When it comes to note-taking apps and journals, the lines – pun intended – have been pretty much drawn. In most cases, you get an empty space where you can type in text quickly or add pictures or post content. Pretty straightforward and the variation tends to occur mainly in terms of the feature set. But in most cases, the routine is simple – open app, type a bit and shut it, after which the app saves your entry under a date. It is actually difficult to think what more could be added to such a set format, apart from the usual editing and font and bullet playing options.
Well, the folks who made Kennedy clearly thought otherwise. Yes, this is a journal app. Yes, it lets you add notes and images and displays them neatly in chronological order. What is different is the little matter of context. While most other apps of this sort restrict themselves to recording the date and time of your entry, Kennedy ups the ante and provides much more information. So when you hit the Now button which dominates the center of the display, you don’t just get an empty screen on which to slap on content, but a whole lot more – you get the exact location where you are making the note (with some help from FourSquare), the weather conditions, and as a final touch, one of the news headlines going around at that time.
Seems excessive? Well, we thought so too initially, but let’s face it, it did make our entries a whole lot easier to remember and even more interesting to read. No, we are not going to recommend this if you are looking for an uber powerful journal and note taking app – Kennedy sticks to simply letting you put in text and photographs (you can choose from your current collection or snap a new one from the app itself) and putting a whole lot of contextual information around it. Also be ready to put up with a bit of a lag every time you hit the Now button, as the app collects information to add to your entry. You can play around with the source of your news and choose a different news item if you so wish, but that apart, you can go along with your noting as usual, but every time you open a note or an entry, be ready to see more than just what you wrote.
Some might think this a bit excessive. We actually liked it, although we would have preferred an option to be able to control the headings of our notes – by default the app shows the weather place and news, which really does not tell us much about what we might have written. You can back up your entries to Dropbox and also tweak your news sources if you wish. If music is playing on your device, the app mentions which track was playing as well, and finally you also get some image tweaking options within the app itself.
Worth $1.99? We had frowned at the notion initially. But now, we must confess to being hooked to seeing our entries prefaced by weather, location and news. Why is it called Kennedy? Well, because it is inspired by the question “where were you when Kennedy was shot”? Macabre? Yes. Useful? Yes. Give it a try is our advice.
Available from: iTunes App Store