A couple of years ago, Australia-based former Apple Retail Store employee Josh Hunt realized that he (and his colleagues) had a major problem: even with Apple’s cloud technologies, viewing his Apple Store work schedule was a pain. Apple’s internal network allows Apple Store employees to view their hours each day, but this information is not easily accessible from the Calendar application on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Hunt created a tool called Roster Genius that is a web extension to convert Apple’s internal calendaring system into a file that is compatible with the iOS and Mac calendar applications.
Roster Genius was a hit inside the Apple Retail world, and Hunt tells us that the service amassed 8,000 users in 14 countries. But Hunt shut down Roster Genius in favor of building something, alongside co-founder Sam Elliott, with larger implications: an App Store app with similar shift management functionality that could be used by all sorts of users, not just Apple Retail Store employees. The new app, launching in the coming months, is called Shifts, and as the developers tell us, “it is a calendar app, but made specifically for casual/part-time employees – that is, people who work different shifts every day.”
The application can connect to the schedules of others so that “you’ll be able to see when your days off align with your friends, and share your roster with a group of friends and coordinate for things to do on days off, organize the carpool or plan after-work drinks,” according to the developers. The interface for the app is very slick, and it boldly does not use the date picker as it instead relies on the numbered keypad for quickly entering in work times. As for the Apple Retail Store-optimized version, that’s coming back too.