Rapha, who I am a big fan of, launched an app a while back. Visually it's gorgeous, some lovely design details. Really beautiful. I particularly love this bit which allows you to set the app to only display images in black and white. I love that.
Which reminds me, there have been a few apps recently that I've liked. They all seem to make a virtue of feeling small.
Instagram, has it's critics. Rightly so as those effects are basically Photoshop filters and we all know how that ended. But I like it. It gives me a nice feed of interesting images from a few people, I follow 30 people. That feels nice. More friendly. (Don't get me wrong it will NEVER replace my beloved Flickr.)
Then there's Words With Friends which is basically Scrabble. At any one time I may have 8 or so games going on. Words With Friends has a really nice message function that lets you talk to people while playing a game. I said Happy Christmas to more people via that that any social network. It just felt a bit weird, a bit too much, a bit odd, saying Happy New Year etc on Twitter. Maybe.
And there's Path. I actually think Path is rubbish. It's a mega stripped back photo sharing app, you can only follow 50 people at one time. It's so stripped back it's frustrating to use. But still, another small feed of stuff. I like the idea of smallness even though I don't like the app. And they've made it deliberately small. It can't get big.
This is all a huge contrast to the Facebook behemoth. That smart listeners will now be suggesting I reduce the number of 'friends' I have on Facebook. And actually Facebook does a decent job of allowing you to have different groups for different things. But it just feels a bit too difficult to start using Facebook that way. I don't think we can put the Genie back into the bottle.
Small feels good.
And then there's this which isn't an app, but is a wonderful thing made Jason Kottke called Stellar. You see what you’re friends have favourited on Twitter and Flickr and Vimeo and the like. That’s actually really inspiring, it's invite only at the moment and I'm not sure about plans for a bigger launch. Again it feels like another small thing. This has the added effect of a sort of nearness halo. For example I often see things that friends have favourited by other people I know, but don't necessarily follow. This leads me over there and brings them nearer to me.
Stellar highlights things I might like from my near networks. I like it a lot.
Actually, I've always liked small.