Quick Takes on Five Apps (#7)

I’m back with the latest installment of the Quick Takes series where I look at five apps.

Vimeo (iPhone)

Vimeo already works perfectly on all iOS devices — it is fast and far better than YouTube 1 and is my first choice for web video. The app is snappy and is very nice, but one huge omission is search. You can search the video you upload, but you can’t search all videos. You can browse by category, but if you know the title of the video you want to watch — you are SOL. The app is also an uploading app that allows you to shoot and edit video in the app that you can then upload to Vimeo. You can also add multiple video clips together which is pretty nice.

Nice, but an odd choice. I always view videos hosted on Vimeo as a step up in quality than videos hosted anywhere else — certainly you can create great videos in the app — but I think this may lead to some lesser quality videos that sites like YouTube are more synonymous with.

Quotebook (iPhone, iPod Touch)

This is a neat little app that basically keeps all the quotes you store (if you store any) in a nice Simplenote type app. 2 I keep a ton of quotes in Yojimbo and moved a few — manually — to Quotebook and I have to say that this is a far better way to store them. You can rate the quotes and you can browse by author — which is quite handy.

This is definitely a niche app — but if you like to store quotes, then you can’t get much better than this. Having said that, it will be a real pain to move all your quotes into the app — luckily there is an export feature so your quotes aren’t trapped inside the app.

Hipmunk (iPhone)

Well we have a winner for worst app icon I have seen in quite some time, but this flight search app is really as good as flight search gets. Case in point: while loading the flights available there is a splash screen that shows ‘tips’ to the user — the first “tip” I received was:

Tip #7: Hipmunk for iOS doesn’t show flights that are both longer and more expensive than your other options.

That makes perfect sense — who’d pick such a flight — so it makes me wonder why other apps show these flights. My second favorite thing I found about the app was that you can sort search results by: “agony”. Which I assume sorts by the cheapest and shortest flights first — awesome. Of course as with any other flight apps, this app doesn’t show you Southwest (Southwest doesn’t allow access to their flights).

More than anything else I really like the way the flight data is represented, with clear breaks in the flight for layovers. You can quickly scan and see what you need to know about each flight. Great app and it is free — check it out.

Color (iPhone)

I typically read and few first impressions of apps before I bother to try them out and Color was no exception. Except I didn’t download it once I read more about it because, well, you know. On Friday night I was out with friends celebrating my buddies birthday — he had Color installed on his Android device and I decided to install it too so that we could play around with it.

The app is stupid, pointless, and rather confusing. Don’t bother.

Mr. Reader (iPad)

It’s been a long time since I have bothered to play with a Reeder competitor for the iPad, but when I read a respectable writer mention that an app replaced Reeder for them, well I had to try it out. I think it sucks.

The name is silly, but works well — the app icon though, good lord it’s bad. Then you get to the interface which doesn’t allow you to scroll through the news items, instead you see a headline and excerpt and then you can click mark all as read. This is just silly.

[Updated: 4.5.11 at 10:55 AM]
I need to clarify that last statement, I never meant to imply that you can’t scroll the headlines. I mistakenly thought there was no button to flick through news items once you expand them to the “reading” mode — indeed there is a button to do this in the bottom right corner. Which is still a stupid spot for that button and (obviously) not apparent for me.

[Updated: 4.5.11 at 11:59 AM]

See here, for a better apology and description of the app.

Though points to them for allowing you to actually manage your RSS items — Reeder we need this. Overall, I would stick with Reeder or NetNewsWire, because Mr. Reader, you just don’t quite pass muster.

  1. In both quality and speed/playback.
  2. Quick note, I was given a promo code to test out this app.
Originally posted for members on: April 4, 2011
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