Future Scheduler from Appsicum is an iOS and Android app that allows users to set up a schedule of phone calls, text messages, social network status updates and emails to be automatically sent at specific points in the future. It’s available now as a $1.99 download on both the App Store and Google Play platforms. This review is based on the iOS version, tested on an iPhone 4S running iOS 6.0.
Upon selecting whether they would like to schedule a phone call, text message, status update or email, users are presented with a variety of options according to the task, including various customizable templates for text-based tasks. The app connects with the user’s contact list for easy retrieval of email addresses and phone numbers, though social network connectivity does not use iOS 5 and 6’s built-in Twitter and Facebook functionality. In fact, when tested, Facebook support appeared to be broken, as attempting to log in brought up the Facebook iOS app and permissions page, but then did not automatically switch back to Future Scheduler, nor did Future Scheduler appear to recognize that it was logged into Facebook.
Once users have set up their task’s details, they may choose a date and time for it to be automatically performed and whether or not the app requires confirmation before it happens. It’s also possible to set a notification sound to be played when the task is performed, informing the user that it has been completed successfully — or that the app requires their attention. Optionally, users may set Future Scheduler to add their scheduled tasks to their device’s calendar, and also for them to recur regularly if necessary.
On iOS, certain aspects of the device’s functionality are not able to be “hijacked” by another app without direct user permission, so certain fully-automated requests must be rerouted. In the case of emails, the message is sent via Appsicum’s servers then spoofed to look as if it originated from the user’s own email address. In the case of SMS messages, those set to send automatically will appear to have originated from Appsicum rather than the original sender, and also cost the user a “credit” to send. Five credits are provided to the user upon first starting the app, with additional available via in-app purchase. These restrictions are bypassed if the user manually confirms the tasks when their time arrives, effectively using the app as a reminder service rather than a complete automation solution.
Future Scheduler appears to be a relatively solid app that does what it sets out to do with minimum fuss. The interface could use a little work, however — it’s a bit cluttered in a few places and there were times when it became difficult to tap on the correct things, though these were momentary glitches that could usually be bypassed by switching from one screen to another. Facebook connectivity definitely needs fixing, however, as it does not appear to work correctly at all at present — it would probably be a good idea to make use of iOS’ built-in social functionality in a future update rather than relying on clumsy app switching, which has never been a particular strength of iOS.
Despite these issues, however, Future Scheduler has the potential to be a useful app, particularly for those who are prone to forgetting things like birthdays and anniversaries. It needs a bit of work to be a truly essential purchase, but it’s certainly on the right track for now.
Future Scheduler is not currently ranked in the App Store or Google Play leaderboards at the time of writing. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.