Self-help tips and books can be hard to take at their very best, so I walked into the 99-cent Half-Orange Optimisms iPhone app quite skeptical of what I might find.
Finding out it was the app companion to a book titled, “Meeting Your Half-Orange” and then reading in the app how “half-orange” was the translation of the Spanish term “mi media naranja” made me laugh with a bit of nervous trepidation. I wondered whether I should even bother with this app. After all, what does that even mean? Of course half-orange in Spanish is roughly “mi media naranja.” How does this explain why you’d use an orange to illustrate two people coming together at all?
Still, I wanted to check it out. I’m a sucker for a warm, inviting color scheme and Half-Orange Optimisms plays up the motif to the hilt. The background is a calm yellow with a huge orange in the middle of the app, with white lines radiating out of the orange.
By shaking your phone or swiping a finger across the orange, you’ll rotate the orange and find that it is actually a half-orange. Once the orange stops rotating, you’ll be left with a quote that, while sometimes specific to people in relationships, could also often apply to someone who just needs to remember to bring a positive attitude to their daily routine.
While there are purported to be over 100 slices of wisdom in the app, I’ve found upon opening up Half-Orange Optimisms that the first one or two sentences that pop up are ones I’ve seen before. After that, the repetition stops, and there is quite a variety of wisdom to soak up.
If you find upon using the app that you could use one of the phrases outside of the app -- perhaps to send to a friend -- Half-Orange Optimisms provides the option to email or “save” the optimism. Email will, of course, open up your email so you can send the note to someone else, while saving the note copies it to your clipboard so you’re free to tweet it, or do whatever else you might want to involving the copy-paste function.
That email feature might be Half-Orange Optimisms’ hidden selling point. Although you might not find much use for the phrase, “You know what’s great about you? Your laugh. Nobody does it like you and it’s time you found a way to use it. Fast.,” you can probably think of at least one person in need of the compliment.
Half-Orange Optimisms sets out on a modest goal of helping people remind themselves of their value and mostly succeeds. It stays out of its own way and doesn’t feel overly complicated or preachy.