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Our iPhones collect all sorts of information about our lives. Head over to your privacy settings and you'll find a list of your recent locations. Check out your cellular settings and you can see a running tally of how much time you've spent talking. Reporter, a new tracking app, looks to make your statistics even more personal. Through a series of pop quizzes, it collects information about your life and presents a graphical analysis of your routine — for better or worse.
Reporter falls somewhere between a journaling app and a life coach, collecting bits of information and dutifully recording it in its ledger. Unlike Day One or Heyday, however, there's no way to quickly collect your thoughts; rather, you create mini surveys of questions — preloaded examples include "How did you sleep?" or "What are you doing?" — that the app peppers you with randomly throughout the day. Reporter also grabs whatever information it can glean from your surroundings, but it all seemed very clinical, despite the cheerful color scheme and playful transitions.
Questions can be posed in a variety of ways, from simple yes/no options to multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank. It's not a diary, per se, but if you're looking to write lengthy entries, you can ask something like, "What did you do today?" and set your answers to "note." Previous reports are accessible individually, but the app's strength is in the data collection and visualization that get stronger with each survey.
We appreciated Reporter's simple and unique concept, but we weren't convinced of its usefulness. It was interesting to see how much we had worked or how many cups of coffee we had consumed over the course of a weekend, but ultimately the surveys became a repetitive nuisance. Perhaps a bit more control over the schedule would help, since it was difficult to target a specific time for questions with its vague parameters. We also fumbled with survey creation a bit, especially when it came to changing graph styles.
The bottom line. If you've ever wondered what Google Analytics for your life would look like, Reporter is the app for you.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later
Nice interface with good use of color. Excellent options for creating questions. Instant graphs give you a fantastic overview of your personal data.
Can get repetitive. Not enough control over when questions are delivered. Survey creation is frustrating in spots.