Indeed, lifelogging has evolved from a traditional private ‘diary under the bed’ hobby, into a fully public affair.
With that in mind, a new app has emerged from Telefonica’s London-based Wayra accelerator, one that taps a user’s various public ‘lifelogs’, and pulls everything together under one digital roof. This data is then complemented by in-app journaling features that lets users check-in, comment and post photos. And there’s no ‘public’ element here either – everything is private.
Costing $3.99 from the App Store, Narrato officially opens for business today, and based on our initial dabblings, we were impressed with what we saw.
Narrato: Lifelogging, journaling and scrapbooking
For a lifelogging app, I expected one of the main sign-up options to include Facebook or Twitter – but alas, you can only register with your email address. That in itself is no bad thing, but having additional options would be nice.
Once in, you’re given the option to connect with Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare. Three large social networks for sure, but the omission of Facebook is a curious one, though we’re told it’s coming in a future update.
On a related note, when you log-out of the app, this also disconnects your accounts and you have to go through the log-in process again for all three. But I guess the idea here is that you don’t log-out of Narrato.
These issues aside, Narrato is actually a very nicely-designed and well-constructed app. There are two key sections – ‘Day by Day’ is the main Narrato journal, displaying photos-shared previously, or snapped directly through the app.
Here, you can check-in to places and say what you’re doing, indicate what kind of mood you’re in, post a simple comment or take a photo. Click on each day, and you’ll see a timeline of what you did.
Swipe left, and this is where you see your entire ‘lifestream’ from your connected social networks. Tap on a particular ‘thing’, be it a tweet, Foursquare check-in or photo you’ve taken, and you can then add this to your journal.
Crucially, Narrato also works offline, meaning you can continue ‘lifelogging’ when abroad, on a plane or anywhere with restricted Internet access.
The bigger picture
The more you update Narrato, the more intuitive and intelligent it becomes, and eventually it may be able to draw conclusions from the data you give it. So, for example, if you tell it that you’re ecstatic shortly after running 5km, it can tell you that exercise positively influences your mood. The four types of posts it currently supports will be expanded over time, to include elements such as activity, journeys, music, sleep and more.
And looking to the future, it seems Narrato has bigger aspirations as a platform, with plans brewing to let developers build additional services atop it via an API.
“We have big goals at Narrato to bring a simple way to log and manage all your personal data,” explains Tony Million, founder of Narrato. “By having all your data in one place it can be made more useful and you can learn from it, like how to be more productive, sleep better or when you are most active.”
It really is a nice app to use, and we can see this taking off if it can gain enough traction through word-of-mouth. Certainly, other existing apps such as Day One prove there’s demand – and that people are willing to pay for it – so it’ll be interesting to see whether integrating with existing social streams can see Narrato gain a significant fan-base of its own.
The app costs $3.99, which includes one year’s unlimited secure cloud storage for all photos, tweets and other data and full functionality. After a year, you’ll have to pay the same amount through an in-app subscription to continue using it, but you do have full ownership of your data, which can be deleted or exported any time.
Though it’s optimized for iPhone/iPod touch only for now, there are plans for other platforms later in 2013.
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