Jun, 29 2013

friday cover pic

Uniquely Android is a series we started that shines the spotlight on those apps that take advantage of the unique capabilities of the platform and provide an experience that you wouldn’t find in most other phones. Previously, we have featured Plug In LauncherAirDroidShushLlamaSwiftkey 3SwipePadWidgetsoid2.xUnified RemoteAirCalcWiFi KeyboardPuzzle Alarm ClockNotif Mac RemoteEverything.me LauncherReadItToMe and AutomateIt.

Of all the apps featured so far in the Uniquely Android series, Friday would be my pick as the most ambitious one.  Built by the same team, Dexetra, that developed Iris a couple of years ago, Friday can easily come off as creepy at first glance. Extremely creepy.

In essence, Friday keeps track of pretty much everything you do with your phone, including your location, your calls, messages,  e-mails, photos, videos, music consumption and even system events like shutting down, restarting and switching on Airplane Mode. You can also connect other accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. <Insert NSA Prism joke here>.

Important: you can fine tune what data they sync with their servers, and what they leave aside.

While Friday can by itself be used like some kind of life journal to keep track of every tiny bit, allowing you to visually go back and see what you did in your past, that’s just one, small bit of what Dexetra is building here. In a way, they are trying to do what Google is doing in the world of contextual computing: predicting your behavior and giving you what you need, when you need it, and building this contextualization as a platform for other apps to take advantage of. For example, their phone dialer app dialapp, which aims to predict who you would be looking to call on the basis factors such as location and time, and to show them first when you launch the app.

This platform is what they call applets, with one more currently existing called Trails which allows you to visually see your history on a map, and also where events such as calls, photos, and the other things Friday tracks occurred.

For privacy reasons, it is difficult for me to recommend Friday to everyone. In fact, soon after they won the inaugral Android App Expo in India back in January,  I uninstalled the app for the very reason. But because of the potential that I believe exists in general in contextual computing, and the ambition of the entire project on the whole, I like to keep track of their progress. And, at least today, there’s no other platform that allows developers to attempt something like this besides Android.

If you do want to give Friday a whirl, you can download the app over here.

Sorry for the auto-playing Vimeo embed earlier, replaced it with the less intrusive YouTube version.