If you haven’t heard of Google’s social activities sharing and recommendation service Schemer, we don’t blame you. It hasn’t received as much press as it deserves (ironically, we missed out on covering it as well). Better late than never though, and what better time to check this gem out in detail, than upon the launch of its iPhone app. While the Android app has been around for a while, Google has just released the iPhone app for Schemer a few minutes ago, and we’re here to take it on a spin for you. Read on for our full review.
Google Schemer is basically a location-aware social activities sharing service that lets you ‘scheme’ things that you would like to do, while giving you the opportunity of browsing through what others are scheming that you may join in. Accoring to Google, “Schemer recommends stuff based on time of day, weather, your location, and more” while letting you “Keep track of what you’ve been wanting to do” and “Keep up with the latest scheming from folks you’re connected to on Google+”. While certainly not meant for the introverts amongst us, it is definitely a novel concept for the more adventurous social types.
Upon launching the iOS app, you are presented with a pretty hip-looking login screen that depicts the purpose of the service itself – people doing activities together. Log in with your Google account and you’ll get a location access request. Allow it and you will finally land on the Schemes page that serves as your scheming hub.
The first time you log in, you’ll be requested to select some favorite activities, in order to be shown relevant schemes that would actually interest you. The list covers a lot of interesting topics, so feel free to select as many as you want. Done with it? Now would be a great time to search for schemes in your area by tapping on the ‘Find Schemes’ text box on top of the Schemes page.
Searching can be done based on keywords, location or both. The results are displayed as a list and from there, you can tap on the green + sign to join the scheme. You can also tap any of the displayed schemes to view its details before deciding whether you want to join it or not. The details view shows you the location, the original schemer as well as others who want to do the same activity.
Don’t want to follow suit and would rather lead in your own scheming career? Just hit the new scheme icon (the notepad and pencil button) on the top left, and you can start creating a scheme of your own! Go ahead, be creative, while keeping in mind though that many others might come across this scheme, so it’ll be a good idea to keep your dark fantasies at bay here.
As a part of Google’s plan on building Google+ right into all of their services, Schemer also integrates deeply with Google+. On the Activity page, you can see a timeline view of what you and people in your Google+ circles have been scheming, along with notifications about relevant Schemer activities of your Google+ contacts as well as specific activity on your schemes or schemes you have decided to join.
Up next is the Profile page that is all about you. It lists the schemes you have planned, the ones you have done, your schemes that have inspired others most, a little info on people who use Schemer and are in your circles or have you in their circles, and people who inspire you i.e. people whose schemes you have joined. There is also a ‘Latest Scheming’ view that takes you to your own latest activity on Schemer.
Tapping on ‘Want to do’ takes you to all your schemes, including schemes created by you and those created by others that you have ever wanted to be a part of. Here, you can tap on any scheme to bring up its details, where you can write it off once you have done it, or remove it if the idea no longer appeals to you.
It’s a pity that it isn’t optimized for the iPad yet but hopefully a future update will fix that. All in all, Schemer is a great idea executed brilliantly. If it doesn’t take off even after the release of the iPhone app, there has to be something terribly wrong somewhere. Let’s see if people get to be adventurous enough to scheme with their fellow hipsters, or give it the same treatment that Google’s social products have been getting from the masses so far.
So what are you waiting for? Grab Schemer from the App Store and scheme on. Oh and don’t forget to let us know of your take (as well as any of your interesting schemes) in the comments.