Delibar: Beautiful Bookmark Management on Your iPhone

This article reviews the social bookmarking app Delibar for the iPhone and iPod Touch iOS devices. After explaining why social bookmarking on mobile devices is important, the article will explore the features and functions of the app before reviewing how it could improve by increasing the number of social bookmarking services that the app has access to.

Delibar is an iPhone and iPod Touch app that was created to connect iOS users with the social bookmarking services Delicious and Pinboard. With Delibar, you can view bookmarks that your friends have noted, access websites that you have added using your desktop and share what you have found with friends on Delicious, Pinboard, Twitter and Facebook.

Social Bookmarking on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Social Bookmarking improves on the flat, uninformative lists that form traditional browser bookmarks by allowing groups of friends to share the websites that they find interesting. Beyond social sharing, the most useful function of services such as Delicious and Pinboard is the ability to associate valuable information including descriptions and tags to website addresses. This makes long lists of bookmarks easy to manage and infinitely more valuable, especially on a mobile device such as the iPhone.

Web Browsers have become the ubiquitous window to the Internet that we enjoy. While numerous versions of browsers have been upgraded and released, one of their core features has been consistently ignored. Bookmarking has remained a flat, necessary function of FireFox, Internet Explorer and Safari, allowing services such as Delicious and Pinboard to succeed. These web based services and the browsers that empower them suffer from a disconnect both in user interface and functionality.

The disconnect between the browser and advanced social bookmarking services is the problem that the Delibar iPhone App and Delibar Mac Desktop Software solves. With Delibar, users have access to a thoughtful and refined user interface to control their own bookmarks and view the bookmarks of their friends.

Delibar Social Bookmarking App Features

Delibar has been created by Danilo Bonardi and Matteo Rattotti from iOS app development firm Shiny Frog. Similar to the Delibar Mac OSX desktop software app, the iOS version of Delibar is thoughtfully designed, exceptionally easy to use and features every function needed to browse, store and share bookmarks.

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The primary user interface of Delibar showing recent links and opening a link.

On the surface, the OSX version of Delibar and the Delibar iPhone App are functionally similar. However, when you think about the differences between how you use bookmarks on your desktop compared to how you use bookmarks on your iPhone or iPod Touch, the functionality of the Delibar iOS App stands alone.

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Reviewing bookmark details from Delicious and previewing the page.

Compatibility poses a small problem for iPod Touch users who do not have a 3rd generation Touch. While the iTunes store will remind 2nd generation Touch users that they must upgrade to iOS 4 before purchasing the app, the store does not check the hardware version. Delibar requires a 3rd generation iPod Touch. When it is purchased, installed and ran on a 2nd generation Touch, the app does not report an error message. It simply shows a black screen for a moment and then returns to the home screen.

Access Bookmarks Quickly

Accessing bookmarks is the primary function of Delibar on the iPhone or iPod Touch. The app does not immediately retrieve your entire list of bookmarks. Some users have thousands of bookmarks in their accounts with new ones added daily. Rather than weigh down both your mobile connection and the app itself, Delibar accesses your bookmarks only when requested. The app does however download all of the tags that you have used to enable their well-planned navigation.

Recently shared bookmarks are displayed in an easy to navigate list while the full archive is accessed by searching for tags. For example, if you remember that you bookmarked a great iOS app review and tagged it “iPhone App”, you could search for that tag for Delibar to return all of the websites that you have tagged with those terms.

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Searching for a bookmark and browsing pages in Delibar is accomplished with tags.

Full Delicious Functionality on your iPhone

The core functionality of Delicious has been implemented in Delibar. In order to use Delibar’s sharing functionality from within Safari, you must install the (free) Safari Mobile bookmarklet. Once installed, you can share bookmarks with Delicious, Pinboard, Twitter and Facebook.

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Core Delicious functionality including syncing accounts and viewing tags is easy with Delibar.

Thoughtful User Interface

Shiny Frog appears to have put a good amount of thought into the design of Delibar. Extending standard iOS elements, bookmarks are only one or two clicks away at any time. Users can assign a hotkey to open the App. From there, multi-account access and Delibar’s well conceived breadcrumb navigation make using the app easy.

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Delibar supports multiple Delicious and Pinboard accounts.

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Saving bookmark searches for use later and editing bookmarks to remain private.

Summary

Shiny Frog clearly had the core functionality of social bookmarking service Delicious in mind when developing Delibar. By identifying the disconnect that exists between Safari Mobile and online social bookmarking services, Delibar connects iPhone and iPod Touch users with their Delicious and Pinboard accounts.

This iPod Touch and iPhone app does exactly what a social networking app should do. By connecting Safari Mobile with Delicious and Pinboard, users can organize, share and access a single set of common bookmarks. As web browsers begin to become a part of nearly every display we use, apps that collect data and make accessing it transparent are not only important, but essential. Surprisingly, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome have ignored social bookmarking but with exceptional apps like Delibar supporting this functionality, they are likely comfortable relying on third party developers.


Summary

Delibar is an exceptionally well conceived app that is almost flawlessly implemented. Using this app on your iPhone or iPod Touch, you can extend the functionality of Safari Mobile to access, share and edit your Delicious and Pinboard bookmarks. The thoughtful user interface and unexpected features make this app outstanding. Increasing the number of supported social bookmarking services and improving 2nd generation iPod Touch support are the only things holding this app back.

9
  • http://horadomac.com Otavio

    The app looks really amazing. I have a copy of Delibar for OSX and it is fantastic.

    The only thing I cannot understand is why it does not support iPhone 3G and old iPods.

    • http://RobIsIT.com/ Rob Brown

      According to Shiny Frog (the folks who make Delibar), the older iPhones and iPods aren’t supported because of an iOS database limitation on these devices. It sounds like Shiny Frog has given it their best go, but Delibar is so slow on 3G iPhone’s and older iPod’s that they don’t want to release it.

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