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Show HN: TouchBase (re-imagining the iPhone calendar) (touchbasecal.com)
102 points by webwright on Oct 18, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 43 comments

Cool app. Am I the only one that's overwhelmed by the home page, though?

The "get TouchBase" button is clear enough, but after a minute my eyes have been redirected everywhere and I still don't know if TouchBase has a decent day/week/month view.

EDIT. Okay, here we go: "You might want to keep your iPhone calendar around if you really like/use the month view a lot, as TouchBase doesn't offer that."

Yaw, I think you're right-- the home page is pretty dense. Any ideas on a big/simple headline that conveys the value prop better? We struggled with that.

FWIW, I've largely stopped using the normal calendar app in favor of this one. If we see a lot of demand for a month/week view, we might well add it in.

Thanks for the feedback!

Theres just too much stuff going on, on the homepage.

It makes any comprehension difficult. Two recommendations:

1) add more white space

2) try to communicate the value proposition in as little words as possible. This book is a good starting point on how to do that: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1400064287/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_0dBNob...

>> Any ideas on a big/simple headline that conveys the value prop better?

TouchBase - a smarter iPhone calendar

TouchBase - the smart iPhone calendar

TouchBase - steroids for your iPhone calendar

TouchBase - turbocharge your iPhone calendar

TouchBase - the iPhone calendar enhancement for working moms on the go

More screen shots would be great, I want to decide if this can replace my iPhone calendar but the two screen shots you've provided don't help me do that at all, it just shows added functionality.

For fun, some tagline ideas:

TouchBase - powerful scheduling

TouchBase - intelligent scheduling

TouchBase - schedule like a pro

TouchBase - control your calendar

TouchBase - command your calendar

TouchBase - calendar command center

Hey all-- We built this at http://www.startupworkaway.com (15 geeks in a beachhouse!). It's our first foray into the mobile market but we're pretty excited by the beta feedback/love we've gotten. Would appreciate your thoughts!

(edited to fix link, thx)

Looks interesting enough for me to purchase it. I think it attacks a common calendar problem that's missing in the default calendar app of actions that you want to take as future events become the present. Most apps just offer alerts, but this lets you interact with the others involved in the event.

I thought this looked familiar :) Looks wonderful dude! Can you make Siri play nice with this?

Heh-- What do you think the odds are that Apple will let 3rd party devs play with Siri? Fingers crossed!

I like the icon, but the first time I launched it, it crashed after the "Crunching Calendar..." screen. I check the logs and it says:

"Application Specific Information: com.tomoapps.touchbase failed to launch in time".

Spin a thread or dispatch in -application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:launchOptions: as soon as you can. Don't do heavy work there.

The app started successfully after that. First impression feedback:

The Edit/Done animation looks a little strange, maybe too fast or maybe because you are shrinking the height of the hidden view during the animation

Good luck with the launch!

Durnit-- hopefully that's rare. We did a private beta with 60ish diverse folks and didn't run into that bug. (aside: we used TestFlight for this and it was amazing for over-the-air beta testing).

If you're willing, would love help in tracking down what's happening. webwright@gmail.com ... Thanks for the info, regardless!

Sent. (in case it went to junk).

Seems like a reasonable place to ask, so I'll do it here: anybody here found a really good integrated calendar/todo app?

All the ones I've found are very coarse-grained. Really meant for someone with a couple of appointments a day at specific times. I need to do that, but I also need something to manage tasks and assignments. I.e. I'm in a meeting and I get 3 tasks X, Y, and Z. X needs to be done monday at 3 pm, Y needs to be done this week, and Z needs to be done at some point. I want something where I can quickly and easily add all three tasks, then come back later and decide I'm going to work on Y on Wednesday and tentatively decide to work on Z on Friday.

For me allocating a big list of tasks to limited time, and being able to fluidly move them around as circumstances change is just as important as remembering that I have a lunch appointment 3 pm on Friday.

https://www.producteev.com/ does this decently well. I love that it has a box that just lets you type in "lunch meeting noon monday" instead of having to click around on a date picker. When you're getting an assignment while talking to someone it's crucial not to have to click around. iCal is infuriating in how many clicks it takes to add a task and schedule it. I also love that you can leave a task unassigned then drag & drop it when you decide to allocate it to a certain day. But it's a web app and it's not snappy enough. The UI can slow down at random moments which sucks when you're trying to jot down an appointment while talking to someone.

I wanted to buy the app, but I'm not allowed to since it's US-only.

