Review Garbage or Great?: Mobile Colloquy

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by pss, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. pss

    pss New Member

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    Garbage or Great?: Mobile Colloquy

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    Price: $1.99

    Overview:
    Mobile Colloquy is an iPhone version of the Mac OS X IRC client Colloquy. While I have never used the desktop version, the mobile version is a great IRC client, especially considering the limited amount of alternatives. While it is far from perfect and has one major downfall from what I've gathered while using it, Colloquy is a right-for-the-price IRC client that I'd pick up if you use a lot of IRC.

    What's Great:


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    Upon first launch, Colloquy allows you to input your IRC servers and rooms so that they could be listed directly on the Colloquy home screen. Colloquy doesn't offer you a list of servers; it's your responsibility to find one and punch it in, although I don't really see this as a problem given the nature of the program (users of IRC tend to know what to put in when setting up a server). Knowing where to put in what you need to isn't a very taxing task, either: everything on the server setup screen is straightforward.

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    Under "Colloquies" is where your rooms that you join are listed. Colloquy permits you to join and conduct conversations in several rooms at once. Now this is a big plus, as often I juggle several IRC chats at once. Jumping from one to the other is a literally two-second task. I also like how it numbers posts that you miss while in other rooms, although these posts aren't shown in any distinguished way when you launch the room, so it's really only good if you miss five or six lines while in other rooms. In a live view, it presents the last two lines typed in all the rooms as a sort of preview. I find that one of those small, yet great details. The list also differentiates between normal conversation (blue) and private messages (orange).

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    Joining a room is as easy as tapping the cross at the top of the screen, however there is no room list, nor is there a way to obtain one. If you want to join a room, you're going to have to know the name of the room beforehand. More on that below.

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    Now, to the actual chat interface. The interface is clean and uncluttered; like Stanza it stays out of the way and you don't notice it until you need to. There aren't many functions that are present due to its simplicity and the simplistic nature of IRC, but what it does do, it does well. The keyboard can be dismissed to view more of the chat with one tap of the screen. Your name is distinguished from the others, and when others directly address you by typing your nick and a ":", their line is highlighted in green so you can notice it better.

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    One of the few options available on the chat screen is a list of users. There's not much to it, but what I find handy is the search option if you want to find a specific person to send a PM to. The search option is not visible in this screenshot; it's at the top of the list and scrolls along with the top of the list. I'm not sure if this is by design in Colloquy or by design in the iPhone OS.


    The Garbage:
    One really frustrating thing I find about Colloquy is the absolute lack of a room list. Often, I discover some very interesting rooms on servers such as EFNet just by browsing through the room list. With Colloquy, you pretty much have to know where you're going before you go there. I don't know if it's there and I can't find it, or what, but I have tried most everything: even "/list" in a room does not elicit a response. I also would prefer the search in the user list remain at the top of the screen, but once again, this could be a design flaw of the iPhone OS. Colloquy also doesn't support things such as colors, but it does support more common things such as smileys (and colors are still a nonstandard in IRC that not every client "gets").


    Verdict:

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    Colloquy is worth the 2 bucks. You get a decent feature set and a great user interface, but by its design you really need to know all the parameters beforehand, such as the server you want to go to and the room you want to join. I don't recommend Colloquy for complete newbies to IRC, but if you use IRC frequently and know the parameters for your server and room, get this. It's a good little IRC client that does its job simplistically, but well.

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  2. Joe Rossignol

    Joe Rossignol Community Manager Staff Member

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    This one was a great read

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    Keep up this style of review!
  3. Education

    Education Member

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    Great review. Nice usage of images and font. By the way, congratulations on making it in to the team!

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