Buffer lacks features, pointless as a standalone iPhone app

Jan 11, 2012
Tech

Buffer might be free, but there’s zero reason to download this app for iPhone and iPod Touch if you’re a new user to the service. Buffer’s purpose is to post tweets or Facebook updates at scheduled times so your friends and followers think that you never, ever sleep. To use the service you’ll need to […]

Buffer might be free, but there’s zero reason to download this app for iPhone and iPod Touch if you’re a new user to the service.

Buffer’s purpose is to post tweets or Facebook updates at scheduled times so your friends and followers think that you never, ever sleep. To use the service you’ll need to register for an account. Do yourself a favor and go directly to www.bufferapp.com for registration. Buffer doesn’t offer in-app registration, and instead launches Safari and a non-mobile optimized page.

Once you’ve registered for Buffer and authorized it to use your Twitter or Facebook accounts (again, something not fun on a non-optimized page) you can use the app to write updates. You can opt to post them immediately through the app, or have them queue for later posting. Tapping a queued tweet opens an edit panel (you can delete here, too) or you can drag your messages to reorder. There is an analytics tab, but beyond this Buffer is feature-light.

Considering the purpose of the app is to schedule tweets, I was shocked to find that Buffer doesn’t let you choose what time you’d like your message to post. Instead, all of this functionality is found in Buffer’s website. On the web page, you can manually change the time of a post. You can also customize your account settings, including what service Buffer uses to shorten links, or what times of day your messages will be sent (I was provided with four random default times). You can’t sync additional accounts through the Buffer app, and you can’t add additional users.

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There is no reason for these features to be excluded from the Buffer app, especially since these items give the app its purpose. If you’re already visiting the site to get the most out of the service you might as well stay there to compose, too.

Buffer is by no means a bad service, but this app certainly isn’t a shining moment.

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