There’s a novel little application called MicroPinner that lets you create custom reminders and displays them in the form of notifications in your status bar.

I’ve been steering Android Explained in a more focused direction lately by talking about a lot of tips, tricks and ways to do certain things with your Android device. This is a lot different from the things I was posting before, like game reviews, Android news, etcetera, but I still hope to show off some useful applications every now and then.

MicroPinner is exactly one of those applications and even though this is an app review, I hope you’ll look at it as an Android tip as well.

There is no shortage of to-do list applications in the Google Play Store so if you need a more complete and more complex one then by all means, check out something like Google Keep or Evernote or any of the other ones that are packed full of features. However, if you’re wanting a very simple way to set reminders then MicroPinner just might itch that scratch that you might not even know you had. The way this application is presented, along with the utility that it offers, were the reasons why I wanted to talk about it today. Sadly, the application is only available for Android smartphones and tablets that are running 5.0 and higher.

This was the only downside to the application that I could find but I think that is because of what systems within Android that this application is using. You should know by now that Android 5.0 Lollipop put a lot more focus on notifications by bringing them to the lock screen and by making them in more of a card style format. MicroPinner takes advantage of this and lets you create specific and custom reminders that it calls Pins. Let’s take a look at what this application looks like and how it functions.

If you look at the top of the page here, you’ll see what the MicroPinner application icon looks like and how it is labeled. Instead of naming the icon MicroPinner, and then launching you into a full-blown application to manage your pins, you just have an icon called New Pin and tapping on it will launch this little window of an application that you see above. It doesn’t take up the whole screen and it compacts everything you need into this little space. You have a couple of text fields for your Title as well as the Content that you want in the Pin(which will be seen as a notification).

With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google introduced multiple types of notifications for things like public view, private view and a secret. This all ties into new privacy settings that you can set up within the Settings of Android and it helps to determine whether or not you want certain notifications shown on your lock screen. MicroPinner also lets you set a priority and this ranges between default, minimal, low and high. This again, relates to the different types of notifications that Google now allows within Android and this is another reason why the application is restricted to Android 5.0 and higher.

There’s even some advanced settings that appear when you toggle the switch at the top right of the New Pin box. Toggling the advanced settings on will reveal two new features at the bottom of your New Pin box and they allow you to customize the different reminders and to-do items a little more. This application is very simple and you wouldn’t even need to reveal these features to enjoy what it has to offer. Since the Pins are set as notifications, you can easily swipe them away but if you want them to be persistent(meaning that you cant’ swipe them away until you delete it), then you just have to toggle that little box on before you tap the Pin button.

When you create a new Pin, you’ll see a star appear in your status bar. This is to remind you that you have a pin in place so that you don’t forget that important item that you needed to remember. Swiping down to expand the notification panel, and your notifications, will show you what Pin you created. As shown here, this was just a simple test to show exactly what a new pin looks like but you could use this for all sorts of things like needing to remember to pick up the dry cleaning, needing to remember to get something at the grocery story or even just simple reminder to think positive or something. If you created a regular Pin then you can swipe it away when you’re done seeing it but if it was set as a persistent Pin then you won’t be able to swipe it away.

If you set it up that way, then you’ll need to edit the Pin to remove it and to edit it you will simply need to tap on the notification that is being displayed. Even if you didn’t set it as a persistent Pin, tapping on a Pin in your notification panel will bring up the Edit Pin dialog as we see here. You can change the title, the content and even delete the pin directly from here and it will be gone forever. Since there isn’t a ‘home’ application that lists all of your Pins, it will all have to be deleted and edited one by one.

I will say one thing, the application isn’t free from bugs. I actually ran into an issue during this review where I couldn’t delete or add a Pin. the application just kept freezing and becoming unresponsive until I uninstalled it. The developer does seem fairly active with the project so hopefully those issues get ironed out. Another thing I would like to see is the ability to set alerts for your pins. Say you wanted to create a Pin about a new TV show that was coming on, it should always be persistent in the status bar and the notification panel but I would also like to see the ability to set an alert time when you create or edit a Pin.

Let me know what you think about this application and the number of ways that you can use this in your life. I am looking forward to hearing some creative uses in the comments section below.

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