|Tangerine Tango is the new beige!|
I have no ego invested in this, you may well believe.
I try to keep my tech needs simple, avoiding unnecessary frippery. Hence my Fear of Apps. What is more aggravating than downloading an app? The Ipad or I-phone is always rejecting my password because I can't seem to type it correctly (do you know anyone who can type accurately on a virtual keyboard?) or I misremember it, and then if I muff it more than three times I have to reset the password. Totally not worth the trouble. The few apps I've managed to download seem to have arrived from the ether-world in spite of my fumbling.
This is all a prelude to a brief discussion of two knitting apps I've recently played with. The first, Yarn U, was a freebie (it normally costs $2.99) from its creator who asked me to review it. When I emailed her with some questions that arose after I looked at it for awhile, no answers were forthcoming. Here's what I don't understand about this app, and possibly some of you, gentle knitters, have insights to share that would diminish my puzzlement.
- What are the selection criteria for the yarns in the sizable, but by no means inclusive, array?
- Who writes the cheerleader copy attached to each demo skein? Why should I believe the cheerleader's honeyed recommendations? What are her knitting credentials?
- Why are most of these yarns listed for sale mainly at jimmybeanswool.com (a mere 2,493 miles from my New England abode, as Yarn U's mileage indicator cheerily informs me)?
Ex post facto I read through some of the reviews at the I-Tunes Store, and two at the top caught my eye: "Not comprehensive enough to be useful," and "Pretty, but not very useful." To which I say: "Yes."
Then, last week I was in Florida for some leisurely knitting accompanied by swimming, and decided to try out another app, Yarn Store GPS ($2.99). I like the idea of this app, inasmuch as traveling is, for me, a way to explore local yarn suppliers. How nifty to have a gizmo on my phone that would take me to the closest LYS, no matter where in the world I was!
So here's the thing: I activated Yarn Store GPS as I was being shuttled from the Fort Lauderdale airport to Boca Raton. The app indicated that there was indeed a yarn store in Boca, and showed me exactly where it was in relation to the moving vehicle in which I sat--about six miles away. I was impressed by the concise information, GPS map, and other nifty graphics. The app took me to the website of Great Balls of Yarn, which seemed to be a place worth visiting. What I discovered, however, when I Googled "yarn stores Boca Raton West Palm Beach Florida"on my Ipad, is that there are approximately four or five other LYS in the Boca vicinity, and these weren't listed on Yarn Store GPS.
More questions arise:
- How does Yarn Store GPS decide on its listings?
- Do yarn stores pay to be included?
As with Yarn U, I began to sense that the assortment offered as definitive was hardly an unbiased overview.
If apps like Yarn U and Yarn Store GPS (both sold by Sutro Media, by the way, though I didn't realize this at first download) state up front that their listings are partial and/or selective, that's fine. Honesty is always the best policy. But since they don't, the unsuspecting knitter who spends her hard-earned money on these babies is either going to be manipulated or annoyed. Or both.
In conclusion: put the $6 you will save by not buying these apps towards knitting supplies.