry is also quite simple – tap it to see the details, and from there you can change the priority, time, labels, notes and share it with someone. Just remember to tap Done – otherwise, your changes won’t be saved. And the trick is – if you add or edit Notes, you have to close the keyboard to see the Done button, which makes it easy to forget to save the changes.
High Priority tasks have the Red tab-like mark to them, which makes up for the absence of color-coding options.
Overall, I found a clean, uncluttered design to be eye-pleasing – it puts the contents of your tasks in focus, without taking too much screen real estate on visually heavy elements like buttons and menus. On the other hand, I found it annoying the app has the portrait only layout, which is ok for smartphones, but only so-so for tablets. At the same time, the buttons are either small to register my taps accurately or we are dealing with a general lag in performance.
I would want to be able to add Today tasks straight away, for example, one more option in the + menu – to add a today’s entry without specifying the date, because to choose the date you need to scroll up and down the numbers, but that is a minor issue.
One major feature that I am missing here is a widget – 24me comes with no widgets whatsoever. I would want to have at least one option of Today’s widget, with fast access to adding, editing, removing tasks laid out in a comprehensive way on my home screen.
- Brings many of your apps’ data in one interface – you can connect and sync your 24me with your Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo! Calendar, Apple iCal, Waze and other apps, personal, to-do and financial to have all events displayed in a single application
- You should be able to automate recurring payments, texts and emails with it, but it won’t process the payment or send an email without you
- Clean, visually appealing UI
- Easy navigation
- Tap the mic icon and use the speech recognition to enter data
- Take a snapshot with your camera and make it a to-do entry
- Create time-based reminders and recurring events
- Pleasant sound effects
- Share your events with friends from the app
- With all the complexity of bringing various pieces of data from different apps, 24me manages to present it in a coherent and beautiful, easy to process manner
- Android version lacks features – no Calendar view by week or month, no color-coding; syncing with financial accounts may not always work
- The description suggests users can automate or schedule emails, pay bills, but the app does not send out emails for you. Instead, it will remind you to send an email when the time is due, and suggest you do it from within the app itself.
- Some UI elements are either too small to register taps or there is a performance lag
- Portrait-only layout
- No web app you could access from your desktop browser for more convenient data entry
- No widgets
- No way of adding multiple labels to a task
- No themes, or skins to customize the looks
- Privacy concerns – a third-party app tapping into all your accounts sounds like Ed Snowden’s nightmare, although data is encrypted and stored under increased Internet security of Amazon Web Services
All things considered, as great as 24me is on iOS, its Android version is a work in progress. The app aims at busy people with a hundred+ small and large errands daily they need to automate. Ideally, you should be able to sync all your vital services with 24me and navigate life relying on its AI to assist you. For example, Waze integration lets you view traffic conditions and leave earlier in the event of the jams. Likewise, you can plan your tasks based on weather conditions, or have the app remind you about your due bills based on your Calendar entries. However, as smart and advanced as it is, the app is missing on a few core features that may turn off many users willing to give it a try. For example, Google Calendar can remind you about a due payment based on your incoming mail while a gazillion of advanced Android Calendar and to-do apps work on your agendas with more glam and features. We certainly expect more features in the next Android updates and appreciate the visual presentation of the app, as well as its intention to be your one-stop for all things planned and routine.
It has the immense potential, unique qualities and the trust credit granted by its iOS version, and even without that extended feature set, it can make do for those looking for a smart organizer app to sync it with their other apps. On the flip side, the lack of Calendar view and widgets may send it straight to the Uninstall queue of many users.
As I said at the beginning of my review, I am willing to re-visit the app again after a major update.