When you spend most of your day surfing the Internet for work, for fun, or just as a cure for boredom, you can come across an unbelievable number of items to lust after or things that spark an interest or idea to pursue later (when you’re off the clock, maybe). For those of us who really need a personal assistant taking notes for all of these moments but can’t quite get one, an app like Springpad could come in handy.
Springpad launched in March as just another “reminders” app, collectively saving notes, pictures, bookmarked links, favorite products, etc. But the newest update just released this week launches the app into another category, allowing users to receive alerts and updates about products or places saved in their Springpad “stuff.”
What exactly would you use this app for? If you find a great pair of pants online that are just a bit too expensive, save it in Springpad, and the app will send you an alert when the price of the pants has changed. Have a favorite restaurant? Save it to your Springpad, and the app will send you alerts when there are changes in the menu.
Read the full review after the jump
The main function of Springpad is to help you collect and organize all of the bits of info and cool stuff you find while surfing the web, all in one place. The web browser version on the computer is one of the most helpful organizational tools for those of us who experience information overload on a daily basis: hearing about a new restaurant to try, finding a great new gadget or accessory, or just a new task to remember to do the next day. And although it’s not quite as simple to save found items from the ‘net on the Springpad iPhone app, it does serve as an instant extension of the computer personal assistant, to help you with reminders and quick links on-the-go.
After registering for Springpad (free), you can start adding things to the “My Stuff” list. You have the option of adding a “Quick Note” (a basic text note) or adding by type, photo, barcode, or searching nearby on a map. While the photo, barcode, and search nearby features are fairly straightforward, the possibilities for adding something by type are pretty endless.
The list: task, business, restaurant, wine, product, book, movie, album, shopping list, packing list, check list, recipe, or contact. By tapping on each type, you can search for the name of whatever you’re searching for in that category, and the app will return a list of suggestions from the web. Easily add whichever selection works best, then the item will show in your “Stuff” list. From there, you can receive alerts from Springpad about your Stuff, such as alerts about sales on a product, an item in a recipe you’ve saved popping up at a local grocer, news about a movie you’ve saved, or even just reminders to purchase an item in a shopping list you’ve saved. Once something like a business or a movie is in your Stuff, you can open it and directly make a call to the business, get info about the movie, view maps, buy the movie directly inside the app, and much more. Consider it your go-to guide of all of your favorite stuff (or things you’ve been meaning to check out) with directions, phone numbers, locations, and more all at your disposal whenever you need it.
The mobile app works best when used in conjunction with the Springpad website, where you can easily bookmark and save links and items while surfing the web. Anything saved on the web browser version is synced up with the mobile app, via your account, and vice versa.
Recap & Conclusion
Released: March 2010 / Updated: Sept. 24
Our Grade: B+
A personal assistant is ultimate dream for a lot of people (especially writers, hint hint), but with that being so far out of reach, something like Springpad is an excellent alternative to getting your life in order. The alerts function may be a little dangerous for those of us who are impulse buyers and constantly looking for a bargain–if I’ve been lusting after something and it goes on sale, I’m buying it–but it will ultimately be a greater help than harm. The app’s interface seems a little clunkier than it needs to be, with a few too many steps at times to do something that should take one or two taps instead of three. But overall, this is one of the better organizing apps I’ve come across in a long time.