Occasions in Review – Occasionally extremely useful

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Have you ever had that awful feeling after waking up in the morning that yesterday was your mother’s birthday? And, you forgot yet AGAIN? Well, now we have an app for that, thanks to Hand Carved Code’s Occasions.

Occasions is one of the several apps on the App Store that helps you to keep track of those special days that are important to you. Well, maybe not always important to YOU, but you’ll certainly get in trouble if you forget them. And it does it’s job really well. Provided, of course, that you don’t forget to enter the said dates in the app.

Occasions helps you by pulling all of the relevant dates from the iPhone address book. But wait, you say, I want to keep track of my cat’s birthday and anniversary (yes, some people do that). Well, you can do that, even without adding a contact to the address book (which would be rather silly). Occasions allows you to add Custom Entries which help you track all those little things that would look strange in the iPhone address book. And, of course, you can add dates to existing or new contacts right from the app itself. Another thing you can do in Occasions is adding notes, which in turn can be kept either in the address book or within the app itself.

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After all the dates are entered, you can just sit back and relax and not worry about forgetting them (which happened to me a couple of times while using a similar product) because Occasions will send you a Push notification a week (configurable in settings) before the event as well as reminding you again on the day of the event itself. It also displays a badge on the app icon with the number of pending events within a configured timeframe.

The interface is very user-friendly and for all those aesthetics among us you can choose one of seven themes to personalize the app. The events can be filtered by type (birthdays, anniversaries, other) as well as searched. You can quickly dial up the contact from the app, send them a message, and turn off the notification for the events you don’t want to be reminded of. In the Settings screen, you can define the notification settings as well as some interface options.

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Overall I really liked the feel of the app. The interface is lightweight and quick, even on my 3G. Themes make it look nice and you pick one to suit your own taste. I prefer the water one (which you can I see on the screenshots) which has somewhat of a calming effect on me. Push works very well – haven’t missed a single reminder yet, and you can customize what notifications you want which is a nice touch. A couple of things a felt Occasions could build on is customizing the Push alert sound, which is a bit boring. Also some kind of Web sync for the custom events would be nice since they don’t sync to the address book, only general iTunes backup.

There are a few apps on the market that do similar stuff but what earned Occasions the Oscar, was that they were the first to implement Push reminders for the events. I’ve been kind of hooked on the app ever since and for 0.99$ it’s a small price to pay for saving you the embarrassment of yet again forgetting your parent’s anniversary.

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App Summary
Title:Occasions (V 1.1)Developer:Hand Carved Code, LLC
Price:$0.99App Size:2.3 MB
  • Push reminders
  • Custom entries
  • Nice interface
  • Doesn’t buy gifts automatically

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