Track new movies, albums, games and more
The new year aside its resolutions and best wishes is packed with good things to look forward to. This is why in 2013 I'm going to make a list of all the upcoming great games, movies, gigs and trips of the year. Fortunately, I've been keeping a nice assistant app launched two weeks ago precisely for this purpose and I'm posting now so you can join me in this journey.
ComingUp by Alexander Blunck of ablfx allows you to create a list of the upcoming releases of 2013. The app integrates with a movie, music, videogame database that eases the manual entry of information while it's flexible enough to allow you to enter your own events — concerts and holiday trips in my case.
One of the advantages of selecting items from the engine is that all the metadata is automatically included for you. This includes a very trendy small rounded icon, a background image, the date and the event category, crucial to link the item to third party websites.
Choosing the upcoming Ironman 3, for example, you can access the previews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb on a web viewer within the app (or launch the iOS app if this is installed).
The neat thing here is that the results on the database are alive. If there's ever a delay on the launch date of Dead Space 3, the ComingUp knows about it and will update your list accordingly. All the information no the list is cross-checked daily so you can add new items as they are announced.
For some reason the current version has some hiccups with audio material, not including any cover art or band information that could be pulled from last.fm or similar websites.
Customise the look of your own events
Presented with the option to edit your own items, selecting an icon and a background picture looked like an unnecessary chore. Actually this ended up being one of the more pleasant parts in ComingUp as I really enjoyed searching for cool pictures on Google, saving them on the iPhone's camera roll and then importing them on the photo picker from the app. Although there's a simplified editor version for a quick entries I prefer the depth provided on the advanced menu. Once you enter this mode you can add your pictures, select the type of platform for media items and the coolest of all, add a notification reminder.
Despite the amount of time required to make the your own items look the way you like, this pays off as the app is visually rich and relies on the background images and icons. A landscape background view when you select an item wouldn't be as fun.
Your most anticipated events are in one place and looking good. Check out the advanced customisation options.
One confusing element I found was the choice of icons on the menu bottom bar. The hamburger icon on the left is used as a home button that takes you back to your coming up list. I'm more familiar with this used on submenus or settings I guess. The magnifying glass icon is used to search database entries and not your own list, which is organised chronologically and cannot be filtered or sorted. The plus button is used to add a custom item, making you return to the magnifying glass option to add items from the database.
ComingUp is a great little tool that allows you to keep track of the things you love in life. The app is beautifully designed coming from the experienced hands of an experienced iOS craftsman, however, navigation can be a bit confusing switching between custom and database entries. Even if the concept isn't new and has been done before, I like the idea of making you look forward to something and brightening your day. That's what we all want, right?