Review Portal Review

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by Germany, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Germany

    Germany Banned

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    Portal

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    Price: $0.99

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    Developed by: wearmaize

    What is Portal?

    Portal is a an application that acts as an internet portal which loads many useful sites straight from inside the application. Portal helps save you springboard space by eliminating all of those pesky web clips that you may have. This application brings hundreds of helpful websites to one location, and can cut down time on searching for breaking news, sports scores, and today's weather. Portal is definitely not the most exciting application, but in many instances, you may find yourself thanking the application for it's usefulness.

    Features

    Although Portal is a mostly straightforward and simply set up application, there are several features that can be useful. The main feature is the ability to change the bottom navigation tabs to different websites. There is a downfall in this application, however. There is no ability to add your own custom websites, so you must use what is provided. Another feature included is the flashlight. Most people will find this useless, and I think it is included to take up space. Any other white screen would serve the same purpose. The last main feature (or necessity) is the ability to go back to the previous page, go forward to the previous page, refresh, and stop the page from loading. Portal could definitely use some more features and customization. A new version will be released sometime soon, and I am in contact with the developer to get an idea of what is coming.

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    Here is an example of the ability to rearrange the tabs.

    User Interface

    Portal, as I stated earlier, is a very simple application. The same holds up in the interface. There are five bottom tabs that can be changed, and in each of those, is a website. Each tab is a sort of "mini browser" in itself. On the "More" tab there are several more websites listed, as well as a button called "Portal" that leads to an index of useful websites sorted in different categories such as: Business, News, Technology, and Weather. Looking back at the features, this is where I would like some more customization options like adding your own sites to the index, or putting your own sites on the bottom tabs. Overall, the interface is very brief and could use some more style (I can't believe I used "style").

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    Visuals

    There is not a lot to say about the visuals of Portal as most of the visuals are from the websites themselves. The bottom tabs are the regular glossy black, and have text along the bottom. I would like to see glyphs of some sort added to make the buttons more attractive. Right now, they are slightly boring. While viewing a website, there are back, forward, refresh, and stop buttons. These are all blue and aren't very annoying like the tab buttons. They actually seem to fit in quite well on the bottom of each website viewing page. That wraps up the visuals. I am currently emailing with wearmaize about the update, but I can't tell you anything until the release.

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    Isolated bottom bar and tabs.

    Reuse Value

    This is the strong point of Portal. If you have a routine of checking several sites each time you touch a computer or mobile device, Portal is definitely the application to get. For example: Every morning when I wake up, I check the weather, late night sports news, regular news, and tech news. I do this occasionally throughout the day, and Portal really pulls through for me. Everything is in one place and easy to use, which makes the routine much easier (especially on a mobile device). The graphics and features need some work, but I am happy that everything is so quick and easy. I use Portal daily, and I recommend this application if you have several sites that you enjoy viewing occassionally.

    My Ratings

    Features: 4/10 - This application definitely lacks some obvious features. I would like to see the ability to add your own, custom web sites.

    User Interface: 7/10 - The interface is simple, and easy to use. Great for quick navigation.

    Visuals: 6/10 - There is an obvious lack of glyphs on the tab buttons. The rest looks simple, and is functional (hand in hand with UI).

    Reuse Value: 7/10 - If you have several websites that you regularly check for news or articles for example, you will find Portal very useful.

    Overall - 6/10 - Fair

    Portal is a very useful application, and with some obvious updates, it will be a lot more user friendly. I have contacted the developer and it sounds like there will be some good updates in the future. If you plan on buying Portal, my recommendation would be to buy it now, before the application is updated along with a price raise that the developer has hinted. Feel free to ask me questions about the application and the review.

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  2. Joe Rossignol

    Joe Rossignol Community Manager Staff Member

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    It's a bit of a negative that you cannot add your own custom websites to the application, although maybe wearmaize will add this feature in with a future update. Also, the flashlight thing is kind of cool I guess... but not really needed. Good review!

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  3. JoeyB

    JoeyB Active Member

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    Good review I also reviewed this app since I won a promo code for it.
    btw Nice animation I made one like it aswell.
  4. Germany

    Germany Banned

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    Yes, I saw your review. That prompted me to check it out for myself. I've read several of your reviews, and they are getting better. Just stay focused, organize your content, and think what the reader would like to see.
  5. JoeyB

    JoeyB Active Member

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    Thanks I hope I make it into the Member Review team like you did congratulations on that.Tommorow expect to see a couple more reviews

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    I will keep viewing yours and if I am lucky I might make the review tonight if I get enough time.
    EDIT:Also can I use that picture of a iPod at the beginning?
  6. Jailbreak

    Jailbreak New Member

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    Wouldn't using Categories and putting shortcuts to websites essentially be the same thing with more customization
  7. JoeyB

    JoeyB Active Member

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    No Categories does not double as a Flashlight.
  8. Germany

    Germany Banned

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    The flashlight isn't really that impressive, personally. All you need is a white screen and there you go. Back to the point. That is a good idea Jailbreak, but then you have to go back out of Safari and back into the category with the web clips. That also wouldn't be an option for those who aren't jailbroken.
  9. Jailbreak

    Jailbreak New Member

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    You could put the flashlight app in there

    common sense
  10. Radish

    Radish Banned

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    Good review :3

    Sounds like a good app, though I agree, needs to include custom websites.

    Also, lawl at ongoing flashlight app joke.

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