Good morning Britain! Okay, so it’s already afternoon there, but it’s still morning here and this is my article so humour me a little. There’s a new kid in town and his name is Konki. He’s a bit short, rather pale and his face lacks certain features (like a mouth, nose, eyes, ears, etc.) but he is friendly and willing to lend a hand.
What is it?
IAM Konki is a bit of a web home page combined with a personal assistant. IAM Konki provides users with access to vouchers for local businesses ranging from discounts at your local chocolate shop to a set of free eye glasses (some restrictions may apply). Your new friend Konki will also “learn” about your preferences to be a more adroit assistant.
How does it work?
IAM Konki will ask you for certain personal information such as gender and birth date to set up your account. It also uses “bolt-ons” that act as quick launch sub-apps to get to local weather, horoscopes, and other attractions. As you use the app it will remember what you ask of it to “learn” what you personally like. It seems to be a bit like cookies in a web browser, hitting you with targeted advertising.
The app also has a feature to scan your music library so Konki can recommend music you don’t have but might like. There are in app purchases you can make to customize your Konki with a new color and additional bolt-ons, etc. (Coming soon, I hope? I have not seen them yet.) You can even swipe the home screen to get tips, jokes and “Konki challenges” (to wit: Do something/say something nice to your boss today).
Konki provides a news outlet (UK specific), promotions/coupons/vouchers called “Konki codes” (UK specific), and Konki Rocks (music recommendations from around the world). When searching the Konki codes, with a simple tap to select you can pull up not just the coupon, but a map of the location where the coupon is to be used – you can even get a satellite view and see the place you are interested in visiting (courtesy of Google). The news outlet divides articles by category (general, music, etc).
Konki also provides a calendar function to help you keep track of your busy schedule. While it does have a nice interface and you can create events and set reminders you will need to provide information in all of the fields or you will get an error message. Also, the IAM Konki calendar does not coordinate with the iCal resident on the iDevice, so you will have to re-enter all of your information if you want to use the Konki calendar retroactively.
The Weather feature default location is London, but you can add any other cities from nearly anywhere in the world you would like to see. If your iDevice has the Location Services switched on and the Local weather is switched on in IAM Konki the app will find you and add your current location to the list of cities.
Is it contagious?
IAM Konki is only moderately “contagious” for me. The music library scan has a known issue: if your music library is rather large the scan will likely return a “server error” message. I got this error all but three times in over twenty attempts. I have been informed that this issue has been noted and a solution is in the works. My iPod touch has more than 2,500 songs spanning genres from classical/baroque to Brit pop to ’80s to electronica to classic rock to prog rock to indie to heavy metal, but the only recommendations Konki has made so far are for more classical music. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Vivaldi, the lot; I was just hoping for a broader set of recommendations from Konki. Hopefully the server error fix will help this feature as well.
The coupons/vouchers are a great feature to showcase local attractions and activities that may not get a great deal of coverage in traditional media outlets. There is a growing community of people who are looking for novel and new experiences and they are increasingly using mobile apps to find things. There is plenty this app will help you keep track of – it’s like having a handful of apps in one handy package so you don’t need to keep closing and opening apps, you can simply navigate around IAM Konki and take care of everything in one session. IAM Konki may need some fine tuning to make it a really great app, but it is already a very useful tool in the mobile app shed.