Collaboration is a tough nut to crack. Even on the web and the desktop, frictionless collaboration with a team hasn’t come to fruition yet. It isn’t because of lack of trying though. There are many different collaboration and team communication solutions that have tried to help people communicate, share and stay productive together.
Still, there is no silver bullet for effective collaboration, but a combination of tools can help you get things done. When it’s an uphill task to ensure easy collaboration over desktop and the web, one can understand the difficulties of achieving the same on a smartphone. Kibits promises to help you interact and work with your team on the go. Let’s take it for a spin!
You’ll need a Kibits account to test the waters. The app is a free download but has a subscription model if you want more features and access to more sharing rooms. To kick things off, try creating a room and start inviting people to join. The nifty menu to the left is where the options are available at. For me, creating a room was easy, but inviting people wasn’t.
I experienced connectivity issues when trying to get into the room, and so did my invitees. It took a few minutes to actually see the person who joined the room. I’m not sure if it was a one time thing that existed over a few days. If not, it’s not going to be an easy ride for Kibits.
Sharing and Collaboration
On the positive side of things, Kibits is feature rich to the core. The app comes loaded with features that rival a desktop or web app and more. You can share tasks, notes, images, files, links and a whole lot more. This variety of toolkit is what made me forget about the annoying connectivity issues.
The search box at the top of the invite screen is where the confusion begins. I wasn’t sure if I had to type in the name to start searching or if this was the way to add names to the invite list. Apparently, it was for the latter. Enter the email address and hit return. Repeat the step to add multiple names and then hit invite. Alternatively, you could go with the address book by toggling the button.
Inside the Room
If you have used a collaboration app in the past, you will find a lot of similarities. Once entering the room, you can start creating tasks, upload files, add comments and more. Or, you could wait around for people to join the room. Unfortunately, invitees will have to create a Kibits account to join the room. Clicking on the invite link alone isn’t enough. It would make a killer addition, though.
Sharing files was smooth. The upload speeds were fairly fast and there were no failed transfers. Oh, if you are a cloud buff and have your files stored away in the world class data centers of Google, Apple, Dropbox or Box, your job will become fairly simple. Log into any one of the accounts and share straight from the cloud. Inline images previews are bound to make the lives of many people a whole lot easier.
When working in a collaborative environment, it matters a lot to see who is doing what. The activity log of Kibits chronicles each and every share, invitee join or task. Another interesting aspect is the unique design for each type of share. A note is clearly distinguished from a task or a file share. Smart thinking!
To add a comment, just type away in the compose field at the bottom of the screen. You can run multiple rooms simultaneously and work with different set of people. Quickly jumping between rooms is possible from the slide out menu. In my opinion, that’s more than enough features for an effective collaboration app.
The cross platform nature of Kibits is another enterprise friendly feature. So, using this app on the web or iPhones or Android, an entire office can operate efficiently from a remote destination.
Kibits tries valiantly to tackle collaboration on the go. Small screens, low horsepower and patchy bandwidth are major hurdles for an app like this one, but in many cases I found Kibits to be fairly capable and effective.
The workflow is a bit botched and needs a rethink. There are way too many hoops to jump before sharing files. However, it isn’t a deal breaker if you are stuck with just a mobile phone to stay productive. Kibits is for sure a brilliant idea that has a solid foundation. Let’s see how quickly they plan to build ease of use on top of that.