When it comes to sharing thoughts online, sometimes privacy — and ease of use — are not correctly addressed by the usual social tools we regularly use.
Here comes Penzu. The service (“the best personal journal and online diary” in their own words) has been lauded as a top online private journaling apps. A quite positive mention by ZDNet’s Oliver Mark got me to decide to try it out.
My rather positive experience signing up for Penzu and playing with the (free) web version got to a screeching halt when I tried to access my test journal from my iPhone:
“You must be a Penzu Pro subscriber.” What a turn off!
Here’s the deal: the iPhone app is free, you can use it stand-alone, just as you can use the web version for free (with a limited feature set). But you can’t access a single journal from both versions.
This is most unfortunate. In this time and age, multi-device access is a key paradigm for adoption. And without the ability to test it, why think users would blindly pay $19 annually without knowing if the synchronization works to their satisfaction?
I am a heavy user of multi-mode access apps such as MyPlate/LiveStrong, RunKeeper, and several others. None implement such a limitation. I have been able to enjoy dual-access from the web and from my phone from day one, without having to upgrade to a paying subscription. For some of them, I have later upgraded to their paying levels to access additional relevant features (better data exploration / reporting, deeper information, broader integration with other apps, for instance). But not for dual access.
I don’t know how well Penzu is doing with this limiting approach. One thing is sure: if they want me to use their service, they should let me test one of the key features first.
(Image above grabbed from “The Kitchen Witch” a cool food+family blog. Forgive me.)Pin It