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Yo Nikhil, Before I Review Zazu for Android, Couple Thoughts

So one of our active regulars from way back when, nikhil s, approached me to crank out one of my awesome tl;dr app reviews on some daily planner app his brother’s been working on called Zazu (website). I was initially apprehensive because my loyalty to our loyal readers, and wanting to praise the thing no matter what, presented a conflict of my other interest of needing to preserve my immaculate badass street cred on this website of not selling out on these articles that always fall flat.

But the man asked, so I tried to buy myself some time by blowing him off, but then he hunts me down on Google+ so I’m cornered. I can’t look like I’m blowing people off to the rest of my Google+ following, damn.


zazo_for_android-1So I fired up the app and found myself thinking okay well he should do this that and the other thing differently, that’s not working right, thinking to myself well this isn’t my cup of tea but I can see how it would appeal to others, I kept tapping around, kept thinking then it hit me, instead of writing a review or hit him with a bunch of nitpicky complaints from a guy whose taste may not mesh at all with the average user’s and just post right here what I almost posted in his direction on Google+ (which rules btw)?

Maybe you guys could give Nikhil some additional feedback or tell him not to listen to me, crowdsource this shit, and deliver something better to him, his brother and Zazu than a stale tl;dr review. So please chime in on this one, all right?

So here’s what I wrote to him without hitting the post button. You can grab Zazu on the app market here or just search for Zazu. Wouldn’t kill us to install the thing before telling him what to do, you know?

Here goes:

All right Nikhil my man, if I may offer myself as a focus group before I pump out some sort of review, some initial first-glance impressions which might help one or both of us. I have a Google Apps account as my main account, and I specified that in settings, but on the front agenda I’m seeing my old gmail account which I’m trying to phase out. I’m guessing that’s because the thing is displaying calendars from any account it scooped up and the entry it’s got up front just happens to be from an old calendar. I don’t recall telling it to use the other accounts, maybe I did, but perhaps have it assume you just want to use the calendar of whatever you first banged in at the first login.

I like what you did with those alarms, fun stuff, but especially for waking-up alarms, gotta have some more conventionally abrasive alarms, though tomorrow morning I intend to use “Neener neener neener” because I just think it will be pretty effective, at least it will freak out my wife and get her to make me shut it off during which process I’ll start laughing and in turn maybe wake up, BUT I’m afraid that, and though this might not be the case, might be fine, that Zazu won’t override low volume settings. Maybe make that an option somewhere.

Feeds, though I know one can figure out their own Google Reader feed and dump it in at the bottom, if you can, gotta give people the option to fire up their Google Reader feeds from within this with just a check box as you do with calendars. Though most people may be satisfied with the usual suspects RSS feeds like on the weather/news thing, not me, and over time people are piling onto Google Reader. I suggest figuring out how to let people fire that up easily — and then put that up top and prominent above the other cookie-cut feed packages.

Local deals, nice, but how about showing Google’s own Groupon thing some love? It might take off. Not to mention Google+, I’d advise tying as much of that thing as you can stuff into this app without making it too complicated.

What’s the purpose of the tiny map? Seems like it’s just taking up vertical real estate badly needed by the bottom half of the agenda and weather. Conversely, need more space for articles when pulling up the news up top, if you could somehow make that variable.

Glitch, when I hit the email icon, it doesn’t filter out the sharing options that are not compatible with emailing an appointment or whatever (for example, Android2Cloud is offered). Also it’s not using the phone’s primary account, my Google Apps account which I plugged into this, as the from address when emailing. Same with sharing news.

I had some initial confusion with whether or not to specify a zip. Most people are cool with geolocation and don’t have it disabled on the phone’s settings, I think, so how about letting Zazu assume that it’s to use that unless the user goes out of his way to specify a zip?

Login glitch, I logged in once, then I’m in settings and I see a thing to log in, looks like it wants me to log in, so I log in again, then later on I go back and it’s still the same. Maybe have it switch from a logging in setting invitation to Use a different account thing after someone’s already logged in.

You know a lot of this just could be me, I like to have everything just a certain way… I say we bounce this off the readers rather than just jumping into an app. Hmm.



Thanks fellas for helping me help Nikhil out, our brother’s brother with this Zazu thing (it reads to you by the way, and at least get it for the extra ringtones). Maybe if this works out we’ll end up helping you one day. Even if you’re not Android, offering him tips on how to promote the thing would be just as if not more valuable than the stuff I spewed above. Obviously he’ll be tuning in to field anything you throw at him. Also this buys me more time to stall on writing the review. Thanks Nikhil for boosting me ego by approaching me. All these guys do is cut me down, you made my day. As for the app and how I feel about it, I’m reserving judgment until I hear what these guys think. Oh one more thing, their site to check this out, which ain’t a bad site as far as these sites go and worth checking out if this interests you but you don’t have Android but still want to help these guys, Thanks.

Doug Simmons