If you’ve been on App.net for a while, you owe it to yourself to try out Patter. Initially just a web app for both private and public messaging, this weekend a native iOS app was released that brings much of that functionality to your iOS device. Patter is more than just another way to view private messages — you can create public or private chat rooms. The rooms feature is what really extends the functionality of what you can expect on Omega . When I use this feature, it really makes me feel nostalgic, hearkening back to the days when I frequented IRC. ind that this is very much a 1.0 product. There are no push notifications or ability to browse and subscribe to new rooms (yet). You can however view any rooms that you subscribed to via the Patter web app, mute/unmute conversations/channels, and unsubscribe from rooms. If all you want is private messages, it works well enough just for that. The real fun starts when you want to create a private or public room, which you can do directly in the app. You can also create read-only rooms if you so choose. Want to start a book club or movie discussion? How about organize a local event with a group of people? Those are just a few examples I can think of off the top of my head. You get the idea though — the possibilities are vast.
I think the developers did a great job for the initial release. The app’s icon is cute and isn’t blue, which is a bonus. From a design perspective, I definitely think more work is needed for the room category selection (they seem to be lacking any sort of texture, depth, and colour). There’s also a "Back" button to be found in certain places, which I’m not a fan of (in any app). I much would rather label this more clearly to indicate where you’re going back to. For example, if the previous view is a room, why not label the button "Room"?
Here’s a run down of what I’d like to see added:
- Push notifications
- Room browser (so you can find interesting places to chat)
- An ability to attach various document types, via the File API.
If you want a premium messaging experience for App.net, I highly recommend checking out Patter. It’s just $2.99 in the App Store and it’s only going to continually improve from here.