Reminders Done Right with John Cody's Alerts!

By Mike Temporale on Monday, June 13, 2005

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Yet Another Homescreen Plugin
Almost every Smartphone application seems to have a homescreen plugin. So why not add one more, right? Wrong. Alerts! doesn't offer a homescreen plugin. I know what you're thinking, it would be really nice to see information on your next reminder on the homescreen, and you can. Just not using your typical plugin. You can setup Alerts! to create a Shadow Appointment in your calendar. Not only will this show on your homescreen, but it will also show up in your desktops Outlook calendar the next time you sync. Giving you the ability to see your upcoming Alerts! on your phone and desktop, without adding any extra memory hogging plugins.

Sounding Off

Figure 7 - Bright and eye-catching, when your reminder goes off, there is little chance that it won't be noticed.

Ease of use and the ability to quickly and easily create a new reminder is only half the battle. If the program fails to run and notify you at the scheduled time, then what good is it? Thankfully, Alerts! doesn't disappoint in this area. For starters, Alerts! doesn't need to be running to wake up and notify you. So you don't have to worry about leaving the application running in the background. As Figure 7 shows, Alerts! is eye catching, making it hard to visually miss a notification. Of course, you might not be looking at the screen, so hopefully you've selected the best action for that alarm to ensure you hear it. Alerts! also sports an Auto-Unlock feature that will make sure you can easily snooze that 5:00am wake up call without having to fumble around with a locked keypad.

Of all the Countdown, Event, and Date/Time Alerts! I have created, Alerts! has always run successfully and preformed exactly as expected. I may have slept through them a couple of times, but that's another issue all together. Wink Maybe the next version could add a feature that sends a small electric shock over a specially designed USB cable that's attached to the recipients arm. Then we'll see if I can sleep through it! Wink

John Cody's Alerts! is loaded with more features than I could fit into this review. Features like recording your own alert sound, setting reminders relative to other time zones, pre-alerts, context sensitive help, and much more, really help to make this easy-to-use tool extremely powerful and customizable. If you have tried to use the built-in alarm functions of your Smartphone, then I'm sure you'll appreciate the design and functionality that Alerts! offers. It has quickly become a must-have application for me.

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