Hands on: Siri sibling Tempo takes smart calendar to a whole new level

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There is a large emphasis in technology today on privacy. We don’t want our information sold to advertisers; we don’t want our pictures shared without our permission; we don’t want people looking at our profiles without approval. But the most used tools violate this in a certain way by asking for access to your information and often we allow it in exchange for the services those tools offer us. The latest app that asks to poke and prod into your privacy offers a pretty good tradeoff. Tempo Smart Calendar may be a bit excessive when asking you for information, but what it does with it is impressive.

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Tempo is probably most attractive to the white-collared workers of the world, accentuated by the ability to sync things like your LinkedIn account and its emphasis on providing organization and communication to your meetings. It even looks business-y in it’s design, like something a stock broker would look at and nod in approval. That’s not to say you can’t use the app to keep track of your family schedule, but business folk do seem to be Tempo’s target audience. Aside from LinkedIn, you’ll be able to bring in information from your Gmail and Facebook accounts, along with the contacts and calendar information stored on your iPhone. All of the data spread across those platforms is lifted and uploaded to Tempo’s servers, infused with whatever secret sauce Tempo’s got cooking, and served up on a smart platter for you.

The abilities that Tempo gives you are pretty impressive. The app comes from the same company that brought us Siri, so there’s very much a feeling of personal assistant to it. But Tempo would continually ask you what you mean or to repeat things when you enter information. (Of course, you can use Siri to input information.) Instead, Tempo makes your data more malleable and manageable. If you create an event and there are clear indications based on your previous events about who might attend, Tempo will add them in for you. It digs through just about everything, from social networks to notes, to inform the app’s artificial intelligence which will in turn make it easy for you to get all your information in order.

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There’s a lot of little things relating to maintaining strong personal and professional relationships tossed into Tempo that will make you look far more thoughtful than you really are. If you’re calling in to a conference call, Tempo will pull in the passcode information and automatically dial it for you. If you’re going to be late, there’s a feature to send off an automatic text that will inform who you’re meeting. Tempo will even give you a little message when one of your contacts is celebrating their birthday and make it easy for you to post a message to their Facebook wall. A lot of little things that are often overlooked get covered.

If you’re alright with surrendering some of your privacy – remember, the app uploads your data to its own server – Tempo is definitely a tool worthy of use. To some who are very guarded about their data, that might seem like selling your soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to always be on time. But if you’re a disorganized, barely functioning, throwing-on-a-suit-jacket and trying not to spill coffee on your way to a meeting type, your soul is probably worth appraising because this trade off is worth it. Connectivity is a must with Tempo, but as overwhelming at it might seem, its powers of organization make it worthwhile. Because it wants to be in charge of everything for you, Tempo also has the ability to take on documents and file management. Attachments from your email can get pulled in to the app and give you easy access. You can even attach them to an event so you’ll have them on hand. If you travel a lot, Tempo will keep you updated on the status of your flight. It pulls location and travel information from Apple’s Maps app if you have to hit the road to get to an event – and you can even replace that with the navigation app of your preference if you’re not a fan. For all we know, Tempo will tell you if you’re walking too fast and will start getting sweat stains on your button up. It’s really got pretty much everything covered for you. 

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