November 04, 2010

Buzzooka iApp Enhances Google Buzz Mobile Experience

One could be forgiven for thinking all the development around the Google Buzz app ecosystem is weighted heavily toward Android. Sharing a corporate parent, integration between the two platforms, tapping into Google's location and maps database, and the close integration with Gmail besides has made the two a good pair. But there's still a ton of folks out there on iPhones and other Apple devices who have made Buzz part of their social experience. For them, one great option is a new app called Buzzooka - which not only has a fun name, but is fully-featured and intuitive as well.

Available for $1.99 on the iTunes store, Buzzooka replicates the Buzz experience, providing streams from those you follow, a link to your own Google profile, a tab for nearby updates to the stream, and integrated people search. But while Google keeps Buzz embedded in Gmail, making the experience at times feel heavy and slow, Buzzooka just flies - with the most well-known equivalent being that of Twitter for the iPhone. It even offers the option to pull down to refresh.

Seeing Active Buzz Threads in Buzzooka from My Stream and Profile

In Buzzooka, Google Buzz entries display the user's avatar and shared content. You can click on any piece of content to add a like or a comment, mute the thread, or visit the poster's profile. The app lets you see active comment and like streams, complete with small avatars for those engaging, and jump in yourself, or simply post updates directly from within the app.

Viewing Rich Content and HTML In Buzzooka

Buzzooka has some nice twists in the app, especially for being so new. First, the app displays full Web content within itself instead of launching you to the iDevice's Safari browser. Second, it even plays rich media content, such as YouTube videos, which may have been shared. And if you click over to the "Nearby" tab, and scroll through recent updates in your area, the embedded Google map shifts along with the user's location as provided.

Liking an Entry in Buzzooka, Scrolling Nearby Updates

You can configure the Buzzooka experience to show a specific number of posts per screen, and a predetermined number of comments per post. The most active discussions are collapsed, showing the first and last, with the option to expand.

Searching for People, Changing Prefs in Buzzooka

Buzzooka leverages the Google Buzz API, of course, just as many other clients, including TweetDeck, Seesmic and my6sense have. The greater the partner ecosystem, the greater the network's chance for continued growth.

You can find Buzzooka on the iTunes Store here.

Disclosure: I am vice president of marketing for my6sense. Our Android App also offers Buzz consumption and interaction, which could be an assumed competitor to Buzzooka. Also, we are active Google Buzz API partners.