I’ve talked about my love of nostalgia before on Techlicious. There’s something magical about being able to remember and revisit moments from the past, whether that’s done by reading old tweets via Timehop or using Facebook’s On This Day filter. But at the same time, I’d rather Facebook not know every aspect of my daily life. I don’t want my daily activity used against me later in advertisements.
That’s why my ears perked up when I heard about newly updated iPhone app Rove. It’s an automated life journal that keeps constant tabs on your movements, automatically updating itself to remember where you went, the route you took to get there and how you traveled.
Rove uses your phone’s GPS and accelerometer to determine how you're traveling, when you’ve arrived at your destination and exactly where that destination is. The app doesn’t just remember map coordinates – it interfaces with Foursquare to guess the name of the tourist attraction you visited or the grocery store you stopped on your way home from work. Rove seems to get it wrong more often that it gets it right. Today, for example, the app suggested that there’s a “Nordstroms Shoe Store” in my apartment building. (I wish.) Thankfully though, the app lets you manually modify location details when this happens.
Aside from keeping track of movement, Rove also stores photographs of your life's journey. Stopped at the new, trendy café for lunch? Take a picture of the organic chicken pesto mozzarella on ciabatta you ordered. Rove will automatically save it in your daily journal and tag it with your location.
Naturally, an app like Rove is rife with privacy concerns. Data about your movements is stored both on your phone and on Rove servers, but is never disclosed to a third party without your explicit permission. This data is stored indefinitely, though you can request it be deleted by sending an email. And you don’t need to ever log in to Rove or give it your name – the app lets you stay anonymous.