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Schemer for Android review: Google's quirky to-do list

Schemer is like a hybrid to-do list and bucket list, plus a social component. We take a look at the latest update to possibly the quirkiest of Google's homegrown Android apps.

Jaymar Cabebe Former Associate Editor
Jaymar Cabebe covers mobile apps and Windows software for CNET. While he may be a former host of the Android Atlas Weekly podcast, he doesn't hate iOS or Mac. Jaymar has worked in online media since 2007.
Jaymar Cabebe
3 min read

Schemer helps you keep track of the things you want to do or achieve in life. Whether you're planning to dine at a Michelin-rated restaurant sometime soon or you're dreaming of hiking to Machu Picchu one day, the idea is to record your aspirations publicly on Schemer and connect them to your Google account. This way, you can connect with other users with similar aspirations, and possibly get inspired by new aspirations that you stumble upon. Understandably, "scheming" in public might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who are into this sort of thing, the Schemer app can be a fun and addicting novelty.

Schemer (Android)

Schemer for Android

The Good

<b>Schemer for Android</b> has simple navigation and a nifty map view.

The Bad

Can't change privacy settings from app. No Accomplices page.

The Bottom Line

If you're interested in keeping a public list of your aspirations in life, then check out Schemer. It even provides a quirky and fun way of connecting with others who might have similar aspirations.

While Schemer's interface is not particularly attractive, it is simple to navigate, with everything bucketed into three categories: Schemes, Activities, and Profile. If you want to search for a scheme by keyword or add a new scheme of your own, you can do so from anywhere within the app, using the respective buttons always at the top of the screen.

Google's Schemer app keeps track of your life aspirations (pictures)

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The Schemes tab is essentially your main dashboard. Here you can see what sorts of schemes are brewing nearby, search for schemes, or browse through schemes by category. You can even pull up schemes in a map view, which can be helpful if you're looking for, say, restaurants to try in San Francisco. The map won't be helpful, though, if you're looking for schemes that aren't location-related. If you come across any schemes that you want to add to your own list, the app makes it easy to do so, with a single tap.

Of course, while you're poking around and checking out the schemes of others, they're likely checking out your schemes as well. If this makes you feel uneasy, you can always change your privacy settings on the Web. You can't do so from the mobile app, though, which is disappointing. In addition to global privacy settings, in future iterations of the app, I'd to see the capability to mark individual schemes private as well.

The Activity tab is a newsfeed showing your activity, as well as activity by those in your Circles.

And finally, there's the Profile tab, which includes a link to your Google+ profile, plus all of your current and previous schemes. You can also find your Notoriety stats, which include those whom you've inspired, and those who inspire you. Again, it would've been nice to be able to edit privacy settings here as well.

What's curiously missing from the Schemer app is the Accomplices page. On the Web site, this page is entirely dedicated to discovering common schemes with your connections, and is a nice tool for organizing groups of schemers. Perhaps it will be added in a later update.

While Schemer may not sound like a typical Google-made app, this quirky download is certainly homegrown. It's fun, easy to use, and definitely worth a try, especially if you already keep your own list of aspirations outside of Google. It's also a great way to find new inspiration for schemes, and even to inspire others.

Schemer (Android)

Schemer for Android

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 7Interface 8Performance 10