Ok, class. Hands up how many of you have wondered how many weeks there are till Event X, and consequently found yourself flicking through your iPhone Calendar, using your finger to manually count? Obviously I can’t see your hands from here, so I’ll assume everyone has done that – myself included.
Some guy called Yao Liu has a solution to your countdown woes in the form of All New Dreamdays – Countdown to the Days that Matter (to use its full name). It’s kinda pretty good, though some of the functionality is a bit… off. EDIT: WAY OFF. Join me below for the official autopsy.
A little background first. I have a whole sh*t-ton of stuff going down over the next couple of months, including getting chucked out of our current flat, hopefully buying a friggin’ house (Plan B: live in and work from Starbucks), going on holiday, and last but not least: my birthday.
Other items one might want to throw into a life organiser include, y’know, the World Cup, friends’ birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, a due date for your little brat kid… But hey, you don’t need me to tell you how to use a calendar.
I’ve often found that the iPhone Calendar isn’t ideal for viewing multiple events at a glance, particularly when spread over several months, and that’s where All New Dreamdays – Countdown to the Days that Matter comes in.
In a nutshell, you can view, at a glance, a list of countdowns to individual events, categorised by Anniversary, Birthday, Holiday, School, Life, or indeed a category of your choosing, each with its own unique picture (if you like). You can also add Voice Memos, and choose which event acts as your Cover.
Now that might sound pretty cool, and the All New Dreamdays in particular looks really nice, but start to pick away at the surface and all that nice new paint just flakes right off.
Right, where to start with all the various problems? For starters, there are multiple Dreamdays apps i.e. Dreamdays, All New Dreamdays, and Lite versions of both. Anyone who already paid 69p for the older Dreamdays will have to pay a further 69p for All New Dreamdays. Not cool.
On a similar note, upgrading from one of the Lite versions to the full version necessitates downloading a separate app (boo), and when you try to import/export, that’s when things start falling apart.
Attempting to import to/export from the iPhone Calendar, I somehow managed to lose all the events from the Lite version of the app, despite the message: “Sync with calendar has been successfully!” That broken English says a lot.
Furthermore, attempting to Restore from iCloud wiped everything from the full version of All New Dreamdays, and made it impossible to add any new events, as the app would simply crash. The solution? Delete and reinstall. Brilliant.
Which is a shame, as things were going rather well when I was using Dreamdays Lite, but all this import/export nonsense has soured the experience significantly. All in all, it feels like I went home with a fancy new product, only to discover it’s a cheap Chinese knock-off. Don’t be fooled by the multitude of five-star ratings.
- The new design is pretty slick
- Create your own categories
- Handier view than the Calendar app
- The import/export stuff is broken
- Syncing from iCloud killed the app
- Multiple versions of the app
Summary: If you’re looking for a countdown app, by all means go straight to All New Dreamdays for 69p, but be aware that any syncing activity might well destroy everything.
Developer: Yao Liu
Price: 69p @ App Store for All New Dreamdays
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.