23rd June, 2009
A slick, touch-screen device set in a trendy black frame. The main drawback is the thick power cable that protrudes out the back – it doesn’t work wirelessly.
Setting up the ‘family group’ is very simple to do, as is organising/managing events either using the device itself of remotely via text message.
The Joggler is basically an electronic calendar with the ability to organise the family group by sending reminders and updates via text. In addition, it receives news, sport and weather updates and it also has a Sudoku game.
The device worked seamlessly, with intuitive navigation and a responsive touch-screen.
If you have a large family that you’re constantly trying to keep track of, then the O2 Joggler could make life just that bit easier. However, it doesn’t really bring anything extra to the PC/smartphone combo that most people currently rely on.
If you’re a super-organised type who relies on a paper calendar, you just might find this digital countertop device useful. It’s an electronic calendar aimed at the kid-owning set, who might conceivably need to note down myriad events like birthdays, dinners and laundry pick-ups for the family. The kicker? Anyone in the ‘family group’ (O2’s term) can add, change and see the events going down at la casa.
The Joggler is a slick device with a high-res touch-screen set in a shiny black frame. Detracting from its modern looks is the thick black cable connecting it to a power supply – the Joggler doesn’t work wirelessly (though it can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet). On the home screen you have widgets to the O2 Calendar – the device’s main app – plus photos, music, games, videos, as well as news, sports, weather and traffic.
Navigation is incredibly intuitive and the capacitive touch-screen works perfectly.
The O2 Calendar is the core of the Joggler, where you can add events to daily, weekly, and monthly calendars, send reminders via text to the family group, and change or cancel these events.
To use the Calendar, first set up an account at the O2 website where you’ll be asked to give your O2 phone number. This is not compulsory, but having an O2 number means you get more benefits from the device, as you’ll be able to receive free text reminders of events, as well as send reminders when you add, amend and cancel appointments.
In fact, this review assumes you and the family group have an O2 account, otherwise most of the device’s coolest features are moot.
Along with setting up and managing schedules on the device, you can also do all that via text message, and then send reminders to the members of the family attending the event. Once everyone in the family group has set up SMS reminders by texting O2 from their mobile, they will receive templates that allow them to add, amend or cancel events, as well as check appointments in the calendar for each family member. The entire process works like a dream and is simple to set up. What we’d like to see in addition is the ability to sync calendars and possibly tasks with your phone – according to O2, the operator is looking at this.
Though you won’t be able to surf the net (O2’s way of ensuring family-safe use), you can check real time news and sport, traffic updates for major roads, and weather. A radio app is due out around mid-July, and you can pair the device with a PC and stream pictures and videos to view on the Joggler, or there’s a USB port for manual media transfer.
The Joggler currently only comes with Sudoku, but there are two new games available for download. At present, you can’t download and install third-party apps; you’ll have to wait for O2 to create them. The auto-update function takes care of new app downloads.
Of course, the elephant in the corner with this whole Joggler business is that everything it offers is already available in the home via a PC. And if you have a smartphone or even just use Microsoft Outlook, it’s already reminding you of the things you need to do. The only real advantage from the device is as a central hub for a rather sprawling family group, so well done to O2 for marketing it as a ‘replacement for the fridge door’. Otherwise, you’ll probably stick with your phone-and-PC combo, which frankly, works just as well.