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Saga for iOS and Android: a virtual assistant to help improve your quality of life

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A new app called Saga for iOS and Android promises to help users lead more enriching lives using data it compiles about their habits and locations. Unlike apps like Foursquare and Facebook, users won't need to check in to record events.

saga ios (aro)
saga ios (aro)

Ever since we talked with Matias Duarte about Google Now at Google I/O last month we’ve been interested in the idea of a more proactive digital assistant; one that can make recommendations before we actually ask for help. Well, a Seattle company called ARO is looking to apply that principle in order to help its users "get more out of life" with a new app called Saga.

The basic idea is that after you’ve trained Saga to the point where it knows your routine and the places you frequent, it will do things like let you know when it’s about to rain (using Dark Sky), remind you that it’s lunchtime, or tell you when a new route saves time on your commute. There’s a gamification element, too — you earn experience points for living "outside of the daily grind" by doing things like "being outdoorsy," "eating out," and "taking care of yourself."

A 'robot buddy' that knows everything about you

The developers make a point that unlike apps such as Foursquare and Facebook, Saga can automatically record your location when you go out, so you don’t need to check in at your favorite spots in order to have them added to your history, or to reap the experience point benefits. We have to say, the idea of someone constantly compiling data about our daily routine is a little unnverving — even if it is "the robot buddy we always wanted" — but at least ARO says it doesn’t share its users’ data.

Saga is definitely an intriguing idea, and the team says it’s a work in progress, with more features that incorporate information sharing planned for the future. If you’d like to check it out, the app is available now for download on iOS, and we’re told an Android version will be out on Play in the next couple of weeks.