Microsoft appears to be on a creative spree. Their Microsoft Garage projects have been churning out lots of simple, fun apps recently for various platforms including Android and Journeys & Notes is one that caught my attention recently. It’s a social travel app that hopes to bring travelers together through a note leaving system. Its definitely a concept that’s never been thought of before so let’s see how it works.
Journeys & Notes Android App Review
Journeys & Notes is intended for you to leave behind notes when you undertake a trip from point A to point B so that fellow travelers who take that route will be able to read and reply to them. When you download and install the free app, and launch it, you are straightaway given a handle or calling card. In my case, it was barn alethe, whatever that means.
As far as the interface goes, everything looks clean and intuitive with options to quickly log a journey from the Home screen and view journeys taken in the past. You also have a truckload of transport modes to choose from including skates and horse riding.
So the first thing you do is enter a FROM destination. The app reminds you that it works better when you have location services turned on, so go ahead and enable it, if you haven’t. Now hit from and enter the place of your origin. As you type out your address, an auto list will pop up so you can select your address from it. Next you will be prompted to add a destination. Finally you must choose a mode of transport by selecting from the many diagrams on screen and that completes your journey log.
In the next screen, the app will provide you with some details such as the traveling distance, whether it was your first travel or not and how many people using Journey & Notes have traveled before you. You can then see notes left behind by other people who traveled along the route, and you can hit up the comment balloon to reply to them.
In my journey from San Fransisco to LA, there were a couple of people who traveled before me and the comments were left by one “boston tyrant”, who wrote “yummy” “helloworld” and a few other variations which were totally pointless. I wasn't too sure if the tyrant was expecting an instant reply! Anyway, with comments like that, I'm not sure where the app’s headed.
That said, the app has potential when you can get truly valuable notes left behind. There’s something exciting and wonderful when you find yourself on a trail used by others who have mentioned something wonderful they saw and want you to check out as well. However, there are plenty of signs that this is a garage product after all.
There’s no level of sophistication, no options to enter a social profile or any sort of social features to add value to users. it feels rather like a random experiment left behind by some bored genius to use or throw away. And that’s what makes Journeys & Notes so frustrating. Its a fairly good idea but its not going to get wings and fly until more and more people start using it, and using it sensibly and with good intention. Until then, its hard to imagine anyone sticking around.
You can give the app a try and tell us what you think.?