In some ways, 2014 could be considered the year of the single purpose app, where a single feature often is the app. The likes of Yo have taken this idea to its extreme. But, either way, there’s certainly merit to keeping things simple.
From the same London-based startup behind Lowdown — an app that helps you prepare for meetings — Here lets you send a push notification (for those who also have the app installed) or an automated email to meeting attendees once you arrive.
To ‘check in’, you simply tap the Here button, and select a scheduled meeting from your phone’s calendar, and, presuming your calendar entry includes attendee contact details, each attended is pinged. Alternatively, you can select a contact from your address book.
Interestingly, however, despite the app originally being targeted at existing Lowdown users, and with typical business face-to-face-meetings in mind, Lowdown co-founder David Senior says Here is also being used for things other than scheduled meetings. These include a “baby arriving, airport arrival, and gap-year students announcing to their parents they’ve arrived in Thailand.”
In fact, since being soft-launched two months ago, 60 per cent of its 2,000+ users are using the app outside of its originally intended use-case. Perhaps reflecting this, the startup is introducing a new feature to Here: the ability to include a ‘selfie’ as part of your arrival notification.
“Users wanted to show where they were to the people they were meeting,” says Senior, and it’s easy to imagine many uses for a quick and easy location-based ‘selfie’, though there are already bajillion’s of messaging apps that can also be used in this way.
Zooming out a bit more, Senior says Here ties into the trend of both “app unbundling” and simple task-based apps that add value by using information already stored on your smartphone to help save time.
“The inspiration was also down to Yo and other simple apps,” he says. “Lowdown took us 14 months to develop, Here took us 5 days.”