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App Review: 53 days to go

Since back in 2010 I have searched for an app that I could use to record expiration dates for my license, passport, registrations, subscriptions, etc. I sort of found it in an app called Expiry Date Manager. The interface was sloppy and the icon looked terrible. But it had the most important of all features for this kind of app, that often takes more than an hour to load all the information gathered from multiple sources. Backup & restore. I was a little worried when I discovered that instead of using Skydrive or Dropbox for backup, the developer chose to use Microsoft Azure. But he assured me that my data would be safe and stable. Until he decided to stop supporting the app that is. Expiry Date Manager (not available in Marketplace for a long time) is still installed on my L900, but the backup feature stopped working nearly a year ago. Since then I have tirelessly continued to search for a replacement.

Let me introduce you to, “53 days to go”, a tool that perfectly meets my vision of a countdown/expiration app. 53 allows you to enter events with due/expiration dates for a variety of activities; birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations (with start/end dates), sporting events, yearly, monthly or weekly events/renewals, periodical events, anything. They are sorted on a list by “days till event”. For example, my Florida Drivers license expires in 2068 days, but my Microsoft Dev registration renews in 244 days.

The app interface is clean and intuitive. And, the app can be backed up/restored to Skydrive! There are some options to set the time when expired events are moved from “current” to “expired”, whether those expired events should be auto deleted, or if renewal type events should be automatically renewed. If the event is a birthday or anniversary (something with a beginning) the app will ask for the starting year so that the app can indicate the appropriate age/anniversary. Each event can be color coded to make the list easier to view. I set all my Microsoft renewals to blue, and business events to green (I work for a renewable energy company). Any event can be edited at any time. You can also add a note entry to each event and selectively choose to show/hide the note info on the main screen. That’s smart.

The primary app live tile will show how many days to the next event set to expire on your list. The developer intuitively added the current day of the week to the tile so you know if you have not opened the app in two weeks (background tasks will turn off for an app that has not been opened in more than two weeks). If the day displayed does not match the current day, open the app to update the tile. You can also pin live tiles for any event. Like an upcoming wedding or vacation. No option to set an alarm for an event. But maybe with some encouragement, who knows.

Oh, and if all this good stuff is not enough, the app is FREE. No in-app upgrades, no ads. Just free. The developer is Rolf Borst. I plan to email him to see if I can PayPal something to his account. I really want to say thank you and encourage him to continue to support this project. Don’t think he plans to abandon it anytime soon though as Rolf just completed an update on 7/20/13 to fix a problem with SkyDrive sync (Microsoft made a change). The same problem that affected Sky Wallet a couple weeks back. He will probably turn me down, but it’s worth a try.

You can find 53 days to go in the Windows Store here. Try it. I think you’ll like it.