Sorry about that-- there are a few things we do with language (parsing for the word "at" for example, to guess location). We also wanted to launch gently. Can you tell me what country you're in?

If you email me (webwright @ gmail), I can get you a free beta invite for your trouble.

There are a lot more places than just the US that use "at" to refer to a location. Why not just release to anyone who wants to use the English-only app?

We did release it in all of the english speaking countries that we could pick out of the list. The app actually has canned messages as part of the functionality, so I think it'd be pretty rough to use in any country where you'd likely meet with non-english-speaking folks. So question 1) Is there an english speaking country we missed? 2) Are there enough ex-pats-who-meet-with-mostly-english-speakers that you think it'd make sense to launch without native language support?

Luxembourg is tiny, multilingual and anglophone enough to make a great beta country. Oh, and I live there.

My calendar uses more than one language, how will you decide how to parse it?

Some of my contacts would find it weird if I message them in english, others wouldn't even notice, a few wouldn't even understand the message.

Looks awesome, but after purchasing it, all it does is crash:( It says Crunching Calendar, and then dies, ever time. I've tried rebooting the phone, resyncing the app, etc...

Could you drop me a note if you have a few minutes to help troubleshoot? This didn't crop up in our beta and we'd love to track it down. webwright@gmail.com - thanks, regardless!

Me too. Asks me "Who are you? We need a contact for you.". I fill in the contact form, press done and it crashes. Start it up again and it's the same story.

This looks fantastic, and I can't wait to use it.

I can't seem to get it to work because it can't detect my contact, and it won't let me select my existing record. It only lets me create a new one. But when I do that, it crashes once I click done. I went in and added every email to my contact through 'contacts,' but it still won't recognize it.

Any thoughts? I hope this is something you can work out - because this app looks fantastic.

Hrm-- can you drop me a note? webwright@gmail - we did a pretty large beta test and thought this was solid-- would love to get to the bottom of it. There SHOULD be an "add to existing contact" option on that screen. Thanks and apologies for the rough bits.

Minor UX feedback: The image for CTA buttons you are using look weird on hover. See this http://www.touchbasecal.com/images/btn_cta1.png The top image which appears on hover doesn't have the correct n and p letter in "Our normal price is $3.99".

Yikes-- good catch. There was an 11th hour edit on that button (from me). Fixed and thank you!

I installed it but it never seems to know who I am. I have entered contact information 3 times now but it keeps saying "Who are you?".

It also Crunches my calendar for about 30seconds every time I launch it. If that is the expected behaviour I will not be using it long term.

Other than that - I want to play with it, it looks really nice.

Very nice. Back in the day my company made a similar product for the Palm OS called "Today". Good luck with it!

One feature request: can you also use the "nickname" field when looking for matches? I call my wife "J" so I added that as her nickname in "Address Book.app" but TouchBase still can't manage to match it up.

That's a great idea. I've just submitted a new version including nickname matching to the app store for approval, so look for it within the next week or two.

"If you're event doesn't have a location" - typo for "your".

Looks good. Perhaps a bit weak in the face of Siri's launch?

Fixed the typo-- thanks!

Siri is interesting-- and may (someday) kill us, but I think it remains to be seen how practical it is for communicating/mapping around your calendar. I get plenty of stalls and "I don't understand you" on the Siri front-- especially with people or cafe names.

Of course, even if Siri PERFECT, there's still a huge swath of people with older iPhones, a hatred for voice controls, accents, etc.

While we're committed to the app, it's definitely in the "revenue generating project" category (versus the "I hope I'm doing this 10 years from now" category! :-) ).

I think this is a brilliant idea. Not sure if the feature set is large enough for me to buy it quite yet. I'm probably not the target market for this app, though.

I was lucky enough to be in the beta -- this is basically the missing calendar app for iOS. Apple really should have included these features from the get go.

Fado Pub is a great place for lunch! I hate the default iPhone calendar application. I'll be purchasing ASAP.

I was in the beta. TouchBase is cool, very handy if you're running around from meeting to meeting all day.

This looks fantastic, all the best with your launch! It makes me wish I had a smart phone.

Great UI, simple design a must for tech folks on the go!

This looks great!

Only for USA WTF

Sorry, it's we do some title stuff that is language dependent (the app still works in other languages, it just loses a small part of the magic). We are currently limited to countries that speak english (not just the US, but still limited, sadly). If you email me at webwright@gmail, I'll happily give you a free beta account. We'll attack other languages soon.

Does it support multiple timezones?

It should-- it actually uses the data from your native calendar and should behave the same with regard to timezones.

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