Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Android App Review: Diaro

Review has moved to my new blog at OhYongHao.com

Sometimes our lives are just plain busy with little time for remembering what happened last night, let alone last year.  With the advent of computers keeping a diary has changed; what used to be a tedious task that often left some burning the midnight oil has turned into a way to help us relieve stress without cramping our hands.

Now in the 21st century we have computers in our pockets, from iPhones to Androids even my own mother now has the world at her fingertips.  There is a plethora of applications out there for jotting down some notes, arranging tasks, and scheduling; the biggest problem now is figuring out which one fits you best.

After having tried many out on my Nexus 4 I finally decided on Diaro for keeping my diary.  This app is made specifically for keeping a diary, or a journal.  It doesn't have many features in it which for me was a selling point; often some other note taking apps become so bloated by trying to figure out how to store, and present your data that it becomes cumbersome to write down something about your life that you want to remember.  Diaro has just the features that you need, and not much more, making it perfect for this task.

Despite not having the ability to record voice or video I don't find myself missing those features when I decide to write something down for my diary, but it does support adding/taking a picture which can be useful.

What you get with Diaro is a simple interface; date, time, title, and your actual entry.  You also have options for tagging or categorizing your entries; by default it has Diary, Journal, and Notes as your tags, with a few categories to throw them into.  What I actually found was that I would prefer them to be switched, having the categories Diary, Journal and Notes because you cannot have multiple categories for a single entry, and then use the tags for what kind of entry these are.

Another nice feature with Diaro is keeping your entries online also with Dropbox integration.  Though they also have the ability to do a backup to the SD card I find that Dropbox is often more convenient and allows you to use their website for longer entries.  One thing that I do sometimes is to write a quick note and then at night I'll get online and finish the entry using my laptop.

In addition to the wonderful app that you have there is also a great support staff.  When I started using the app I noticed that my gps would stay on all the time unless I fully closed out of it.  Within a couple days we had already responded back and forth a few times in email talking about this problem and there was a new release that came out which fixed the issue.

Overall I gave this app 5 stars for keeping it simple, doing what I need it to do, and having a very responsive staff that cares about getting good feedback and is willing to work for it.

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