Syncuz is like a Location-based Group Event Planning App, Sadly Fails to Execute
Sep 1, 2011 3:21 PM –
Syncuz combines mapping, location and messaging on a single screen on your phone to enable groups of people (for social and/or business purposes) to synchronize with one another when organising any type of event that involves meeting up.
Just open a Syncuz “event map” and invite your friends/colleagues from your contacts list on your phone. When they accept the invitation their location is shown on the event map (they need to download Syncuz when first invited, the download is part of the invitation so hurry up and invite all your contacts!). All those involved in the event (and only those involved in the event) can see where everyone is located in real time (everyone is on the map in the form of a map pin) using your phone’s GPS functionality and each “guest” can attach messages to their map pin for anyone in that group to see.
Tested on: Sony Xperia Play, HTC Droid Incredible 2
Pros & Cons:
- Excellent application concept to combine applications like Google Latitude, GroupMe, and Facebook Places!
- Allows you to create a private guest lists for all your events and RSVP electronically!
- Allows you to message other guests in the application!
- Google Maps integration!
- Application would not work properly for events at time of testing.
- Interface feels unpolished and unrefined.
- Chat interface only supports 200 characters on a note appended to a location pin. It is not real chat room.
- Events default to one hour time, no obvious way to change.
- Requires email address and password creation for sign up.
Syncuz is an interesting Android application that allows you to easily share events with others and follow up with the invitees in one place. Syncuz features Google Maps integration, a digital RSVP system, a invitee chat room, and the ability to host multiple events at once.
Syncuz allows you to input the address of your event in to your smartphone and then displays the location of the event in Google Maps. When you invite people to attend the event they are able to see its location on the map and obtain directions immediately using their Android powered smartphone.
In order to invite people to your event you will need to create a guest list. There is an option to create this within the application. You are able to select the contacts you wish from your address book and then send them an invitation to both the event and Syncuz. Once the guest confirms that they are attending the event you will be able to see their location on a map and any messages they leave will be shown as a chat bubble over their location pin.
All guests invited to an event must download the Syncuz application from the Android Market in order to be able to attend. The application currently is stating that all persons who download the it will have it for free for one year if they download it by August 31st, 2011.
I am not sure if there was something specific about my devices or the application itself, but I was never able to get Syncuz to work on either my Droid Incredible 2 or my Sony Xperia Play. I was able to create an event, but when someone else joined, it was never reflected in the application. Also as soon as I closed the application the event was lost and this was also true of my attendees. Those attempting to join my Syncuz events were unable to recall the event as soon as the application was minimized. Since this problem occurred with multiple devices I am going to assume it is the failure on the Syncuz application.
Syncuz Event Map
Syncuz Event Map 2
Syncuz Guest List
Syncuz Event Time
Since Syncuz was not fully working for me or others at the time of testing I will focus on reviewing the potential of this application instead of its usefulness in the current non-working form.
Syncuz would be an incredibly useful application if all the features were working. Whether you were hosting a business meeting or just a get together with friends, it would allow you to get up to the minute reports on your guests arrival time and impromptu issues like bad traffic or emergencies.
I personally think the set up process should be phone number based instead of username/password. This would make the application easier to use for those who are unsure of committing to the application and ensure that receiving spam mail from yet another mobile developer never entered the potential users mind.
Ease of Use:
Syncuz is middle of the road when it comes to ease of use. As I stated before I think using a mobile number is a much more convenient way to identify various users on a mobile device, and prevents users from ignoring an application just because it makes you sign up for yet another account.
I also strongly dislike the application’s messaging system. Instead of limiting messages to 200 characters and showing them as chat bubbles above a location pin, I would prefer to see a private chat room similar to GroupMe. This would make Syncuz useful for not only tracking attendees to an event, but also with event planning.
In its current form using Syncuz is impossible. However, if the developer were to make some of the changes outlined in this review I could see myself using this application frequently. It would allow me to consolidate GroupMe, Google Latitude, and Facebook Places in to one useful event planning and GPS tracking application.
The interface for Syncuz is rudimentary. The basics are not horrible, but the application needs much more refinement before it can expect to be widely adopted. After making the changes outlined in this review the developer should focus on making the interface more attractive and easy to use for the average user.