Personal assistant app Donna is ready to help simplify users’ lives, and is being launched on the Apple App Store today to do just that. With the general release also comes a few new features, like instantly hailing an Uber or sending email notifications to people you’re meeting to tell them that you’re late.
We’ve written about a lot of personal productivity apps over the last few months, including companies like Sunrise and Tempo, which seek to re-imagine the way you manage your mobile calendar. Donna seeks to differentiate itself by not just alerting you to what’s happening in your day, but anticipating when you’ll need to leave for a meeting, or how you’ll get there.
While going live on the app store, Donna has added a couple of things that should help busy people get through their day. First and foremost, the startup worked a lot behind the scenes to make sure it wasn’t taxing the phone’s battery quite so much. But there are other, more apparent changes as well.
One of those is the way that Donna now provides you with the ability to instantly dial in to a conference call when you receive an alert, or being brought right to the directions screen when you have to leave to physically go to a meeting. It also provides you with information about attendees that you’ll be meeting with.
One other feature that busy people will probably like is the addition of the “Get an Uber” button. For those who are in a rush or don’t have their own car, being able to instantly be taken into the Uber app will help some folks get on their way when late for a meeting. Speaking of being late — users can also now send email notifications from directly within Donna, and it’ll tell the recipient how far away they are, based on location data saved in the app.
Those who are already using the app in beta will probably also notice a big change in appearance in the new app: Gone is the Donna logo, which hinted at a female personal assistant, as well as the handwriting motif throughout. Instead, it’s been replaced with a more staid change in colors and a lowercase “d” in serif font. Incredible Labs CEO Kevin Cheng says that the startup received a lot of feedback about the logo and decided to change it.
“We still feel that it’s important to feel like it’s a human technology, where someone is bringing business to you,” Cheng said. He believes the typewriter motif still does that. “Productivity apps don’t have to be boring. They don’t have to be stark gray and black.”
Donna was created by Incredible Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that has raised a total of $2.5 million from a group of investors that includes Khosla Ventures, Betaworks, Maynard Webb, CrunchFund, Ashton Kutcher, and a group of other angels.
Check out a preview of an older version of Donna in this TechCrunch TV interview: