RescueTime Android App 2.0: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

(updated) RescueTime Android 2.0 is live in the marketplace– check it out.

tldr; Animated productivity meter, offline time entry tool (with optional location sensitive suggestion wizard!), more reporting views and basic graphs, fix call log honoring pause feature, update with wifi only option…

Here’s a teaser screen shot from the working alpha version; the color gradually shifts from red to blue as you cross the 50% percentile into productive land; this will also be shrunken to a widget size for your home screen:

Android V2 teaser: the active color sweep meter

Hi Folks,
We’ve got a bit over a month under our belt with our Android app in the wild. We’ve been juiced up with Google IO awesomeness. We’ve got about 1000 mobile users trying us out, and climbing. Our first goal was to satisfy people clamoring for basic automatic mobile time tracking, but it’s time to start on what’s next!

You’ve been great about feedback, and we’ve had some ideas of our own. Top of the list is of course “When iOS?!!”. Well, the on-device app activity tracking has particular challenges on that platform, but we see RescueTime for Android 2.0 as an opportunity to prove the case of a general purpose tool that complements RescueTime and adds new capabilities unique to mobile devices, and can feel the same on all platforms. This allows us to progress on a parallel iOS project while tackling app tracking separately.

Key among the new features will be:

UI Redesign We’ve gone back and rebuilt the interface from the ground up to get the best performance and user experience out of Android, based on what we’ve learned.

Tracker: This tool will be a handy way to more precisely track offline or away-from-device, or whatever-you-want time. It will have a start-stop button, and way to assign what it was that can be entered as text, spoken using voice recognition, or (optionally, turn it off if you want!) “suggested” based on location data.

Better Data Views: We’ll have a Launcher widget productivity meter. We’ll be cacheing some data app-side, so you can see some results even when offline– this will also improve speed. Additionally, improvements to the UI will add more reporting perspectives.

New Preferences: You can tell RescueTime to only update data over WiFi, if you want. Also, you can decide whether or not to let us use Location information to remember offline time options (note: even when enabled, this data won’t leave your device, it’s only used locally to help out).

Errata Fixes: Call log history will now honor your pause status (calls made during pause periods will not get reported, up to a reasonable point in history). The current “update frequency” control only affects repeated updates while the device is on continuously– every time you turn your phone off, or open the dashboard, in the current design an update is sent. In v2, it will honor the frequency control here as well.

This is some of what is in the plans right now (some of it’s already coded!), not a guarantee of what’s delivered of course. Let us know what you think! Also, I’ll be posting for those interested in beta access in a week or two.

–Mark Wolgemuth