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I had heard about The Poly Life app months ago, and I was so incredibly excited about it! I talked it up to everyone I knew of, because the idea of there being an app that all of my partners could get to help us manage our hectic life, and also help me remember things like who has green as a favorite color, and who is allergic to what would have made my life so much simpler. So I waited and waited for the release date to come.
When it finally showed, I purchased the app at $5.99 (they’ve recently dropped the price to $3.99). Then I got excited to….do nothing.
Why could I do nothing you may ask? Read on for the review.
This is the first page you come to when you sign in for TPL. They give you the option of email or facebook sign up. The titles listed on the app screen above have been added by me, as I wanted to break things down by important pages, which mean that some of them were left out. I thought as far as a breakdown went, this was pretty great, though I wish you could drag and drop and rearrange to find the best layout for you, as my to-do list, references, and chat screen would get far more use than the partner screen or the calendar. You can upload an image of your own for the background if you’re feeling like customizing the app.
In the agreement page, you can make agreements with your partner(s) and use that information. It’s a nice way to encourage honesty, and also get everyone on the same page by having them select that they do, in fact, agree to this. I actually really love the functionality of this part. I think it’s handy for people who can be more forgetful, and it’s a nice way to have all the agreements present when you’re with new partners so that something important doesn’t get forgotten.
Here is the main “poly family” part. This is the page that has the image of three people holding hands. This one shows your family portion. I feel like this entire page could be executed a lot better. First off, my biggest complaint is that I cannot add partners that do not have the app. Only one of my five partners has an Apple product, and it would be ideal if I could organize things on my own. In that note, it would also be nice if in this screen, you could select a person and input information about them. Birthdays, anniversaries, allergies, etc. This would allow scatterbrained people like me to really keep track of notes about their partners. I’m also not thrilled that regardless of where you place a person, they’re listed as a partner if they’re linked to you in any way. It would be nice if it was listed as Partners, Family, Friends, or set up in such a way that you could create and organize your family as you see fit. Not everyone uses a heirarchy for their relationships, and not everyone in your family is a partner. For instance, my partner Adam’s wife Sarah is not my partner. She’s a part of my family, and a dear part, but she is my metamour, and is not going to be a partner, so listing her under the partner tag feels messy to me.
This screen was also really cool, and I felt like it was the better portion of the two relationship screens. It would be cool if it the Poly Family page had a space to put partners (separate from family) that autopopulated into the partners line on this page. Clearly that is possible, as my “partners” who added me on here were listed in many spaces.
The in app chat was actually something I really like. The chat is easy to use, and easy to add multiple people to. Surprisingly simple, and a nice way to talk to groups of partners at once.
This page was arguably the one that made me the most annoyed with the application. This is the part of the review where I rant, quite a bit. This is the reference page that’s listed. Now, I’ve been informed that you can add your own, however you cannot delete the ones that are already listed. The first link goes to The Poly Life on Facebook, that one I don’t have a big problem with. The second link, goes to a Wikipedia page on Teminology within Polyamory. The third link goes to Polyamory: Married and Dating on Showtime.
Seriously? Seriously? These are the prime links that you choose as references for polyamorous people? You pick your own Facebook page, a Wikipedia link, and a link to a show that has divided the opinions of the polyamory community. Why don’t you give links that can help and educate the poly community. Here, let me help you:
- More Than Two Glossary of Poly Terms– Franklin Veaux’s excellently curated list of poly terms
- More Than Two– The ENTIRE DAMN WEBSITE which is dedicated to helping poly folks.
- Poly In The Media– Places online where poly folks can see other poly folks talking about being poly.
- Polyamory– The Wikipedia page that lists far more information about polyamory
- Loving More– A Non-profit that is dedicated towards curating resources and support for polyamorous people.
- Open List– A list of polyamorous/poly friendly professionals.
Seriously, it took me less than two minutes to find every single one of those links, and there are so many more out there! Why the hell would you add such useless links, when you have the platform to really, truly help others!
Beyond that, there are other pages pages that you don’t see here. Some of them are pretty nifty, like the maps page, which is pretty nifty as it links you to coffee shops, grub, bars, and sex shops in the area. The to-do list is nice when you need more than one partner to get things done. Unfortunately, some of them have issues. For instance, you cannot import any calendars into the app, and in order to add events to the app, it requires retyping and inviting partners to events. It is unclear how the “Poly Fun” community page works, and who is able to invite you to events, or even list them.
Pros of The Poly Life:
- Excellent for triads/quads, or those with a small community reach.
- Great for groups without children, or who don’t already share Calendars.
- Excellent idea for Apple Polycules.
- Excellent agreements page!
- Chat is pretty simple.
- A great concept for organizing your life.
- The Maps page is incredibly useful for 4 of my most searched locations on Google maps.
Cons of The Poly Life:
- Can’t import Google calendars, or any calendars.
- Doesn’t offer much use for people who have many Android using partners
- Complicated for those with many partners, and a large poly family.
- Cannot list partners who do not use the app.
- Doesn’t allow for information for each partner to be saved under a memo.
- The items in the app, have free counterparts that already exist and are frequently used.
- Is not clear about relationship with Polyamory: Married and Dating on Showtime.
- Does not use educational references.
Unfortunately, I didn’t love this app. There were a lot of problems with it that I felt could have easily been worked out in a Beta version. I felt that The Poly Life had an excellent concept and poor execution. If you think you will love it, get it here.
-The Frisky Fairy