Subscribe

  • Subscribe  

A Skimmer With Great Potential

Posted by Sravan | April 2, 2009 .

Until hearing about Fallon’s Skimmer, I was only aware of the The New York Times article skimmer prototype. The newspaper skimmer is a very simple and light-weight RIA that allows readers to skim through the entire newspaper (sans ads!) using the keyboard in a couple of minutes and is highly beneficial for daily readers of the newspaper. All newspapers should offer something like this.

NYTimes Skimmer

Ryan recently introduced Fallon’s Skimmer as the most well-designed AIR application yet. What else will be there to add after his verdict?

Skimmer is an Adobe AIR app which serves as a single out-of-browser platform for currently five services: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube and Blogspot. When a user sets up an account (which needs a pointless 1 sec “registration”), he or she will be asked to set up the service account for each of the services. The UI through which the authentication is done is very simple and convenient where one can just type in the username and password for each of these services and have them authenticated in one go, all through a small square of real estate.

There is a debate on Ryan’s post about how well or not the authentication method has been implemented through an OAuth-type of functionality. IMHO, the debate in this particular case is redundant. Skimmer unlike many other AIR apps is digitally signed, earning itself the needed trust.

Moving on, Skimmer has an “invisible” look and feel which makes it all the more intriguing. e.g To tweet or send a Facebook message, you need to click around the “What are you doing right now?” heading on top of the window. It is intuitive to the right amount and discovering it gives a tinge of surprise. There is no setting to check for updates anywhere, but we will automatically be notified about them.

Skimmer Feed Screenshot

The incoming tweets, Facebook messages and own Blogspot posts are all merged into a single feed. Nice. Nevertheless, I must say that having Blogspot doesn’t make much sense. Instead, having Google Reader does. Even better, have all possible social services, and allow users to pick which they want to set up.

There are several features, which you will have to explore.

As someone who isn’t very socially active online (read no Facebook/Flickr/Youtube accounts), especially when Skimmer still needs a lot more polishing, it isn’t very useful for me. Even though it may not fee like a ready-to-use app, this is one AIR app that I recommend to everybody. Get it from the homepage now.

Fallon started as an ad agency based in Minneapolis but seems to be more than that. The folks in its design department must be super cool. You can email skimmer@fallon.com for anything about the app.

P.S. Fallon uses Mosso. Cool!

Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please fill out the form below.


Name

Email

Website

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word


Related Posts

4 Comments so far
  1. Chris Wiggins  April 2, 2009 10:27 am

    Hi Sravan,

    Thanks for the nice writeup. Totally agree that Skimmer’s usefulness and broad appeal will climb as we add additional services from which to choose. If we get a large enough user base, that enhancement (and more) will be very likelly. Also thanks for pointing out the fact that we’re digitally signed. We should probably be better about communicating that.

    One thing though…you mention at one point “There is no setting to check for updates anywhere, but we will automatically be notified about them.”

    While we do automatically check at for updates at a frequency that is set in preferences, you can also do it manually by clicking the ‘refresh’ button (the rectangle with the arrows in the upper-right).

    Thanks again for the nice writeup.

    -chris

  2. Sravan  April 2, 2009 6:56 pm

    My pleasure, Chris. Love trying out and reviewing new apps, especially RIAs. :-)

    Yes, it can be useful if you publicize the fact that Skimmer is digitially signed.

    I should have made myself clearer regarding the updates. I didn’t mean receiving updates from the services, but Skimmer updates itself, the settings of “skimmer/update/config.xml” being configurable through the UI.

  3. dougb  April 2, 2009 9:22 pm

    You’re drooling over this product. I downloaded it and it’s so minimal that it’s practically useless. It’s no replacement for the formal Facebook via a browser and I can’t imagine why I would use this.

  4. Adobe AIR Applications  April 3, 2009 1:50 pm

    im using skimmer too.. nice application..

<

Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (24)


Direct TV Offers - usdirect has the best directtv deals