Look, we'll talk about menstrual cycles, periods, and cramps in this post. If you feel uncomfortable discussing this topic, move along, but just remember that your entire existence hinged on this very thing. 'K? Now that that's settled, let's get back to our app.

Every couple of months, I spend hours — literally hours, i.e. multiples of sixty minutes — researching period trackers on the Play Store. And every time, I end up with the need to go to a garden to rip out every single flower, throw it on the floor, and stomp violently on it. Yes, I'm a woman, and I may like flowers and pink, but does it mean that I have to suffer offensively cheerful and childish app designs like this, this, or this to track the thing that makes my life a living hell for a few days every month? Hey gorgeous, feel cranky? I'll throw a flower in your face! Or a kitten. Or a butterfly. Or all three. With a lot of pink. And some yellow. And a dash of purple. Feel better?

Clue gets it. I want an app that makes the process of tracking my period less like a promenade in Hello Kitty-land and more like just another thing I have to do. Like paying my bills or tracking my steps. The app is now out on Android with the same signature UI that made it popular on iOS. It is deflowered and de-kittened (you get my jokes there? Alright, I'll stay classy). As for the colors, there's red — the vibrant but not offensive shade of red — and green, teal, grey, and a lil' bit of purple. Just a teeny bit. Then there are blue fireworks for the ovulation and gloomy white clouds for the estimated PMS days. It's all done tastefully and stylishly.

 

I've just started using Clue and I can tell that it's promising but not excellent. The interface is quite beautiful and responsive, the added information and explanations are very useful, and the ease of entering new data points for each day is almost unrivalled in other apps.

However, there are missing bits and pieces. For now, the app only allows me to enter my past cycles up to a year ago whereas I have 5 years worth of data that I'd like to keep in my main period tracker. And despite entering these, the app doesn't seem to show me any trends or patterns, just the calendar. There's also no way (that I can see) to back up this data or sync it with anything, so whenever I get a new phone, I'll have to start from scratch. Not ideal.

Fix these, and Clue would be a winner. For now, it is battling the top spot on my phone with Glow (nice but clunky UI, syncs with its service, but it's painful to add past cycles), OvuView (clean design but complicated experience), and Feminap (seems to have everything, but the interface isn't very responsive). Is it that difficult to make a period tracker that meets all the criteria?