Here at ATYPICAL SOUNDS, we’re always looking for cool apps to feature, whether new or not so new. Sometimes this research leads us into something of an internet rabbit hole. This is what happened when I tried to review the Now app. Now is advertised in the iTunes app store as a program that can tell you what’s happening in the world based on the trending topics of Instagram feeds you follow. The Huffington Post even called it “Your social secret weapon.”
Opening the app, I was immediately asked to rate it, “share with a friend,” and try their newer app Context. It’s hard to have faith in an app that tries to make you leave before you can even use it. Eventually, I was directed to personalize my Now feed by entering my Instagram login. Doing this got me a white screen with an error message. Thinking that maybe I had entered my username or password wrong, I closed the app and reopened it, but was never allowed to enter my Instagram login again.
Without turning this into an even more longwinded story, I’ll just say that trying to use the search criteria to find any trending topics got me a screen that was half of a map and half blank. It was at this point I noticed the app hadn’t been updated since 2013. My favorite part of this goose chase, however, was finding a link to the app’s website and being greeted with an article on “How to Clean Your Kitchen with These Useful Tips”. I would say that maybe the license on the domain name lapsed and some weird third party had taken over the site, but who the hell knows.
The same developer has also created a series of other apps, including Facegame. (some kind of video-based social network), Quickie (video calling that cuts off after a few seconds), and NOPHONEZONE (an app that times how long you have not used your phone for). Based on the reviews in the app store, they all function about as well as Now does. I need a drink.