App Review: Begin

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Begin: available now for free on the App Store, $0.99 in-app purchase to extend


For this month's blog post, we thought we'd do something a little different: an app review.  This might turn into a series of reviews depending on how it's received, as there is a plethora of apps out there just waiting to be tried and tested.  A bit of a warning in advance, however... here at Praxis Interactive we do have a slight bias towards Apple products, so you'll probably see more iOS apps reviewed than Android.  On with the show!

Let's Begin

This month we are reviewing Begin by Applause Code, a beautifully designed to-do list app for iPhone that does exactly what it says on the box.  Now, these types of apps are a dime a dozen on the App Store, with venerable stalwarts such as Wunderlist and Todoist garnering most of the attention.  So why did Begin really catch our eye?

Well, put simply, Begin is beautiful and elegant in it's simplicity.  Begin is everything an iOS app should be: easy to use, stunning in appearance, and intuitive in function.  It does exactly what it's supposed to do, nothing more, nothing less, and it absolutely nails it in terms of balancing those three tiers of usage, design and functionality.  We swear it feels like it was made by Apple themselves.

Nice Gesture

Begin's gorgeous iOS 7 inspired interface is gesture driven for almost every feature.  After a few minutes of practice, you'll come to grips with it's minimalist interface in no time.  Begin is all what you need to do today: right here, right now, with as little fuss as possible.  Load up Begin with your tasks first thing in the morning, or perhaps set them up the night before, and you're ready to go.

Upon starting the app you'll be presented with two areas, the Today and Tomorrow lists.  To add an item to your to-do list for today, just pull down with your finger, and you can enter the text for your new task at the top.  Click the plus icon, and it's added to your list.  Easy!  Rinse and repeat to build up your to-do list for today.  Now as you work through your list, you can use a series of gestures to manage your to-do items.

Pull down on the screen to add a task, swipe to the left to move a task to tomorrow

Swipe your finger to the right across an item to mark it as done.  Swipe it again to the right to undo.  Swipe your finger to the left across an item to move it to tomorrow (a procrastinator's delight - no seriously, don't do that).  Swipe to the left on an item in the Tomorrow list to bring it back to Today.  Swipe to the left on an item marked as done to delete it.  Hold your finger on an item to drag it up and down in the list.  Double touch an item to edit it.

Swipe to the right to complete a task, pull up to reveal uncompleted tasks

With a little practice, these gestures will become second nature and you'll find yourself swiping left, right and center with ease to manage your to-do list.  After a while, it feels so natural and organic to manage your to-do list in such a fashion that you'll wonder how you did without it.

Extend for less than a buck

Begin is free to download and use from the App Store, but offers an in-app purchase of $0.99 to extend the app with additional features. 

Extending Begin allows you to choose from a variety of new typefaces and attractive themes

Here's what your ninety nine cents gets you:

  • six themes designed by the Iconfactory's David Lanham
  • last chance reminder
  • five additional typefaces to choose from
  • tasks remaining for today as an app icon badge
  • full screen mode
  • toggle reminders on weekends

We think it's totally worth it, not only to get these cool additional features, but to support a developer who has created a truly awesome app.

Want to know more?

Begin is available now from the App Store, or you can check out their website.  This great little app has made us more productive in the office, it's fun and easy to use, and it looks simply gorgeous.  Why not give it a try today?  You'll be glad you did.

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