It was such a close call between FertilityFriend and Kindara! I actually had a really hard time picking a winner, because they both have excellent features that any diehard charter would love. In the end, though, Kindara's simple but thorough approach to charting won out.
For other reviews in this series, click the names below:
When I started the Great App Debate, I was looking for an app that had the complete package in a simple, approachable way--one that was easy for someone brand new to charting, while at the same time providing the right features for someone who has charted for years. The reason Kindara won is because it is able to provide both. FertilityFriend has some amazing features for advanced charters, but (in my opinion) it can get a little too overwhelming for charters just starting out. Of course, there are beginning charters who prefer FF, and diehard charters who won't use Kindara because it doesn't have enough features, but in general, I would recommend Kindara to any charter because it is able to accommodate the needs of a range of women. Another huge reason Kindara won the Great App Debate: Wink. (We'll get to that in a second.)
So let's get started!
ENTERING DATA IN KINDARA
Kindara's approach to predicting fertile days and your next cycle is subtle enough to not be bothersome and annoying to pro-charters, yet still provides a degree of security for those new to charting. My only (small) complaint: the predictions disappear once your cycle is complete. It would be nice to have a way to see clearly when you ovulated and when your fertile phase started and ended, even when your cycle is finished.
It is wonderfully simple to enter your daily data for Kindara. A few simple taps, and everything you need is already entered for you. It has all of the crucial information you need to record, and also includes a place for custom data. So, if you want to track the effect of vitamins on your cycle (like I did with Vitex), you can easily add a "Vitex" option to record on your daily chart. In addition, if you have any major life changes or things that may affect your cycle, you can annotate them in the Journal section.
My favorite thing about the data entry is the tap approach. With FertilityFriend, you had a lot a great options, but entering data was somewhat cumbersome. With Kindara, it's a breeze that takes a couple seconds to make your selections.
And, of course, since Kindara is based on fertility awareness, its selections are in accordance with FAM terminology. None of this "school glue" weirdness like in Ovia. (Seriously? School glue??) You'll see the regular options for cervical fluid (dry/none, sticky, creamy, egg white, watery), as well as an option to mark your Peak Day. Same goes for your cervix: you can select three different options with your cervix's height, openness, and softness, giving you complete precision in reporting your cervical position.
(Small rant about this point: It may seem like using the correct terminology vs. using nicknames like "school glue" is mostly a small, mostly meaningless difference, but the message it sends is huge. Using the proper, adult names for things like cervical fluid instead of school glue gives the app credibility as a reliable, scientifically-based resource for using Fertility Awareness. On the other hand, using "school glue" is patronizing, confusing, and indicates that the user is either too stupid to grasp the concept of different types of cervical fluid or should feel embarrassed to admit that cervical fluid actually exists. It's reminiscent of adult women being unable to use correct terminology for their vagina, vulva, or clitoris, instead referring to them by pet names like "down there", lady parts, baby-maker, etc. You should never feel ashamed or patronized by anyone who talks about women's reproductive systems in real life, let alone an app. Kindara passes this test boldly with flying colors: it is an empowering app, not one that sets women back thirty years. Anyway, end rant.)
All in all, entering data in Kindara is everything it should be: it contains all of the necessary data you would need to record daily, gives you options to customize what you want to include, and does away with all of the extraneous garbage that other apps make you wade through.
Honestly, I didn't use the Community/Forum features much in any of the apps I reviewed. That being said, Kindara's is by far my favorite. Much like FertilityFriend, it lets you search through different tags that users have added to their posted charts. With one tap on a tag, you can scroll through all of the charts marked with things like "anovulatory", "PCOS", "BFP", "10dpo", "chemical pregnancy", etc. It's a great way to see other charts like yours at a glance.
Another really cool feature of the community: you can follow users. If there's a user going through the same thing as you, tapping "Follow" under their chart will save their chart for you under My Charts. In addition, you can comment and respond to others' charts as well. It's a great way to get input and advice on your chart, and since Kindara's user base is focused primarily on those who actively use fertility awareness, you're more likely to get advice from women who have been using FA for a while.
First up, what I like about Kindara's chart: it's laid out almost exactly like a paper chart is. The great thing is that if you're a paper charter, the view will look very similar. It doesn't require you to re-learn how to read a BBT chart.
The spacing between temperature jumps is big enough for you to tell a difference between pre- and post-ovulatory temps, while still being small enough to keep everything relatable. And I love love LOVE that Kindara marks out your luteal phase and numbers each day for you. It makes it incredibly easy to see the patterns in your temperatures at a glance.
Double tapping on a day will bring up a summary of that day, as well as an option to edit the data if you need to go back and correct something. Your cervical position and other optional signs are listed directly below the chart, giving you an easy overview of the patterns in your symptoms.
You can also tap the "Share" button in the upper right corner to share the chart with the community, or export it as a PDF or JPG to share with a midwife, FA teacher, or partner.
There is one thing I really don't care for in the chart view--and really, it's my only feedback for the app in general. Maybe I'm just slow, but it's taken me a while to understand the bar graph mentality of tracking your cervical fluid and menstruation. Here's a closeup view of what I'm talking about:
After using Kindara for several cycles, I can kiiiiiind of see the pattern for my cervical fluid...but it does not come naturally like it does when reading my BBT paper chart.
Here's the same chart, on paper, for comparison:
In addition, I couldn't figure out if it was because Kindara thought one type of fluid was better than the other, if that makes sense. Why were my "dry days" bars higher than my fertile days? It seems so counterintuitive to me to have low bars be high and high bars be low. It's kind of like asking you to look at a calendar with the dates listed from back to front, instead of front to back. Not wrong, just unnecessarily complicated.
I don't think the bar graph approach to cervical fluid is totally crazy, but the main point of looking at my BBT chart is to easily see when my fertile/non-fertile days are. It's easy enough to spot your ovulation date, but I wish there was a better way of presenting the cervical fluid information in a way that is easier on the eyes (and the brain!). My suggestion: keep the bar graph, but flip it so that it's high when lots of fluid is present, and low when little fluid is present. Keep the color coding (lighter on light days, darker on heavy days), and differentiate between fluid types by using different colors.
That, for me, would make a much more readable chart that tells me exactly what I want to know and allows me to see trends much easier. Since Kindara is such a well-established app, though, I know that it's hard to make massive changes, as any major changes they make might not go over well with their users. That being said, I hope they are able to at least look at the way cervical fluid is presented on their chart to see if there's any way to improve the readability.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST...WINK!
The amazing thing about Wink is that it brings basal body thermometers into the 20th century. It's uses Bluetooth technology, which means it syncs wirelessly and seamlessly with your smartphone automatically. No more taking your temperature and inputting it later; Wink does the hard work for you.
It's also silent, which means your partner can keep sleeping while you temp. (My husband, in particular, is thrilled about that...haha.) At $99 for the preorder pricing, it is a little bit spendy--but the amount you will save in birth control would quickly make up for it. Not to mention, if you are more aware of your cycles, it may help you spot and resolve fertility issues much more quickly than throwing money at fertility treatments that may not be helping with your particular issues. Wink is an incredibly wise investment in your fertility!
SHOULD YOU USE KINDARA?
GOOD FOR WOMEN WHO:
NOT FOR WOMEN WHO:
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