Online apps are great, but what about those times when you’re not connected? The thought is that the dis-connect deters people from relying on web apps for their basic computing needs, hence the current scramble to provide a way of working with such applications when you’re offline and having them sync when you connect once again. Scrybe, currently in closed beta, is one of the much-touted leaders in this quest, planning to provide calendaring, lists, note-taking and sharing of these.
I finally got a beta test account — one of the last to do so, I imagine, since Scrybe’s website still claims that they’ll be out of beta in something like three months from last November. On the basis of a very cursory trial with the calendaring function (the only function I’ve been trusted with), I’d say it will take somewhat longer than they imagined to get ready for prime time.
But the bugs are not my main problem with Scrybe; all software companies externalize the cost of bug hunting by letting us keeners get… annoyed. What I think will be harder than they imagine is getting people to switch from whatever calendaring system they’re now using to a different interface. I use Google Calendar and Mac’s iCal now; they talk to each other, but not as perfectly as I’d like; so you’d think I’d leap on something like Scrybe. But I’m far less eager, it turns out, than I thought I would be. I don’t like the way it looks: it doesn’t, well, look like my life in calendar format. And I’m prepared to sacrifice some convenience for the comfort of the familiar.
Too, I don’t travel enough to be offline that much. Wifi is slowly headed towards ubiquity, and it’s growing reach makes the offline problem far less serious than it might have seemed when software companies began working on these “hybrid” apps.
I’ll give Scrybe a go, though. And I’ll let you know what I find out. At the moment, the thing I like best about it is its ability to print nifty paper calendars that fold into handy pocket sized patches. Talk about offline!