It looks like Google has decided against releasing new iPhone apps for the time being and has focused most of its mobile development efforts on web apps instead. While the Buzz web app is very good, however, it can’t quite rival the speed and comfort of using a native iPhone app. Fiam‘s Buzzie is the first Buzz app for the iPhone ($1.99 – iTunes link) and even though it is still missing some features, it already gives us a good idea for what developers can achieve by using the Buzz API.
- Receive messages from the people you follow
- Comment on messages and mark them as liked
- Browse all links and images attached to messages
- Manage your followers
- Browse the people following you
- Find new people to follow
- Check the places around you and buzz about them
Posting to Buzz
Posting to Buzz from Buzzie is as easy as hitting the compose button, choosing if you want to attach your location to the post and hitting “send.” You can use the app to send both private and public messages.
One feature that is missing here, however, is the ability to attach photos and links. Sadly, you can’t set any defaults for the editor, which means that – by default – it always wants to attach your location, for example.
Photos and Links
The app handles posts with photos beautifully. You just tap on the photos and they appear in full-screen mode. Photo sharing is one of Buzz’s best features and this app rightfully puts a lot of emphasis on making the photo browsing experience as seamless as possible.
The way the app handles links takes some getting used to, though.Instead of just tapping on the link, you have to push the little paperclip icon at the bottom of the screen. That’s not a deal breaker, but it will surely confuse some people.
Google is betting on HTML5 and web apps to deliver its products without having to go through the App Store approval process. Buzzie, however, shows that there are still some clear advantages to developing a native app. The app just feels a lot snappier than Google’s web app for Buzz and even though it doesn’t offer any new features, it makes using Buzz on the iPhone a lot more fun. A few features – like attaching photos to your posts or browsing the map for messages – are still missing, though chances are that the developers will add these in one of the next revisions.
Hat tip to The Next Web for spotting the app first.