Home iRovr: The iPhone Social Network

iRovr: The iPhone Social Network

iRovr is a social network built specifically for the iPhone. As near as I can tell, it launched to the public about 10 days ago and has just over 400 users. iRovr is not the first iPhone specific social networking site (iPHONEcolony, which is mostly a blogging application, predates it), but I think it probably the most complete and perhaps the slickest in terms of design.

iRovr is about blogging, sharing photos, videos, and bookmarks, and making friends. Nearly everything you do on iRovr is done by email. When you sign up at the site with your primary iPhone email account, iRovr sends you a list of account specific email addresses to add to you address book. Writing to one enters a blog post, sending pictures to another posts photos, etc.

This all means that interacting with iRovr doesn’t even require being on the site itself. You can email information to your iRovr profile from anywhere — including from non-iPhone sources like your desktop or laptop computer.

All of the user data in iRovr is delivered in Twitter-like streams. This isn’t a micro-blogging or status app — it supports very long posts and comments — but if you wanted to use it for status blogging, you certainly could. Further, because it has support for photos and videos, it could easily be used as a rich status app, which lets you post photos of what you’re doing, for example.

Last night iRovr launched a themes feature, allowing users more customization of their profiles. This isn’t MySpace level customization, and currently the site only offers two themes, but they are a breeze to choose and like the rest of the site the theme browser is well designed for use with the iPhone.

I think iRovr’s least intuitive aspect is adding friends. To add friends on iRovr, you navigate to their profile, then click “Menu” and press “+Friend.” The menu button on iRovr changes according to whatever page you are viewing, which is something that isn’t clearly explained. Also, while I was testing iRovr it appeared that they might be having server problems, because things were painfully slow.


The big question is whether an iPhone specific social network can gain critical mass. It’s no secret that Apple users are cliquey and iPhone designed apps are a lot more fun to use than those that are not optimized for the phone, so I think there is a pretty good chance that iRovr could catch on among iPhone users. So far the app’s novelty hasn’t worn off and activity seems pretty strong. The developers appear receptive to their users and are smartly adding new features (such as profile themes) to keep users interested. What do you think? If you are an iPhone user, have you tried iRovr?

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