Schedule it with friends in TheTudu
TheTudu is a new iOS app designed to accompany the Web-based service of the same name. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and is featured in the New and Noteworthy section of the App Store’s Productivity section.
TheTudu is, at heart, a fairly conventional calendar service. Users may create events, assign them to locations and add notes, but the main draw of the service is supposed to be its focus on collaboration and organizing events with friends.
The mobile app allows users to sign up for a new TheTudu account if they don’t have one already, or sign in if they do. Once signed in, any information they enter on their phone becomes available via the Web and vice-versa. From the app’s interface, it’s possible to create new events and invite other users. It’s also possible to make minor adjustments to the one’s profile.
The app also features a facility known as “Magic Events” in which allows for the automatic creation of events at suggested times. It’s possible to create custom Magic Events by setting a range of time suitable for the event as well as an ideal time and duration. The app will then suggest possible times in the next few days to schedule the event with the selected friends, aiming to find times when all invitees are marked as “available.”
TuduMobile performs some basic calendar functions, but seems to lack others — most notably, the ability to set custom notifications for an event. Perhaps a bigger issue, however, is how obtuse the interface is when it comes to inviting friends. It is not at all obvious how to add new friends — it’s not possible to do it while creating an event, nor is it possible to do so from one’s profile page. Instead, the user must make use of a manual search function and add friends one at a time by viewing their profile and using a strange “slide to add” interface element. The service does not connect with any social networks, either, meaning there’s no way to quickly find friends and add them to one’s TheTudu contact list. It is possible to connect to Google Calendar via the Web-based component of the service, but this is the only connectivity to external services that TheTudu offers.
Assuming the user does have some friends who are also using the service, TheTudu starts to show its potential. It becomes possible to collect users together into groups and invite these collections to an event at the same time. It also becomes possible to view at a glance which friends are busy when. Unfortunately, much of this functionality is limited to the Web-based component of the service — the mobile app is somewhat more limited, acting more as a supplementary means of checking scheduled events and responding to invitations rather than a fully-featured implementation of all the service’s possibilities.
Given that the TheTudu markets itself as “ridiculously simple group scheduling” on the front of its website, the complete lack of social connectivity across the entire service is a big black mark against it. The mobile app is lacking a large number of features which users have come to expect from calendar apps as well as a significant proportion of the Web-based component’s functionality, and its interface is not particularly easy to navigate. It’s not an especially practical solution, either as a means of personal scheduling or delegating group tasks. There’s potential here, certainly, but the whole service needs a significant overhaul — starting with making finding friends considerably easier — before it can be considered a viable alternative to other calendar and group scheduling solutions.