Ease of use is just one of the handful of reasons why you might want to give reQall a spin. This off-kilter alternative to the onboard scheduling applications tries to make the time management process as painless and intuitive as possible, albeit after a learning curve that can be puzzling.
Speak up: ReQall allows users to voice input appointments.
The idea, when reQall launched in 2007, was simple enough. Whenever you had to make an appointment, pencil a note or even add something to a shopping list, all you had to do was dial a toll-free number and speak out your task. The reQall speech-to-text converter would then transcribe this voice note into an entry in your schedule. No squinting, finger typing or rummaging for pencil or paper. Or hiring a personal assistant.
When the iPhone came along, they did away with the toll-free number as well. Now your voice was transcribed using your Internet connection. All very convenient indeed. Of course, you could still stay old-fashioned and type things in on the iPhone or online, but the reQall system worked just as well.
Now, with the recent launch of a new free beta application, BlackBerry owners can join in the fun too. The download and installation is painless and can be done over the air by pointing the Berry browser to the reQall website. Installation reveals a very pretty application, maybe not as polished as the iPhone variant, but still several notches above most BlackBerry applications.
Users can then add notes, to-dos and shopping lists by typing them in; or through voice-to-text, provided you have one of the newer BlackBerry models with expandable memory.
This is where we must mention two highlights of the application. One is the universal input method: All entries to your calendar are made using a general-purpose text box. The application then tries to figure out where to file and when to remind you depending on what you enter. Say “Remind me about the wife’s laundry at 7pm tomorrow” and reQall will immediately file it away under to-dos and in your tasks for tomorrow (so you can find it both ways).
The second highlight of the system is the multiple reminder option. You can ask reQall to remind you of appointments via email, instant message and, best of all, text messages (yes, they seem to work in India as well).
But don’t let our description fool you. The application does take some getting used to. And every time you fiddle around with it, you seem to learn something new. For instance, reQall has a very useful instant messenger interface that lets you review and add appointments through messenger services such as Google Talk. It took us three days to figure that one out.
Even if you don’t use the voice-to-text option, reQall is a handy application to have on the BlackBerry. From jotting down appointments to saving away ideas for that debut book, reQall is fast and dependable. Just be prepared to be patient and lavish some time on it. The effort is largely worthwhile.
Download the BlackBerry beta application by pointing your Berry browser at www.reqall.com/blackberry