Nowadays, my cellphone performs a more essential role to me as a PDA than a communications device. When I’m heading out, my smartphone manages my appointments (synchronised with Google Calendar), ensures I’ve got access to essential documents (through Google Docs and Dropbox), and gives me access to the Internet as an inexhaustible pool of reference material. In addition to that, it handles my contacts, restaurant reservations, concert tickets, and everything else digitizable.
That’s an awful lot of responsibility for one device. But more importantly, the fragmentation of this wealth of information frustrates at times, and feels awkward at others. When I walk out the door, I usually check 10 different applications on my cellphone to reach a merely rudimentary understanding of the essentials of my day. Push notifications help a little, but it doesn’t give me overview at a glance. That’s what Cue is for.
Cue is a mobile application currently only available for the iPhone. In essence, it connects to a wealth of online services and gives you a sorely needed overview. Open up Cue to see an actual queue of notifications from across different services. You’ll see the meetings scheduled in Google Calendar, followed by the dinner reservation made in OpenTable.
The app looks visually appealing, and more importantly gives you an idea of what’s planned today – near instantly. It rids you from the necessity of scanning multiple apps and multiple services, which ultimately only gets you a spotty overview of the things to come.
Of course, the information available through Cue depends on which accounts you link to it. There are a lot of these services available, which can be linked to your Cue account using the mobile application, or using the Cue web app – which we’ll talk about later.
They can be generally divided in to three big groups. The first group includes the various Google, iCloud, Yahoo! and (believe it or not) AOL services, in addition to Facebook, Dropbox and Linkedin. These services can be added without further ado.
The second group of services are unlocked by inviting friends to Cue. For each referred friend that signs up, you’ll receive one unlock credit. These credits can then be used to unlock Reddit, Pinboard, Google Reader, and Tumblr access.
Finally, the third group of services are only available to premium users of Cue, which costs you $4.99 monthly, or $49,99 yearly. Premium users are able to connect to EverNote, Yammer, Salesforce, Highrise, Basecamp and Campfire, as well as (of course) the unlockable services mentioned above.
Cue’s website has another surprise for you – a web app. Alas, it doesn’t give you all the features available through your iPhone, but it helps you manage your linked accounts and search those linked accounts for useful information.
Especially the latter shouldn’t be underestimated. It does essentially the same as the search feature in the iPhone app, turning up relevant hits across your different linked services – people, messages, events, files and posts. You can further filter on any of those types, helping you sift through fragmented information on a particular subject.
What do you think of Cue? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below the article!
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