Swipes App Review – Android
In this Swipes review we will see how this young whippersnapper compares to other heavyweights of the Todo list arena.
- Simple, effective interface
- Lacking some functionality compared to competitors such as smart task entry
- Fees to be introduced
- Cannot move tasks fromLater to Now screen
- Cannot view actionable Subtasks from main task view
Viewed in isolation, Swipes provides a thoroughly competent todo list app with no major hang ups. It is quick and easy to use and moreover it is free, at least at present. Zero cost gives it an advantage but when it moves to a fee based model it will be up against some tough competition such as Todoist and Wunderlist who, at present, offer additional features.
In this day and age where task management apps are ubiquitous and multi-platform the possibility of productivity wherever you can be realized. Mobile todo apps on your mobile phone can dish up the tasks to be done given your current context – at home, on the go, at work etc. Even now I am sitting in the stereotypical blogger habitat, a rustic café with a café latte by my side pretentiously tapping out this review on my iPad. There is even a curious wooden thing in the middle of the table and I have no idea what it is for. That’s how rustic the place is, it has a nondescript wooden stuff on the table that has no apparent application. I included a picture of this object below so if you know what it’s for, answers on a postcard….or in this case drop the note in the comments below!
Anyway, back to the review. As I was mentioning, productivity on the go and the apps that make that possible. Swipes is one such multi-platform app and if you have tried Todoist, then Swipes is familiar ground for you with similar functionality but with some key differences. Let’s cover those first in this Swipes Review.
Swipes User Interface
The user interface of Swipes is very simple. You have essentially three screens that are accesses just by swiping left or right. These are,
- Open tasks with no time or date defined.
- Tasks where you have defined a time or date for.
- Need I say more.
When any new task is entered by hitting the plus symbol it goes into the “NOW”, screen by default. At the point of entry you can also tag by context to indicate where the task should be done.
Swipes “NOW” Screen
If you swipe to the left screen you will see all the tasks listed and grouped by time frames. One curious feature of this setup though is that some of your tasks for today may be in the NOW Screen and others planned for later in the LATER screen so you find yourself having to review two screens to cover the tasks for a given day.
Swipes Features and Functions
When it comes to any mobile todo app there are only a limited number of things that the app needs to get right. And, the apps that masters these basic things distinguish themselves from the throng. The way I see it, the basic things they need to get right are,
- Fast task entry on the go
- Fast manipulation of the tasks between lists
- Easy addition of labels,tags, or defined dates for tasks
- Quick and easy view of what is to be done given your current context
I give these things priority because of the nature of the platform. We are dealing with small screens and keyboards on the go and sometimes even in motion(people who walk with eyes glued to the phone). It is hassle if a lot of user intervention is needed to accomplish simple tasks given those interface restrictions. Anyway, let’s see how Swipes covers the basics.
Fast task entry
The best way for task entry is using the Swipes widget, which can be placed on your mobile phone home screen. A quick tap on that enables new tasks to be entered and can even be dictated to using which is always helpful on the go.
One feature lacking though is smart entry whereby the app will recognize keywords in the task organize the tasks accordingly. So, for example you may enter a task “do laundry at 3pm”, and the todo app,will remind you at 3pm to get off the sofa and start scrubbing some clothes. Such functionality is available in the likes of Todoist but unfortunately not in Swipes.
Fast manipulation and adding task information
This is quite excellent in Swipes for the two basic things, context and time frame. Context is handles when entering the task simply by selecting the tag. For example you hit “Home”, tag if the task is to be done at home. For time frame, very quick and easy. From the “now” screen swipe the task left and a menu will come up with time frames such as this evening, tomorrow, this weekend etc. you can also set exact dates but I like this very quick but rough approach to defining the time for task consideration.
It is also possible to have a basic two level hierarchy of tasks in Swipes. For this you hold the task and some options will come up, including adding action steps. The problem I have with it though is two fold,
- When back on the maintain screens the Subtasks which are actionable do not appear, only the main parent task.
- One cannot add extra information to the Subtasks such as comments. Only possible with the parent task.
It is also possible to setup repeating tasks for various scenarios such as every day, every workday, every Monday etc.
View of relevant tasks
As mentioned in the previous section it is quick and easy to enter the task context – the place where the task is to be done. To utilize that information, go to settings button then select “Workplaces”, which enables a view of only the context you wish. So if you are out doing errands, select errands workplace and it shows all the errands that need to be done.
I see two main areas of integration in this Swipes Review. First it integrates with Evernote whereby it is possible to import check marks from Evernote and interpret them as tasks in Swipes.
Second, selecting a task and hitting the share button allows it to be sent to other apps. So, that could be as a new task, sums, Whatapp message or to other Swipe users.
As mentioned, Swipes covers several platforms allowing you do access your task list from Android, IOS, Web and Mac.
Regarding pricing, Swipes has an immediate advantage over competitors, at least for the moment. It is free! Bad news is though that this is a temporary situation. As with most other todo list applications a charging model will be introduced in the future at a cost of $5/month. Some additional functionality is planned for paying users including location based reminders, task dependencies etc.
Swipes App Review Summary
In this Swipes Reivew, I find an elegant little app that performs the basics of task management admirably. It does not yet have the smarts of Todoist but it definitely shares strong similarities in it’s user interface. For now, it is free so there is little disadvantage in trying it out. Recommended.