This Is Not An App (iOS) Review
- Interesting title that easily piques interest
- 50 different diary-like activities
Not so much?
- Yes, it IS an app!
- No way to protect your secrets from other users of the device/app
“This is Not an App” is something of an electronic diary, where each page has an activity to inspire creativity. Just be careful what kind of information you share, as anybody who uses it can read what you wrote.
This is Not an App is an interesting… not-app, that essentially feels like an electronic journal. When you begin This is Not an App, this is notice is the first thing you’ll see:
Note to the Reader/User
You are about to embark on a journey. You have come to this page because the object you now hold in your hands has piqued your curiosity. You may not know exactly what it is, but that is precisely the point. In order to complete it you will be asked to do a number of things. Many of these things require the use of your imagination… [snip]
1. Trust in your imagination. It is the source of all true journeys.
2. Things are not always what they seem.
3. Anything can happen.
I couldn’t help but think of the inspirational song by Baz Luhrmann song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” while reading that last part.
The developer is correct about of the last three items, but I’m not quite sure just how well those items, actually apply to “This is Not an App.” Also, I am going to call this not-app an app, because it really is an application despite what it thinks. Besides it’s going to get really confusing if I can only refer to the application by it’s title. So, despite what the name says, I will be calling this an application, based on it’s definition: it’s a software program designed to allow the user to do a task. Aren’t I a rebel?
“This is Not an App” is essentially like an electronic journal or diary that spans 50 unique pages. Each page has a suggested activity, of which a majority involve writing something down or drawing a picture. The input is fairly simple, you can choose to write with a pencil or a paintbrush, type it up, smudge it around, or erase. You can also change the color of your inputs and undo your actions. If you feel like sharing what you did, there are Twitter and Facebook buttons, to post screen captures with your social networks.
I’m not quite sure I buy into the whole existentialism and mysteriousness of the application, but it was fun to be given some sort of direction to help inspire creativity. The activities were varied enough that every page wasn’t simply drawing or writing something different. I even thought the ones that included a voice recording button, to create a song, for example, was a nice touch (see image below).
The author for “This is Not an App,” Keri Smith, has written a lot of other real life books, that all appear to have a similar feel to this application: Wreck this Journal, How to Be an Explorer of the World, This is Not a Book, and Finish this Book. “This is Not an App” appears to be based on Keri’s book, “This is Not a Book.” (Which totally is a book, by the way. It says so on Amazon.com! )
My only qualm with “This is Not an App” is that there was no way to lock your entries. If you’re like me, you have many people in the house that play on your devices. Because this program acts as sort of a diary, one page even asks you to share your secrets, anybody can see what you wrote, and thusly you can see what somebody else wrote. There were a few times when I had to second-guess what I wrote or drew knowing that somebody else might run the app out of curiosity and make a terrible discovery.
“This is Not an App” is a universal application which means that you can play it on both the iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch, and is available for $4.99.