Are you the type of creepy obsessive who has a shrine for your ex in the bedroom? If not, you probably wouldn’t have been overly impressed by the Shryne app that appeared on iOS last year. It let you look back at all your interactions with an ex after a relationship was over, which we’re sure is healthy. The creepy app came under fire because it encouraged people to obsess over exes, which was clear from the name.
The concept of having all your interactions from different services stored and searchable is a great idea. The developers listened to the criticisms over the original version of the app and realised that the technology was good but their presentation was lacking. They went back to the drawing boards and now Shryne has returned with a new attitude, ditching the past-worship angle.
When you sign up to Shryne, you’re given some fake profiles to look at for an idea of how the service looks when it’s populated with your real friends, family, colleagues, partners, and exes. You can sync the app with your text messages, emails, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messages, Facebook photos, Instagram, and other interactions. The app takes the data from all these sources but presents it in an attractive way for each individual. You can see every digital interaction you’ve had with a single person just by looking at their profile on the app or website.
You can still look back at what went wrong with your relationship, but the purpose now is to store everything so it isn’t lost. Perhaps you changed jobs or finished at university and are going to lose important emails and contacts when your account is deleted from their systems. Shryne will remember these interactions for each of the people you deem important. If some things aren’t relevant, you can delete them. You can also see stats for your contacts to figure out who you interact with the most.
We like the idea of bringing all interactions into one place for each person in your life. It could be what helps you find that long lost detail that you can’t remember in an email or a deleted text. Forget the past-worship; it’s just a neat tool for keeping your digital interactions organised. If presented like this in the first place it wouldn’t have been criticised so heavily. This does raise the obvious question: was it deliberate? A little controversy to get people to know the name first? That could be true, especially given our major problem with the app in its current form. If it’s no longer about worshipping your ex, why is it still called Shryne? With the attitude change clear everywhere else, it’s disappointing to see that creepy reminder that they originally wanted people to obsess over exes.
Shryne is available on iOS, OSX, and there’s a web version. The apps are free but there is a pricing system for features. The free package only lets you have 10 archives, 250 MB of data, with only basic interactions and insights. The other packages start at $9.99 (£7.02) and provide unlimited archives, access to all interactions/insights, and GBs of data depending on the package you select.
Now to move onto more pressing matters. Why does every app have to be an ordinary word misspelled?
Main image © Shryne Ltd