If laughter is the best medicine, then smiles must be a very close second. It is true that one’s emotions are contagious, happiness seems to beget happiness, kindness begets kindness and so on. There are multiple places of commerce that I visit and multiple others that I avoid, based on the service and the attitudes of the sales/service team. A single bad experience can sometimes turn my own feelings sour and this is a slippery slope. My wife seems to think that emotions are a choice, but I feel that they are more of a reaction to a plethora of choices. Truthfully, even the shell of the happiest of people can tarnish, if surrounded by negativity.
The Emther App, currently available in the IOS App Store, is designed as a means to see where people are happy and sad. Download the app from the app store and then open it with your device. You will be taken through three screens that detail the scope, intent, and features of the app. By answering the question of “how are you today?” the app creates an emotion map for your local world. Ideally, the more people who use the app, the better detail you will get. You will have the option to see zones of happiness. You will need to allow EMTHER to access your location. The app will give you three points detailing how the location information will be utilized. When you state your emotion, this will place a pin on the map, with the emotion. The location information is used to show the Emther (EMOTIONAL WEATHER) of the surrounding zone. Lastly, the app wants your location to be able to send you emotion updates for your surrounding areas. If you select the green “I WILL ALLOW” button, you will likely get a “Location is not enabled” warning. You can select settings, but this will not take you to location services. You will need to go into settings, select privacy and then location and enable for the app. If you are IOS savvy, this is not a problem, but the link does not take you to the correct place.
Within the location services, you can choose to never allow location access or to access locations only “While Using the App.” Essentially, your location is only available if the app is visible on the screen and should not keep track of data in the background. With all of the modern day conspiracy theories and information about tracking, spying etc. I still am leery about sharing my location. When you go back into the app, it will start by asking you how you feel. There is a partial smiley face icon and you have the option to swipe left to a frowning mouth or swipe right for a smiley mouth. This will then place your emotional pin onto the map. As of the writing of this review, there were 4 points on the entire globe of earth that were visible to me. One of them was in Illinois, one was in Western Kentucky (me), one near Saint Petersburg and another in Romania. With only 4 points, the app is not able to help me to see zones of happiness/discord. Along the bottom of the app, you have a refresh icon, and two buttons to log your emotion at a given location. You can also share the Emther Map on Facebook, see today, last 3days and past week. Along the top left of the app, you can access settings. You can see your Emther, see the map, invite friends, send feedback and re-evaluate the walk-through. This section also links to a website APPBRACADABRA.co. The cover displays a unicorn defecating a rainbow, on an iPhone screen. You can see their various apps through this site.
Selecting the settings will allow you to log in/out of the app, rate the app, evaluate credits and contact the company. The idea for the app is straightforward but it appears to be too early for mainstream use. Scanning the entire world map, I expected to have more than 4 total dots. I do not like that it could accidentally pin my home address. This seems to be a rather problematic breach of your individual personal data. I could see this app being a huge hit in a walking city, or in a city that has a lot of traffic. Examples of benefit would be for Gatlinburg, TN, Myrtle beach, SC, Las Vegas, NV or possibly New York City, New York. Living in a more rural area of Western Kentucky, this app really has no allure to me.
I believe that this APP may become quite popular when more people are aware of it. There are currently 6 reviews on the IOS app. I agree with most of them. The user interface is clean, simple and easy to navigate. The idea is incredible but the reviews seem to be misleading. There are not enough dots on the map to be able to make any judgments. Personally, this app may be a really fun feature to add to another point of use tracking apps. Four Square or perhaps some Real Estate apps may be enhanced through an emotional map. Do I really want to go to a restaurant if it has a bad EMTHER rating? Would I want to buy a home in a city with a bad EMTHER rating? Pairing this with some of the heavier apps would drastically increase the user base.
For now, there need to be more users to be able to have any draw to return to the app. The concept is very neat and has huge potential. For now, I cannot rate the app as it does not have the data to support the promise. For ease of use, I give it 5/5 stars. For reusability, I would rate it at 0/5 for now and for following through on the promise 0/5 for now. This will definitely change with time and with more users. The app seems to be very well built and I would rate it currently at 3/5 stars overall. Again, with time this value will increase.
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