Home Zephyr: A Secular Winter App From the Makers of Ocarina

Zephyr: A Secular Winter App From the Makers of Ocarina

If you imagine Brian Eno doing a Twitter-like anonymous messaging application for the iPhone, and then mix in a good dose of PostSecret and a somewhat belated holiday spirit, you might just come up with something akin to Smule’s Zephyr. Zephyr (iTunes link) lets you write messages and draw pictures with snow on your screen and simultaneously creates sounds based on how quickly you draw. After you finish your drawing, you can then anonymously release it to the rest of the world. Zephyr is available for the iPhone and the iPod touch and costs $0.99.

While Zephyr is not quite as addictive as Smule’s last app, Ocarina, it does have its own kind of charm, especially when you just sit back and let the messages appear on your screen. While testing the app, we came across quite a few interesting drawings from all over the world, though a lot of users also seemed to be content with just drawing their names or a few circles.

The app also makes good use of the iPhone’s and iPod touch’s multi-touch screen and allows you to erase part of your drawings with a two-finger gesture, while shaking the screen deletes the complete message. You can also ‘like’ messages, which will then be passed on to more users, or mark them as inappropriate.

Not Quite Random: Bach, Schumann, Wagner

As Smule’s CEO Jeff Smith pointed out to us, the ‘music’ created by Zephyr is not quite random. If you listen carefully, you will find both the opening from Wagner’s “Tannhauser” and the progression from Claude Debussy’s “Clair de lune,” as well as progressions from Bach and Schumann in the app.

A Secular Winter App

Of course, we couldn’t help but think that Smule’s plan was to release this app before the holidays and that it was delayed by Apple’s App Store review process, but Smule’s CEO Jeff Smith assured us that even though Apple shut down for the holidays, it was always Smule’s plan to release Zephyr as a “secular winter application after the holiday blitz.”

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