On February 19, I downloaded Tempo, a new iOS "smart calendar" app optimized for iPhone and iPod touch from the makers of Siri. I couldn’t use the free service until March 12. But the wait was worth it.
The app went live February 13 in Apple’s App Store, and Tempo was quickly overwhelmed by demand, according to a blog post from founder and CEO Raj Singh. So the developer, Tempo AI, instituted a reservation system, which is still in effect. Users are automatically added to the reservation queue after they download and open the app.
So why is there a red-velvet rope blocking the entrance to the Tempo party? It’s supposedly the first app that adds context to your calendar appointments by incorporating information or links to your email, contacts and social networks.
For example, before you walk into a meeting, Tempo shows you recent email you’ve exchanged with the person or people you’re meeting with. You can also review meeting participants' LinkedIn or other social media profiles within the app. If you have an offsite meeting and the address is in your calendar appointment, one click in Tempo displays the location on a map, along with driving directions and parking information. You can choose Apple Maps as the default maps, but I used Google Maps instead.
The app is visually appealing, and it shows a color photo (you can pick your own) as well as local weather. Also, if you’re running late to a meeting, you can easily send a default or prepared message to the participants.
I’m hoping the developers optimize Tempo for iPads and come out with other mobile OS versions. My one complaint: When I added a new appointment in Google Calendar on my computer, I had to close and re-open Tempo for it to sync and display the new appointment.
Adding context to your calendar makes a lot of sense, and Tempo does it well. It’s also free and has no ads—though given recent info about iOS app data leaks, that isn’t always welcome news.