Gaggle (iTunes URL) is a brand-new web browser designed for the iPhone which lets you share links on the social web while you surf. Thanks to Facebook Connect and Twitter integration, this simple browser makes it easy to tweet a link or post it to your Facebook profile. Only a few days old, Gaggle could have the potential to become a Safari replacement app for serious sharers, but there are quite a few kinks it needs to work out first.
What's Good with Gaggle
The concept of Gaggle is simple: browse the web and when you see something you want to share and click the "Share" button at the bottom of the screen. You have the option to post the link to Twitter or Facebook or you can choose to bookmark it instead. Setting up Facebook involves authenticating via Facebook Connect and to configure Twitter you'll need to enter your username and password. Once that's done, you're able to quickly share anything you see on the web with just the push of a button.
Gaggle performs the sharing actions quickly and well, but it's clear they haven't given the same attention to the rest of the application.
Problems, Problems, Problems
Unfortunately, the app is still a little buggy at the moment. The first time I noticed an issue was when I was entering in my Facebook email address. Switching over from the letters keyboard to the numbers keyboard was delayed - I had to hit the button a few times before it would work. This continued to be an issue when using the app.
Another problem was that Gaggle seemed to be unaware of the internet connection at times, popping up a message "no internet connection" even though the iPhone was indeed connected. This often happened on first launch.
Finally, as a browser, Gaggle can't compare to Safari...it's not even close. You have to hit a button to get the search box to appear, you can't open multiple windows, and it even struggled to display one of my most visited mobile web sites: Google Reader. In fact, Reader wasn't even usable within Gaggle. You could open an item in a feed, but it would read "undefined" above the article's text. There was no way to then close the item or move to the next one. If you refreshed the page, that item was still showing as unread.
Overall, the promise of the application to be a useful Safari alternative for social media users is overshadowed by a number of issues that need to be corrected if the app is ever going to be worth a download. That being said, if Gaggle could work out the kinks and improve the experience, it could even be worth purchasing a paid version one day so as to remove the ad from the bottom of the screen. In the meantime, it's back to Tweetie and the iPhone Facebook app for me. Gaggle just isn't ready.