I’ve never been great at keeping tabs on scheduling, despite the plethora of options available on the iPhone and iPad. Siri has been a great help for setting appointments, but a new app called TouchBase aims to make staying in touch with those you’re meeting with, and keeping track of where you’re headed even easier still.
TouchBase automatically works with your iPhone’s built-in calendar, so you don’t have to sign up for a new service or port all your appointments. And like Siri, it’s smart; TouchBase’s intelligence is a very specific kind of smarts, however, one designed to take the busywork out of maintaining a detailed and highly interactive digital appointment book.
When you create appointments (either in your Calendar app itself, or in-app through TouchBase), the TouchBase software parses your brief description and comes up with two kinds of crucial information: who’s involved, and where things are taking place. So, for instance, I can type (or dictate using Siri, if I prefer) “Lunch with Ian D. at Kenzo,” set the time and day, and be completely done with the appointment-making process. From that, TouchBase will automatically find the correct contact information for the person involved (Ian D. in this case) and set the location, provided I’ve given it enough info to find a likely match in Google Maps.
1 / 6Message macros in TouchBase.
2 / 6If a location is detected (via words like "at") you can look it up in Google Maps.
3 / 6Kenzo was identified as the location.
4 / 6View all the details TouchBase can parse from your simple description.
5 / 6TouchBase opens your Messages app and provides you with an editable draft with one tap.
6 / 6touchbase
With that information, TouchBase can quickly perform a number of functions. Using special macros, it can text people you’re meeting with a pre-configured message to let them know you’re at the agreed-upon meeting location, or that you’ll be late. You can also call and email your contacts with just a couple taps, and look up the meeting place via your iPhone’s Google Maps app.
For me, filling out the various fields in my Calendar app when making a new appointment is just too time-consuming in terms of the reward you get back. With TouchBase, however, a simple one line event descriptor takes care of all the heavy lifting for me, so I can just focus on keeping track of things I have to do, without it becoming a huge production.
So is TouchBase more helpful than Siri when it comes to scheduling? Actually, it turns out the two combined are an unstoppable force. I’ll dictate appointments to Siri, who records them in my calendar, which then feeds to TouchBase, where I can use its smart macros to stay in touch with folks I’m meeting and look up venues. Even without direct integration, this is how Siri combined with other apps really does equal magic.