Just recently, I wrote a review of Leef App for iPhone. The idea is built around accessing Forrst and browsing the latest questions, shots, code snippets, and popular links. Up until recently, there hasn’t been much competition for Forrst on iOS.
Except the new release of Bosquet really turns things around. This is a much more simple application compared to others that access Forrst or Dribbble. It provides all the default features you would expect with a third-party API connection. Plus, the app is fun to use and only comes with a $0.99 price tag! Let’s get into it after the jump.
After first launching the app you’ll be presented with a gorgeous splash startup image. The whole theme for Bosquet fits perfectly with the tones of Forrst — wood, trees, leaves, mulch, nature.
The first view you’re dropped into will load all of the most recently popular posts. To get your own custom feed based on users you’re following, you need to log into an account. If you have one, tap the gear icon in the top right corner to bring up the settings menu. Then the second link in the list should open the login page.
Notice that you do not need to have an account to browse posts on Bosquet. You won’t be able to check notifications or follower profiles, but this is a very limited scope out of all the user activity.
Once you’re in, the app should automatically redirect you onto the main posts view, except now you have a tab bar accessible at the bottom of the screen with three options. The center tab, Posts, is displayed by default. If you’re logged into an account the posts will filter from your followers list, otherwise it will just pull from all recently popular submissions.
The left tab will load recent account activity such as new followers, mentions, comments, or likes on your posts. The right profile tab displays some basic info about your account, along with some external links if applicable.
Going Through the Media
From the posts screen you should notice four wooden buttons near the top title bar. This is a simple navigation menu where you can sort out different post types. These include external links, photos (or shots), source code, or member questions.
Each media type will have a similar display view with some slight adjustments. For example, shots are displayed inline with the option of bringing them into fullscreen. Code is not fully displayed until you tap on the post details.
One feature about the code I really enjoy is how Bosquet will color-code the syntax. Regardless of language, from HTML to Ruby or Objective-C, it all looks wonderful. And on posts with responses, you can load the comment threads directly inline within the same view. This makes browsing for a solution much easier.
Another wonderful feature is the access to user profiles. You can view your own from the profile tab button, however you also have the option of tapping on a user’s avatar to access their own Forrst profile. This will include general user statistics, as well as links to their website and twitter account.
From the menu select screen you can only open up more information on the user’s previous posts. It is strange how you can’t display a list of other followers/following, or even post comments, but this is a quick way of checking a user’s history to see which topics they are knowledgeable about.
These profile pages should not change whether you are logged in or not. The Design is impeccable; I love the paper textures and the use of icon-specific links. It goes to show how Bosquet is a rich and fully detailed Forrst app.
Gathering Additional Details
From any of the post listings you can tap on a block to open up the details view. This provides much more information about the submitter and custom metadata. You can still work with every section in the post details, even as a non-member.
Most all links should contain a “copy URL” button in the right corner. Some posts are private per the author’s user settings, and these cannot be shared. But for public posts it’s very simple to tap and paste links into Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, wherever.
There are some other details you can find based on the type of post media. Links will display a large external URL button to open up in Mobile Safari. On similar grounds, you can tap any snap thumbnail image to bring up the fullscreen view. This lets you pan around and zoom closer into areas on the screen.
No User Interaction
The only big downside I have with this app is how you cannot do anything from the mobile interface. Even when logged into an account you cannot vote on posts or post comments, or even follow/unfollow users. I’m not sure if this is a limitation with the Forrst API or if Bosquet just doesn’t include these options.
However, I am optimistic we could see this functionality at some point in the future. Many of the Dribbble apps for iPhone and iPad do not allow for users to post comments, either. It just feels like a tease that you can read through discussions yet have no ability to respond from your device. Although admittedly, users will still browse the app even without an account, so this issue should not be a dealbreaker!
I have enjoyed my time playing around in Bosquet. The name is peculiar, but don’t judge this app by its title alone. Anybody who loves Forrst will feel very comfortable with Bosquet — and even more for its cheaper price tag.
The team behind the app is small, consisting of designer Anthony Aubertin and developer Maxime Bornemann, who are both based out of France. But ultimately, Bosquet is usable, looks visually pleasing, and comes at the cheapest price tag currently in the App Store.