Pygmy Reviews #49 – iOS Apps

Digg (Free)

One Line Description: RSS reader with a top stories component.

Digg was the original Reddit. It was the place to post stories, vote them up/down and comment on them. Something went awry along the way and it was on life support. It was sort and brought back to life, and now seems to focus more on being an RSS reader with the voting component. For those people that don’t use the RSS reader part it does have other features. It include a “Top Stories” section, which is both self-explanatory and one of the more useful features. It features a section for just the top videos as well as a place to save stories. It can also be tied to a Twitter account to try and determine commonly shared links.

The Top Stories is good enough to find interesting things to read, especially for someone that doesn’t follow the right people on Twitter, or have enough time for full-blown RSS feeds. It seems to bubble up a lot of popular stories that probably show up elsewhere, but that isn’t a bad thing. Overall it’s a decent discovery tool that is free and doesn’t require an account for many of the features.

Nuzzel (Free)

One Line Description: Filters out the most shared stories from a Twitter timeline.

Nuzzel is effectively one funtion of the aforementioned Digg app. It must be associated with a Twitter account and then scans a user’s timeline for the more shared stories by people they follow. It obviously is much more effective the more followers there are, and in practice someone with 300 or so followers might not find it as useful. Thankfully there is a separate section for “Friends of Friends” which casts a wider net and allows for more stories and higher link counts. The results can be filtered by time, another extremely useful feature to those with large lists of people they follow. There are a couple other ways to filter content as well.

This tool is highly useful, especially for people who follow too many users to keep up with their feeds, or people who just don’t check Twitter more than once or twice a day. It makes it easy to catch things that might have otherwise been missed based on the people a person is following, in other words, nicely curated content.

Nuzzel made loads of end of year “best of” lists, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not a totally new concept, but it’s executed very well, and could easily be the future of content discovery for many people.

Alien Blue ()

One Line Description: Now the official Reddit client for iOS.

Once an independant app, Alien Blue was purchased last year by Reddit and made the official iOS Reddit client. It has a sharp and interesting design and hide a lot of buttons and labels until they are needed. It has some interesting decisions regarding the menu design which seems to get a little too cute instead of just making it easier to use. It does provide access to the sidebar of subreddits, something not seem in other clients. The fact that it contains a way to revert to a “classic” UI says everything about the current design. It still works well though, and now that it’s the official client there is even more reason to use it. While it is free, it does have an in-app purchase to get the PRO version, which most people probably don’t need. There is still no reason not to try it, although Narwhal is probably a better option.

Transmit ($9.99)

One Line Description: An FTP/SFTP/WebDav client.

This app is too nerdy for most, but for those that need and FTP/SFTP/WebDav client this might be by far and away the best. It has it’s own local filesystem so that files can be saved and viewed offline, and has extensions so that files can be passed in from other places. It is intuitive to use, and seems to include any feature that most people would need. It even allows files to be edited right in the app itself. Although one of the few downsides is that it takes a lot of clicks to get into edit mode.

Overall though, this all opens a lot of doors for iOS-based development and other nerdy functions (such as syncing files from a WebDav server on a LAN without opening said WebDav server up to the WAN) that would be super useful to some people. This is one of the many apps that is making iOS get closer and closer to being the only option needed by most people.