05
Mar
friday-logo
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Update: We have been notified by the developers of this app that the app does not upload any information. The information is kept on the phone and organised by the app. In the future there are plans to implement a feature that would allow the information to be uploaded to a backup server. However, at present, information collected by Friday is not shared with anyone including the developer.

Each day a smartphone user receives information from a variety of different sources, including phone calls, text messages and emails. Keeping track of it all can be a major headache and more often than not we misplace crucial pieces of information because we are unable to recall when we had received them and/or what we were doing at the time.

A new app called Friday, by developer Dexetra, alleviates this problem by placing all the relevant data at your fingertips. Friday does this by cataloguing everything you do on your phone and then displaying it in an easily digestible format. Furthermore, it allows you to search through all the data and pinpoint the specific information you are looking for.

Usage

Unfortunately, explaining the features and use of Friday is very difficult without actually using it. At first glance the app feels like a fairly standard smartphone stats counter, however this is a gross oversimplification of Friday's functionality. For example, instead of simply informing you that you made 100 minutes worth of phone calls, you can actually see a graph displaying when you made your phone calls and their duration. More interestingly, Friday allows you to filter data by doing searches like "calls on 1 March", which would filter only the calls that were made on the device on 1st March.

main 

One of the founders of Dexetra describes Friday as a "life search app" helping you "recollect what [you] did on any particular day of [your] life". This is quite a broad statement and right now Friday can only help you recollect the following pieces of information:

  • Calls
  • Texts
  • E-mails
  • Places (GPS)
  • Contacts
  • Picture
  • Tasks (calendar and reminders)
  • Music
  • Power

settings dashboard 

Once you click on one of the icons to filter a specific type of information, you will see a number of useful graphs showing you how much you have been using the device. One of the things Friday has going for it is its slick user interface. After I had played around with the app for a little while it was easy to figure out what all the different buttons were for and how to find the information I needed. There are still some things that require further explanation and the developer has acknowledged that this is an area that needs to be worked on.

The list of filters appears to cover most of the pieces of information your device is likely to receive on an average day. Hence, you can do searches like "calls from Jon on 2 March" and all the calls from your contact "Jon" on 2 March will appear on the main screen. This is a great way of finding information that dissects multiple types of data. Apparently, you can even do searches like "calls while listening to Lady Gaga" and all the calls that you had while a Lady Gaga song was playing will be displayed.

Finally, you can add notes, tags and reminders to further categorise the information on your phone. For example, if you were to take a lot of photos during a holiday, you could have the app auto-tag these photos.

reminder notes

Conclusion

Firstly, you need Friday on your phone for at least a week before it actually becomes useful. After the initial run where it syncs all your contacts, events and reminders, Friday will periodically sync all new events that happen on your device. Essentially, everything in the list of filters will be categorised into the app.

Unfortunately, for Friday to stay up to date it needs to constantly sync everything that happens on your device. So, every time a SMS message is received  Friday launches and sync the message almost immediately. This constant synchronisation can be a major drain on the battery and after a week of usage I noticed that my battery was dying a lot faster. This is clearly something that needs to be worked on.

On a more practical note I have found that aside from certain specific cases I do not see how this app can be useful on a regular basis. Certainly, if I want to look at how much I have been calling a particular contact, Friday comes in handy, but how often would I do that? Similarly, how often would I want to know who I called while a particular Lady Gaga song was playing?

In fact this app reminds me a lot of the Wolfram Alpha search engine which was touted as a potential "Google-killer". Similar to Friday, Wolfram Alpha indexes a variety of information and then displays "answers" to your specific queries. This sounds great in theory, however not many people have been able to find a practical use for it on a daily basis.

In any event, despite this, what sets the app apart from the standard Android apps is the wonderful though that the app developers have put into its design, font and icon choices. Android apps are often belittled for their perceived tackiness and it is nice to see app developers come up with visually and aesthetically pleasing apps.

The app is currently in the alpha testing phase and is invite only. Head on over to the developer's website to request an invite to test the app. You can also download the app from the Android Market, but it will not work without the invite.

Download Friday

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • http://mindmirror007.blogspot.com/p/home.html alchemist007

    Permissions for this app is right on the creepy line! I am a little skeptical considering the past few days in Android Market world!

  • Horse

    I don't understand why it needs to upload all of my info. Do all the sorting and whatnot client side and keep my personal stuff personal. Definitely not installing this thing. Google already knows too much about my day-to-day; I don't need this company to monitor my every move.

    • http://www.twitter.com/codevalley Codevalley

      The app does not “upload” any information anywhere. It just organizes it and keeps it in your phone. In fact it will not share any of your info with any party.
      Friday is not a monitoring app. It helps you search your own life. :)

      • http://mindmirror007.blogspot.com/p/home.html alchemist007

        Then why does it require "Full Internet Access" permission?

        • http://www.twitter.com/codevalley Codevalley

          Friday uses Google Maps to show locations also the GeoAPI to find the address of the locations, internet connection is required for both these.

  • murdawg67

    The app is currently private alpha release. You can download it but unless you were invited to evaluate it and sent an activation code, you can't use it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/codevalley Codevalley

    The app does not "upload" any information anywhere. It just organizes it and keeps it in your phone. In fact it will not share any of your info with any party.

  • Vijith Menon

    The App will be useful if u remember to use it instead of going on a lengthy process of remembering stuff called Thought Chain Syndrome, check out this video http://youtu.be/NJ-C_FuBSpE
    and consider: Hasn't this happened to u too??

  • Joel

    I have to disagree about Wolfram Alpha. I and my classmates use it very often to get a better understanding of math stuff. It solves equations, plot graphs and does pretty much every thing you can dream of. It's a great way to see if you have done right.

    • http://www.twitter.com/codevalley Codevalley

      I wouldn't compare Friday Alpha with Wolfram Alpha. But Friday Alpha could definitely answer some questions like
      -"What did I do at Paris"
      -"Calls that I made to Joel while charging"
      -"Photos of Euro Trip taken on a Sunday"
      It can fetch all those info, Friday Alpha 's Answer engine runs on your smartphone, on the limited power and memory available, and tries to understand what you are asking.
      Friday Alpha is definitely not a 'stat-counting' app! :)

  • phreqd

    When the battery usage gets better, I'll definitely be interested in this app.

  • P

    I can't find it on the market?

  • P

    I can't find it on the market? I want to send an email

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