Momento and Remembary
Dec 03, 2010 10:45

When I started working on Remembary, it seemed odd to me that nobody else had combined diary-writing with all of the real-time context that an internet-connected device can provide. Certainly the other iPad diary apps in the store didn't seem to acknowledge that the iPad is a connected device.

Remembary may be alone in the 'connected diary' scene on the iPad, but the big news of the last week in the iPhone app space was Momento, a very slick app that pulls in social media feeds and lets you diarize about them in real time while you're on the road.

Momento has been around for over a year, and their front page has quotes from major review sites and even Stephen Fry. They just released version 2.0 in November, and last week got featured in TechCrunch and Gizmodo. They're the #1 Lifestyle app in many of the world's App Stores, and it's being raved about by many of the big names in the tech crowd.

I first found out about Momento when I was working on Remembary's RSS parser. Handling all of the different versions of RSS is tricky, and Apple's standard library for doing this isn't available on iOS. Looking around I discovered a great-looking RSS and Atom parser on GitHub. I thought I had found something that would save me numerous headaches, and then I discovered this at the bottom of the README:

Important: This free software is provided under the MIT licence (X11 license) with the addition of the following condition:

This Software cannot be used to archive or collect data such as (but not limited to) that of events, news, experiences and activities, for the purpose of any concept relating to diary/journal keeping.

Oh well.

Discovering that a product with a similar idea is suddenly hugely popular just as your own is getting started can be daunting - but the best way to look at it is that it validates the idea. It also makes it easier to explain Remembary to people. "It's kind of like Momento, but for the iPad." In fact, a number of people have asked if I was going to do an iPhone version of Remembary, but the form factor doesn't fit the core idea of the app - so I've been sending those people to Momento.

But it's also important to highlight the differences:

  • The biggest difference is in the use case: Momento is for integrating all of your feeds into your life in real time while on the run, interspersed with quick personal notes; Remembary is for afterwards, when you're recollecting your day as a whole.

  • Remembary is a hardcover book on a shelf, Momento is a pocket notebook

  • Momento mixes all of your feeds in with your content. Remembary puts your feeds into popup windows - the focus is on writing your diary, with the feeds serving as helpful context and reminders.

  • Remembary doesn't directly integrate with web services, but instead uses publicly-available feeds. This means you don't have to enter password information, and the application doesn't have to deal with all of the different authentication mechanisms out there. If a site has an RSS feed, Remembary can use it.

  • The next version of Remembary (coming in December) will feature multiple artist-designed themes, to provide each user with their own experience, while Momento only has one look (although I have to admit that it is a gorgeous look).
Rumour has it that Momento for iPad is in the works. Am I nervous that it's going to destroy Remembary? Well, the app store is full of similar apps, many of which do quite well right alongside each other.

Momento and Remembary - sounds like a pair of mid-80s Euro-rock bands, doesn't it? Marillion and Zucchero?

Concerning Remembary
Nov 03, 2010 21:19