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Applications I’ve Tried to Review

If I was to choose one writing topic that I enjoy, but don’t get to write enough about it would have to be software reviews. Spending the time to fit a new piece of software in to your workflow forces you to analyze the way you’re currently doing things and maybe even find a better way.

Unfortunately there are a number of applications that I just couldn’t work with in a meaningful fashion for a long enough period to write a proper review. Using an app for an hour or even a day typically doesn’t give you the perspective you need to judge the application’s quality. As I stated above, you may dislike an app right away simply because it works different than you’re used to. If you’re not willing to spend a bit of time learning the new workflow then you really can’t judge the application on it’s own merits.

A few apps had what I would consider a ‘show stopping’ bug. Something that made me simply decide that there were multiple invasive surgeries that would be more enjoyable than reworking how I do things in a particular area. A great example of this is Markdown support. If you’re a text writing application and you don’t support my preferred (maybe even ingrained) text formatting I simply don’t have time.

Other applications lasted longer but simply didn’t inspire a proper review. There was nothing wrong with them, but every time I sat down to write about the app it turned in to meaningless drivel that said nothing new. That is not worth publishing.

Today we will have a run down of a bunch of apps I tried to review and just couldn’t because of one thing or another.

### Blogsy
While WordPress has a native iPad app, something about it just doesn’t suit for writing so I’ve been looking for an alternative. [Blogsy][blog] ([AppStore][blogapp]) was the leading choice at the time (mid 2012) but had one major issue that made me simply give up on writing the review.

See that, a huge lump of text. That was the blog post I was writing in Blogsy in the HTML editor with markdown. Yeah it’s totally destroyed. I can’t even remember any of the other good features. If its going to destroy the content I just added then its totally useless to me.

### Gmail for iOS
The built in iOS email client is only sort of okay, the gmail/Google Apps web interface is simply way better. For a while I used it via Safari, but it was a pain to log back in every few days. I certainly don’t fault Google for getting you to log back in, but it was still a pain.

So I tried Gmail [AppStore][gmailapp] for iOS. Sure it gave you the web interface but it had no support for multiple accounts. At the very least I need my business account and my personal account. Not having them meant I didn’t even bother trying it for more that 15 minutes.

### Dialvetica Contacts
Really I bought [Dialvetica][dial] ([Appstore][dialapp]) when everyone was talking about it. It’s a neat interface but when everything just pushes you back to the native contact application, it’s hard to really use an app. There was no major bug, it just didn’t solve a problem I really had so I stopped using it and the 2 lines of a review I had written ended at 2 lines.

### TrainingPeaks
I suppose I should have guessed from the terrible web interface provided by [Training Peaks][tp] (all Adobe Flex or something that needs Flash and takes forever to load) that the mobile experience was less than stellar. I actually still use this because it’s the standard for coaching, the standard just sucks.

Interface elements take 3 taps to actually use, it takes forever to load and it’s really really ugly. If you can at all a void using the TrainingPeaks site or software do it. It’s a total hunk of UI and interaction garbage. I hate going to it at all but I want to race and I have a coach so I have to get there.

### Scan
One day I saw a QR code and thought, lets review some QR code scanners. So I made a quick Twitter post and Scan ([AppStore][scanapp]) was the top choice. Then I never saw a QR code again in real life. I have no QR code scanner on my phone and I’m missing nothing.

### Dragon Express
I did write a [short post][dragpost] about [Dragon Express][drag] ([AppStore][dragapp]) where I pointed out some bugs and concluded that I did like speaking my text. Well I gave it 2 more weeks and I don’t like speaking my text. At the very least anytime I tried to dictate text I had to correct so much it was in no way even close to as fast as typing.

### Flow
I tried to give [Flow][flow] ([AppStore][flowapp]) a fair shake a bunch of time. The icon is sort of pretty, but I just loved the way Transmit worked too much to deal with the ‘issues’ that Flow had. The issues mainly amounted to it not working exactly like Transmit. It’s a really robust FTP client I just couldn’t break out of my ingrained patterns for work.

That’s about it. In many cases I’m not saying don’t try the apps, they just weren’t right for me.

[blog]: http://blogsyapp.com/
[blogapp]: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=ov53b8ogfCc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fblogsy%252Fid428485324%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30
[gmailapp]: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=ov53b8ogfCc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fgmail%252Fid422689480%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30
[dial]: http://mysterioustrousers.com/dialvetica
[dialapp]: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=ov53b8ogfCc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fdialvetica-contacts%252Fid404074258%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30
[dragpost]: https://curtismchale.ca/2012/08/01/dragon-express-buggy-buggy/
[drag]: http://www.nuance.com/
[dragapp]: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=ov53b8ogfCc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fdragon-express%252Fid458613689%253Fmt%253D12%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30
[flow]: http://fivedetails.com/flow/
[flowapp]: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=ov53b8ogfCc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fflow%252Fid469770826%253Fmt%253D12%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30
[scanapp]: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=ov53b8ogfCc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fscan%252Fid411206394%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30
[tp]: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/

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