Dear Color App Developers

by francine Hardaway on March 27, 2011

I know you got a lot of money and everyone thinks you are cool. But I live in the desert, here in Phoenix Arizona, and I like to try new apps. So I downloaded Color on the day it was released, and here’s what I found:

1) Totally non-intuitive. When I open it, the first screen says “take photos together.” What if I want to look at photos I have already taken? Photos someone else has taken?  Ah, the little globe on the bottom left. A strange assortment of odd-shaped photos from events I have been to where other people also took pictures. But why wasn’t I notified they were there waiting for me? I would have never seen them if I didn’t sit down to write this review.

2)Strange people. Now I’m seeing all the folks from Twestival Phoenix who were testing Color the night of the party (last Thursday). But I didn’t even know they were there, and I don’t recognize any of the people in the photos. Do I need these photos in my photostream? Do I want them?

3) No way of identifying who took the photos? Eric —hmmm—which Eric? Janae has an unusual name, so I know which are hers. But Chris? I know four of five of those.

4) What’s this little heart on the bottom of my screen? Oh, that’s how I share. With all the icons we have for sharing and the fact that a heart usually indicates a favorite, why did you decide it was the right icon to use for sharing? I didn’t discover that until hours later, when I was already deeply frustrated.  And I found I had to email the photo to my own daughter, who also has the app but lives out of range.

5)Why do I need this, although it is pretty?

Gentlemen, I already have Instagram, PicPlz, and Path, in addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr on my iPhone. I don’t have time to figure all this stuff out and still check into Gowalla,, Foursquare and Facebook. I used to have a life. I can’t have it eaten up by apps whose functions overlap, and none of which give me a complete communications solution.

I’m about to go to yoga. There will be 50 people there. None of them will have Color. So does that mean I can’t use the app in the yoga studio? Then how do I help my friends discover the great yoga studio I have found?

Why don’t you make yourselves useful instead of just making yourselves rich?



Enhanced by Zemanta

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

tdhurst March 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I first used Color at EVFN the other night, with about 10 other people within 50 feet. We took some pics, thought it was cool that we saw each other and I haven’t opened it since.

I’m not sure I get it at all. It was even weirder that it made a bunch of different groups of 3-6 people, although all 10 of us were near each other.

I have no idea what this app is supposed to do. I’d almost rather know Ashton’s favorite color.

Dan Munro March 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm

@kevinmarks tweet is pretty funny on this … the Onion story ran in 2009

the @color use case reminds me of this news story:

hardaway March 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Update. No one at yoga was using Color, nor was anyone at Delux, my upscale burger place, or Charlie’s, where I got a pedicure. So I took a picture of my turquoise toenails with Picplz. Now why exactly did I need Color? It just seems so narcissistic and masturbatory to me:-) Maybe it will get better with more people on it? But Phoenix is so spread out that we’d have to have a Foursquare swarm to get other people with Color.

Stevenbshaffer March 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm


Niland Mortimer March 30, 2011 at 3:40 pm

This is the industry talking to itself. Ellen and I walked by Color’s new office in Palo Alto on Saturday and they had this charming hand written note taped to the door saying hi to the new neighborhood and hoping everyone would download the app and participate. We both said Why?

hardaway March 30, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Niland, that’s such an awesome way to put it. I have seen a photo of the
note. They are hoping it will spread virally from Palo Alto. It will take a
while to get to Phoenix and other spread out cities in a more meaningful
way. Or perhaps we just keep it on the phone for the odd occasion when we
get invited to the SuperBowl or some other event in a stadium full of
interesting people.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: