I have task management apps and shopping list apps and calendar apps, all in an attempt to keep me and my husband on the same page. The sheer number of apps we use to do all this almost guarantees someone’s going to get crossed wires somewhere. Avocado is putting all of that and more into a single app, designed for couples, to organize the business of being together. Is there enough in Avocado’s one app to keep us rolling, or are we going to end up driving off the rails?
Just You and Your Boo
You have to sign up and invite your “boo.” Until your boo, which I will henceforth call a “significant other,” also signs up and you both verify your email addresses, you won’t go far in Avocado. The app’s only for two people, no more, no less.
Once you’re in, Avocado is super straightforward. Tap the heart icon in the menu at the bottom to get a sort of newsfeed of everything you and your significant other have been doing in the app. All your activity in the other functions that we’ll get to in just a minute will be here. You can also send each other messages from the newsfeed if you just need to get a quick note to your significant other.
Next to that is a checkbox icon, which will let you create lists. The lists can really be for anything. I use them to create to-do lists and to get ready for weekly grocery shopping, but I also started thinking ahead to my spring cleaning and planning out all the things my husband and I need to get done. You can even add images to your lists; so useful if your significant other always buys the wrong brand of bread or if you have no idea what kind of “squid ink” he needs for his fancy pens.
My husband can create his own lists, too, and edit anything I’ve created. I don’t drink coffee and never remember to check if my husband is low, so he can just add it to my list before I head to the store if he wants me to pick some up. This part is really amazing to me, because it saves me having to scribble something down as he’s shouting to pick up tofu while I’m putting on eyeliner or running out the door.
The clock icon will take you to Avocado’s event management. You can add events for just you, just your significant other, or for the both of you. Events are broken down into those that are occurring today, the events that are happening tomorrow, and stuff that you don’t have to worry about for a while. Things way off in the distance won’t even show up on your radar unless you use the calendar view. There’s no integration with anything, which is a bummer, and you can’t create all day events, but it’s not a bad place for jotting down quick events notes for you and your significant other to remember.
There’s an entire section just for adding pictures. This could be nice if you’re working on a home improvement project or looking for an apartment together. For day-to-day tasks, the ability to add pictures with only the context of a caption seems limited. I send my husband lots of cat pictures, and as an email or SMS replacement I guess it works, but it’s mostly unnecessary — until a window suddenly breaks or I can’t identify that plumbing part, and then it could suddenly become really useful for communicating with my husband after all.
Really, Only Two People?
I can see uses for this beyond just significant others, though it was obviously designed with people like me and my husband in mind. This would be a great tool for roommates, if they could get beyond all the cutesy talk and implied lovey-dovey hand-holding. It really works out to the same thing; you’re two people living together, sharing chores and expenses. I could really have seen using something like this as an adult living at home with my mom, too. She would have just eaten it up — a private social network just for the two of us.
The buck stops at three or more people, though. There’s no “alternative lifestyle” in-app purchase, and you can’t add on another person. Avocado supports two people, no more. So this is really only going to work for a couple or any other two people living together. You’re not going to be able to parlay this into some kind of project management app. The only project this app is managing is your home — and maybe just helping out a bit with your relationship.
Which is unfortunate, because even if you keep Avocado to the two parent nuclear family, it’d be great to stick a kid or two into the thing. Let the kids add their stuff to the grocery list too, or grab a quick picture of a busted school bag as soon as it happens. Avocado expanded could make a great family management app.
That said, there are a lot of great features to Avocado already. I’m already using a task management app with my husband, and a shopping list app, and a calendar app. This pulls them all into one place. The ability to add images to lists (so I don’t end up with the wrong soup again) is a brilliant move, and I like to be able to send quick messages back and forth in our own little social network. I wish there was more integration with other calendar apps, though, so I could more effectively get my events into Avocado, but this little app is really just enough for two.