Frozen-rails-2014

Later App wedges into a broad category


iPhone users - do you actually use the built-in reminder app that Apple gives you? Or do you set reminders though iCal? I noticed I don't, it just doesn't fit into my workflow (as much as I need reminders in my day to day life), and after talking to the Latvia-based Later App guys I realized I'm not alone.

But as a business decision, why enter the reminder space? It's heavily contested already with Apple's built-in products, and since they're dead simple to make, they're almost a dime a dozen like weather apps, for instance. "Reminders are big, says Davis Siksnans, co-founder of Later App. "Down the road we want to make more apps, but we wanted to go into this big category and see where it goes from there."

Later runs $0.99 and sets out to do one thing really well. There are almost no buttons or settings to get lost in, opening up the app you're prompted to set a reminder - like to walk the dog. After finishing your text, you're prompted when you would like to be reminded, like later that day, in the evening, on the weekend, etc. The only settings available to the app are how you like to define "later today" for instance (the default is +3 hours). It's just a few taps and you're done. The UI is clean and simple - and the logo and design make it feel like a native iOS7 app.

"[People] really don't like Apple reminders, they don't like iCal. I think by doing it well we can get a sizable portion of users," says Siksnans. He points out that there are plenty of people - like myself - who have gone into the app store to try new reminder apps, and even pay small money to try them out.

The team has also put a developer on the goal of creating a paired Mac app to integrate with their app. The killer feature they see is to set a reminder from your phone to remind you whenever you open up your computer next - which makes sense considering a reminder like "write an email to Dmitri" doesn't make sense to pop up on your phone like the all-out assault of iOS's reminders app. This Mac app should launch sometime in March.

The team of three Latvians have developed a few Mac and iPhone apps together, and although they're currently just building products to play around, their end goal is to become a company like UK-based Real Mac Software, who have developed a beautiful reminder app called Clear along with a suite of other handy Mac products. As Apple fans, they want to create powerful and simple apps for Mac software to solve their own itches.

The other products the team is developing include Inboard App, a Mac app that is essentially an Evernote-meets-offline-version-of-Pinterest for designers to hold their stuff. Although it's in private beta, they say they have thousands of users. Additionally the team has produced Get Characters, a simple task bar drop-down that makes it simple to find ASCI characters, which is handy for developers or designers.

Siksnans is clearly inspired by Jason Fried of 37signals, where he takes the same philosophy "when users ask us to add another feature, the default answer is no."

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