App Review #17

My thoughts on apps I’ve been using for the past week+

Wakie

(FREE)

Wakie is a social alarm clock that allows user to wake each other up. You can also use it as a general alarm clock if you want more accountability so that someone will contact you. Decide what time you want your alarm and someone will call you then. You can also be a caller as you will see in the app how many members currently want to wake up.

How did the app come to my attention?

I read about Wakie late last year and wanted to try it out for quite some time. I finally made the commitment to use Wakie for a full week to see how it affected my waking habits. At first, I felt pretty uncomfortable to have random strongers across the world waking me up. The first person to wake me up was from Australia and was singing some sort of good morning song. It felt akward but it definitely woke me up so it was a success. After a couple of wake ups from the Wakie community, it felt normal to receive a call the rest of the week. It is like a hotel wake up call. It doesn’t matter who is on the other end of the line as long as it gets me out of bed.

How did you feel while exploring the app? Did the app deliver on your expectations?

I was slightly intimidated by Wakie. Yet, the simplicity and amusement of the app made it welcoming. Additionally, I was surprised by the vibrant community that’s included in the Wakie app. People post both fun and serious commentary that other Wakie members can see and respond to.

The experience in the app was very enjoyable. I get the benefit of waking up every morning and actually getting out of my bed. What can be better to start my day?!?

How often have you used the app? When do you tend to use it?

I go into Wakie once at night before bed when I usually set my alarm for the morning. I am going to continue using the app for my alarms for the foreseeable future. It makes me feel a greater responsiblity to get out of bed right as my alarm goes off instead of snoozing. I am also planning on starting to wake other people up once I am awake so I can start my day off doing a nice deed for someone else.

What do other people think of this app? Based on all that you know, how successful do you think the app will be a year from now?

From the comments in the community as well as the attention it received on Product Hunt, I think that others find it to be a cute app. I’m not sure about people becoming daily users though. I asked a few friends about it and none had heard of it. I think Wakie has a big stigma to overcome in getting strangers to converse with each other. Although getting woken up is a small task, it is intimidating for most people to try this out. I hope it gains more traction and maybe one day, I’ll have the capability of my friends in the app being able to wake me!

I think that the general concept of strangers helping each other out is fascinating. In this case, no money or currency is exchanged. I believe that these “favors” can go far beyond just a social alarm clock. Wakie can create a larger community around people helping each other.

Lark

(FREE)

Intro conversation with my lark bot with pre generated response

Lark is an automated chat-based health app. Imagine you are messaging your favorite bot from your AOL days and instead of the classic jokes it would tell you, the bot helped you stay accountable for your health. This is Lark.

How did the app come to my attention? What do other people think of this app?

I found out about Lark through Product Hunt. I was surprised that it only had around 50 upvotes. Many similar chat/SMS based products have done very well on Product Hunt. From what I’ve read, people like Lark but it is mostly early adopters at the moment that are comfortable with this interface.

How did you feel while exploring the app? Did the app deliver on your expectations? How often have you used the app?

The Lark experience is impressive. The combination of automated responses with pre-generated options to respond make it like a real text conversation.

Lark uses notifications wisely to start conversations with a user. I tend to open the app solely from these notifications which occur after meals and when they recommend activity for you.

I still think that Lark is in its infancy. As the app accumulates more data about each user, it will improve the the capabilities and knowledge of the bot.

The app is not perfect. I will take time to hone in on the language processing and the data that your phone collects. My sleep data tends to be wrong when tracked by Lark so I have to update it each day.

I would love for them to use the Apple watch to track more about my health. I’m sure they are working on this as well which would further enhance my experience.

End of conversation

Based on all that you know, how successful do you think the app will be a year from now?

I believe that Lark will become successful in the next couple of years. The more data your phone collects along with the growth of SMS based apps can help spark Lark’s growth. As they perfect the app, I believe they will be able to charge users for its functions. I can see them as a potential candidate to be acquired. Fitbit or Jawbone are both good fits as both of those will continue to battle Apple in the personal health space.

Starlike

(FREE)

Starlike is a social content reader. It shows users a feed of their friends favorites and likes on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s a neat way to glance into what might interest your friends.

Starlike reminds me of Nuzzel. Starlike focuses on individual tweets/posts whereas Nuzzel focuses on showing users relevant links. I believe that there is a space for both of these platforms to succeed.

How did the app come to my attention? How did you feel while exploring the app? Did the app deliver on your expectations?

I downloaded Starlike at launch and decided to try it out this past week. I found it interesting that AOL launched Starlike. Its a great opportunity for AOL get involved in the social content space. Many users want a more curated social feed instead of checking all their individual networks and Starlike provides this. Instead of your own curated experience in your feeds, this gives you a clue into your friends interactions.

I’m still a bit iffy on Starlike. However, I think this may be a personal issue. I follow 1000+ people on Twitter and this created an overload of information in my Starlike feed. It didn’t help too much with actual curation. I think for those that follow a small amount of people, it can be an extremely useful app.

How often have you used the app? When do you tend to use it? Based on all that you know, how successful do you think the app will be a year from now?

I use Starlike a couple of times a day. I will continue to do so as I try to filter the app to provide myself with a better experience.

I personally think that Twitter will build a similar tool that will make Starlike somewhat irrelevant. Until that prediction comes to fruition, I will continue to play around with Starlike. If my prediction is wrong, I think that a small group of hardcore users will adopt Starlike but it won’t garner mass appeal. I think its a niche app that can be useful to its users but won’t be of much interest to an average social network user.

Previous App Reviews — Week 16, Week 15, Week 14, Week 13, Week 12, Week11, Week 10,Week 9,Week 8, Week7, Week 6, Week 5, Week 4, Week3, Week 2, Week 1

Follow me on Twitter@andrewjbryk