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Bad with names? 2 Android apps try to help

Barbara Krasnoff | March 2, 2015
A few years ago, Evernote picked up a small contact-manager app called Hello (which was then retitled Evernote Hello). One of the main ideas behind the app was to help those of us who had trouble remembering names (a category I definitely fall into). It let you take notes about people you met at, say, a conference, and pick up extra information, including photos, from LinkedIn. You could then use the info and/or the photos to jog your memory.

A few years ago, Evernote picked up a small contact-manager app called Hello (which was then retitled Evernote Hello). One of the main ideas behind the app was to help those of us who had trouble remembering names (a category I definitely fall into). It let you take notes about people you met at, say, a conference, and pick up extra information, including photos, from LinkedIn. You could then use the info and/or the photos to jog your memory.

Evernote Hello had its problems — the interface wasn't all that easy to navigate, for example. But it made it possible to see somebody at an event a year later, find a corner of the room, flip quickly through your photos and be able to identify the person and greet them by name (without having to stare at their nametag).

Evernote dropped Hello as of February 7th of this year, informing its users that they could use Evernote's own business card scanning feature instead. All well and good — but storing business cards wasn't what I used Hello for. I needed a new way to prompt my faulty memory for names.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Android users, there really isn't an app for that. Two free apps, Humin and Social Recall, do make a try at it, though.

Humin

Humin started as an iOS app last summer and is now available as a beta for Android. However, while it shows some promise as a way to find and track contacts, I'm not sure how useful it is as a memory jogger — at least, not at this point in its development.

According to the website, Humin was originally introduced as an alternative to the iPhone's Phone app. The idea was that, instead of searching for a contact by name (which you might not remember), you could search for somebody by typing in "Met last month" or "Lives in Los Angeles."

Unfortunately, as an Android app, Humin doesn't really fit the bill. When you first sign on, you can join either via Facebook or by using your phone number. You can then add your Google, Facebook and/or LinkedIn contacts. Once you've decided which to add, though, you're pretty well stuck with your choice. I went with my Google contacts and skipped the others, figuring I could add them later if I wanted to. Nope.

The main page of the app gives you a list of your Favorites (contacts who you get in touch with often; you can chose who will appear as a Favorite), and Recents (recent calls). When I first installed the app, it also showed what day it was, along with some contacts who lived nearby, but for some reason that category disappeared the third day I was using it.

 

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